After months of delays, the online retail platform Noon has finally gone live for shoppers in the U.A.E.
The hotly anticipated Noon was expected to launch in January 2017, after it was first announced in November of last year by its founder Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties.
The Dubai real estate tycoon created Noon as part of a $1 billion joint venture between Gulf investors and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
However, in addition to delays, Alabbar’s bid to conquer the region’s e-commerce market has faced other hurdles as well.
The most notable came in March 2017, when the North American e-commerce giant Amazon acquired Dubai-based online retailer Souq.
Noon’s primary competitor, Souq is currently the biggest e-commerce platform in the region, commanding nearly 78% of e-commerce traffic in the Middle East and North Africa.
Following that setback, Alabbar carried out a string of moves designed to get Noon off the ground, beginning with the acquisition of regional e-commerce startup JadoPado in May.
The moves appear to have done the trick. Now live, Noon offers an array of products from iPhones to Nike running shoes.
At long last, Noon and Souq are finally ready to go head-to-head.