Dubai's Ruler Praises 'Arab World's Amazon,' Supports Youth's Ambition
SOURCE: STEP FEED
BY: SARAH TRAD
In a recent visit to Souq.com’s headquarters in the UAE, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised the efforts and hard work that helped place it on top of the market in the region.
“Amazon has acquired this multi-billion Dirham enterprise, started by a young Syrian, Ronaldo Mouchawar, years ago in Dubai. I’m proud of Ronaldo, and say to all Arab youth that Dubai is the city of your dreams, fuelled by young ambition,” Sheikh Mohammed’s tweet read.
In March 2017, e-commerce giant Amazon acquired Souq.com for $580 million – while other sources said it was closer to $700 million – guaranteeing a strong entrance into the Arab region’s online market.
Millions of Amazon products from the U.S. have since been available on Souq.com’s UAE-based platform. In addition, Amazon users in the Middle East were given access to Souq.com through their Amazon credentials.
“Together with Amazon, our goal is to offer our customers the widest product selection, great prices, improved delivery times and first-rate customer service,” Mouchawar told Khaleej Times a few months after the acquisition was complete.
Sheikh Mohammed’s support towards Mouchawar’s successful business – which started and grew exponentially in the UAE and the region – is very inviting for Arab youth.
He’s always been a strong believer in the UAE youth – and Arabs in general – and their power to change the future.
Just last year, ahead of the Expo 2020 in Dubai, he emphasized on the importance of his country’s youth’s participation in the event.
“The youth should play a key part in this mega event and get opportunities to observe, learn and contribute creative ideas so that they can develop innovative solutions for creating a better future for our region and the world,” he said, accordingto Emirates 24/7.
E-commerce is excelling in the Gulf
E-commerce has been expanding in the Arab world, especially in the GCC, in the past few years. Though it wasn’t until recently that Arabs took the initiative to create platforms for easy online shopping in the region, professionals say some gaps still need to be filled.
“GCC consumers are still looking for higher delivery performance, especially on the time and cost fronts, with late or long delivery time before the most common complaint,” explains Gulf Pinnacle Logistics (GPL) chairman Shailesh Dash, accordingto Arabian Business.
Another colossal partnership took place between Saudi-backed company Noon and U.S.-based online market eBay, also inviting residents in the Arab world to easily shop U.S. products.
With the market’s rapid expansion in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, studies forecast a massive growth, reaching $27 billion in the UAE and $22 billion in the kingdom. A total estimate for the GCC’s e-commerce market by 2020 is $69 billion.
Even though not all Arabs rely on online shopping, the number of consumers who are opting for this option is increasing. While many have full trust in specific websites and enjoy hassle-free shopping, others still doubt online security and would not use their bank card for purchases.