Noon will move to Saudi Arabia this year, says Alabbar
Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund will launch noon this year with a permanent base in Riyadh
Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar has announced that his e-commerce platform noon will go live this year and will be based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In an official statement, Alabbar said "Following the launch of noon, our permanent operational base will be in Riyadh, and we are currently scaling up our resourcing and operations there.
"This allows us an excellent opportunity to bring into the organisation some of best new young Saudi talent working in this field."
Talks of noon began in November 2016 when Alabbar and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) settled on a $1bn financial backing, with 50% from PIF and the remaining half from Alabbar and a group of GCC investors.
Alabbar touched upon a new management team, revealing in his statement: "We are excited by what our team has been able to achieve in a short time. In the past few months, we have onboarded additional expertise to enhance our management team and help execute on our plans."
However more pressingly, he added that noon is back on track and will launch this year, but only when he is fully satisfied with the platform.
He said: "Our beta programme has been very insightful, and all the feedback we received from our early customers has allowed us to test and refine our technology and fulfilment model...Noon will lead the way in regional e-commerce.
"We are establishing strategic partnerships with an extensive range of regional retailers, distributors and global brands. These partnerships will allow noon to provide its customers with a broad catalogue of product across categories.
"With noon, we aim to deliver an e-commerce platform that creates long-term economic value, is truly relevant to the region and supports its home-grown enterprises. It is vital that all our systems and processes work at the highest possible level. The coming months will be spent to ensure this, particularly with some of the many supply chain innovations we have been developing."
Noon's warehouse will be the size of 60 football pitches and will be adjacent to Dubai's second airport. Similar warehouses are also planned in Saudi Arabia and later across the region.
"noon has the potential to disrupt the nascent e-commerce market in the region. I would like to thank our partners, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, for their continued support and guidance through this process, and our highly dedicated team of experts from a variety of fields, now working around the clock as we translate our vision into reality," Alabbar concluded.