SOUQ.com is now Amazon.ae, with Arabic offered by Jeff Bezos' Amazon for first time
Amazon and SOUQ have announced the launch of Amazon.ae, several weeks after Logistics Middle East reported rumours of a major rebranding of the UAE’s leading e-com platform.
Amazon.ae replaces souq.com almost two years after the online retail giant bought it for US $580 million.
“Today marks a proud day for SOUQ and Amazon, a day that we have been working towards since the two companies came together in 2017,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, co-founder of SOUQ and vice president of Amazon MENA.
Anybody who accesses the SOUQ website are now redirected to the new domain, with a message from Mouchawar saying that the two companies will "bring together the best of SOUQ’s local know-how and Amazon's global retailing experience”.
In the message he adds that the new platform Amazon.ae “features over 30 million products, including those previously available on SOUQ and five million products from Amazon US”.
He added that the team in the region “has grown to over 3,600 people, and each and every one of us is thrilled to invite you on this journey”. Many new products and services will be added in the future, he says.
One of these new features is already available: for the first time at Amazon, Arabic has been introduced to both the mobile app and the website.
SOUQ.com has been attracting 45 million visits per month with its product categories including electronics, fashion, perfumes and beauty, home and kitchen, and supermarket.
With localised operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, SOUQ opened a new 40,000-square-metre fulfilment centre in Dubai South in September.
The region’s e-commerce sector is growing at the fastest pace globally, with online sales expected to double to US $48.8bn by 2021, according to a report by Fitch Solutions Macro Research.
E-commerce spending in the UAE is expected to increase by 170 per cent to US $27.1bn in 2022, from US $9.7bn in 2017.
SOUQ was founded by Ronaldo Mouchawar in 2005, initially as an auction site linked to internet portal Maktoob. It rapidly grew into the dominant online shopping portal in the MENA region. Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 selling primarily books and is today the largest online retail site in history.