Earlier this year, an e-commerce arms race in one of the Middle East’s most lucrative markets pitted United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based property holding company Emaar against Amazon, in a competition for the region’s largest online retailer, Souq.com. Hundreds of millions of dollars later, Amazon won, and yesterday, Souq.com announced the launch of “Amazon Global Store” on its platform, offering customers in the UAE the ability to shop for over one million products from Amazon.com in the United States.
It’s not clear yet how the logistics behind the deal will work, and Amazon.com has not responded to inquiries, but with extensive European facilities, and Souq.com’s UAE assets, there’s plenty of evidence that the new marketplace will spark a surge in cross-border e-commerce.
Souq.com said that its customers will see prices in local currency, inclusive of import fee deposits at checkout. The Amazon Global Store will also handle customs clearance, and deliver purchases to customers’ door steps.
“When we acquired Souq.com, our goal was to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the Middle East by supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources,” said Samir Kumar, vice president of international retail. “Amazon Global Store is the first step of many in doing so, and represents Amazon’s confidence in the region and that our continued investment will provide customers with more of what they want – the largest selection combined with a reliable shopping experience that includes unique products and international brands from the U.S. and beyond.”
Souq.com offers two delivery options for Amazon Global Store: priority (2-5 business days) and expedited (6-10 business days).