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Tue 3 Jul 2018 11:34 AM

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Video: Why Middle East e-commerce sector is heading for a pivotal moment

Over the last five years, e-commerce has grown to become a significant component of the Middle East's economy, a development that is reflected in a number of major deals.

Most recently there was Noon’s partnership agreement with eBay that will allow customers in the region to buy products from the US and other parts of the globe. This follows the $800m Amazon-Souq deal that made global headlines in 2017, which confirmed the status of the sector in the region, with the UAE leading the charge.

Noon founder Mohamed Alabbar, who launched the $1bn e-commerce platform last year, has been prominent in the sector, with Emaar Malls Group having acquired 51 percent of online fashion retailer Namshi for $151m in 2017.

There have also been a number of deals in neighbouring Saudi Arabia in recent years, including Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding’s acquisition of online travel company Al Mosafer and the launch of another online platform, Tajawal. Alongside Souq, some of the other regional stars, such as Wadi, Fetcher, Talabat, and Careem, are well-known success stories.

The opportunity is clear. In Saudi Arabia alone nearly 30 percent of the 28 million residents are below the age of 15. Online customers in the region are estimated to be 50 million and are comparable to the size of India’s digital shoppers.

In this edition of Inside AB, Jeremy Lawrence and Shayan Shakeel run through the deals making headlines and reshaping the way we shop.

(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)