Souq.com CEO and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar.
Global e-commerce leader Amazon announced on Monday that it that it had completed the acquisition of Souq.com, the Dubai-based online retail and marketplace platform.
In a joint statement, both companies said customers could now log on to Souq.com using their Amazon credentials as the first step of integration.
The acquisition deal, which was signed in March 2017, signalled the entry of the global e-commerce giant into a fast-growing Middle East market. Although the value of the acquisition was not disclosed, according to knowledgeable sources it is close to $700 million.
"Joining the Amazon family enables Souq.com to continue to bring even more products and services to customers in the region and further expand "Fulfilled by Souq" to empower sellers," the statement said.
Souq.com CEO and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar said it "is an exhilarating time" for the e-commerce industry in the region.
"Together with Amazon, our goal is to offer our customers the widest product selection, great prices, improved delivery times and first-rate customer service," said Mouchawar.
"Integration of Amazon's technology and global resources with our local expertise will help us to offer a great service to our loyal customers."
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Mouchawar said the acquisition is a milestone for the online shopping space in the region to provide easier accessibility to customers.
"As we take this next step in the journey, our customers will remain our key focus and we will continue to deliver exceptional online shopping experience."
Russ Grandinetti, Amazon senior vice-president, International Consumer, said Amazon customers in the Middle East could now enjoy the benefit of easy access to Souq.com using their Amazon credentials.
"We are working to quickly integrate Souq.com and Amazon capabilities, in terms of both customer experience and fulfillment, to provide an ever-improving shopping experience for customers in the Middle East," said Grandinetti.
"Amazon and Souq.com are seamlessly moving into the next phase of the integration to bring more products and offerings to the region's customers even faster," he said.
Mouchawar said he would continue to lead and drive Souq.com along with the senior leadership. "We are working to quickly integrate Souq.com and Amazon capabilities, to provide an ever-improving shopping experience for customers in the Middle East. We will have to ask you to stay tuned."
Deal adviser Goldman Sachs described the deal as "the biggest-ever technology M&A transaction in the Arab world."
Amazon has been stepping up its overseas expansion although it had to largely cede China to Alibaba Group Holding. It has also become aggressive in India where it has pledged to spend $5 billion in the next few years.
According to Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), Amazon's acquisition of Souq.com reflects Dubai's importance as a regional hub and the success of companies in utilizing the advantages for growth and expansion available in It is a valuable addition to the UAE's efforts to develop an innovative knowledge economy and adopt the latest digital technologies and smart services through the Internet and cloud computing.
Dubai FDI succeeded in attracting Amazon.com to Dubai after high-level visits to their headquarters in the United States, and presenting the competitive advantages of Dubai as a gateway for regional expansion, Al Gergawi said in March.