“We are proud to announce that we are now Amazon.ae”. These are Amazon’s very own words in the letter they posted on their new Middle East marketplace.
On Tuesday, Amazon the world’s biggest online retailer from Seattle announced the launch of a new marketplace in the Middle East.
Until now, customers in the Middle East were only able to purchase items from the Dubai-based Souq.com, a marketplace which offered a small selection of Amazon’s giant catalogue as well as items from third-party sellers.
Souq.com was bought for $580 million (Dhs2.1 billion) by Amazon in 2017 and will now be rebranded as Amazon.ae. Souq.com will remain however available in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Before the rebranding, Souq.com was one of the largest online retailers from the Middle East, with around 41 million visits to its website and 8.5 million products in 35 different categories.
Now that the websites have merged, Middle Eastern users can browse through five million items at competitive prices and get them delivered as fast as a traditional Amazon product.
The website and mobile app are also available in Arabic to support local customers and will also feature regional specific offers and deals, such as flash sales for Ramadan or Eid celebration day.
And the most exciting news is that Amazon.ae is offering free next day delivery on orders above Dhs100 and paid same-day delivery to certain areas in the UAE.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, co-founder of Souq and vice president of Amazon MENA, said: "Amazon.ae brings together Souq's local know-how and Amazon's global expertise, something we believe will be of significant benefit to UAE customers.
Our combined team in the region has grown to over 3,600 employees, and each and every one of us is thrilled to invite UAE customers to join us on this journey, where we will continue to grow our product range, ensure great prices, and provide a convenient and safe shopping experience."
According to consulting firm Bain & Company, the online shopping industry in the region was worth $8.3 billion in 2017, and is expected to more than triple to $28.5 billion by 2022.
E-commerce in the Middle East and North Africa is poised for continued growth and success.