May 24, 2017
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Will the Sun Ever Shine on Noon.com?

You can’t stop what hasn’t begun, but noon.com seems to be quitting the ecommerce race in the UAE.

It has become apparent that operations for ecommerce platform noon.com will not begin anytime soon. Its chief technology officer and founder of now defunct JadoPado, Omar Kassim, has stepped down from the role on May 22, merely a few weeks after joining the company that acquired his online marketplace. “I just didn’t know how deep the problems ran,” he mused when asked about the delayed launch of Noon.

Photo courtesy of Zawya

noon.com delays launch once again

Originally anticipated to launch back in January with over 20 million products up for sale, noon.com, the 1 billion USD online retail platform is reported to have already laid off hundreds of staff—including its CEO, because of the delay. It has to begin operating as soon as possible to make up for its financial losses. It is also worth noting that Amazon.com’s recent acquisition of Dubai-based e-commerce platform Souq.com could have been one of the reasons why Noon’s launch keeps being shelved for a later date.

Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, was in the running for Souq.com’s acquisition. However, US-based Amazon.com clinched the deal at an undisclosed amount.

Photo courtesy of The National

noon.com heads to Saudi Arabia

Beta testing of the ecommerce website began as early as November last year. According to Alabbar, it was successful and was ready for launch. As of writing, it is reported that plans to move the operations base from Dubai to Riyadh and to launch the website for good later this year are currently underway. Half of noon.com’s $1B funding is from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Now the big question remains: will we ever see noon.com online or should they just declare “failure to launch” and move on?