Souq.com, the e-commerce platform Amazon bought for $580 million (Dh2.13 billion) last year, has opened a centre in Dubai that will create 600 jobs as the company continues to expand its footprint and sales in the Middle East.
The 23,000 square metre facility is the company’s third UAE fulfilment centre, which enables sellers to have a Souq store and ship their products to different customers, the company said in a statement on Monday.
“The increased fulfillment capacity also benefits our sellers, who comprise of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses, by enabling them to scale up their businesses on our marketplace,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, chief executive of Souq.
Souq is benefiting from the rise in online shopping in the UAE and the region as a whole. The Emirates is the fourth most prepared developing economy for e-commerce, according to a new index from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
The e-commerce sector in the Middle East is growing at the fastest pace globally with online sales expected to double to $48.8bn by 2021, said a report by Fitch Solutions, a unit of Fitch Group. The UAE is set to be one of the world leaders, with e-commerce spending in the country increasing 170 per cent to $27.1bn in 2022, from $9.7bn in 2017.
“The new Dubai fulfillment centre, along with the existing FCs, will enable Souq to handle the current and future demand in the UAE, where a growing number of customers choose Souq for their purchases,” said the company. “The new facility will also help Souq meet is objective of growing selection and improving convenience for its customers.”