E-Commerce Could Soar in Middle East

The latest trend among Arab investors is e-commerce. Mohamed Alabbar, the force behind Dubai-based Emaar Properties, announced that he and other regional names are partnering with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to invest $1 billion in an online retail platform called Noon. The strategic theme at play is the heightened wealth of the Arab consumer, but launching a retail site amid widespread industrial dislocation is a huge feat. Many analysts expect the economic growth rate in the GCC to trundle along at 2% annually for the next three-to-five years. And there is enormous competition from brick-and-mortar retail. More constructively, the outsized venture commitment will generate even greater awareness of a regional tech ecosystem that could yield other notable opportunities over the cycle ahead.

Learn more at The National.

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