Watch: Emirati businessman dresses as delivery rider, joins influencer to bike around Dubai

In the video, they tour a dark store to learn more about its innovative technologies and operations

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 26 May 2023, 8:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Jun 2023, 8:28 AM

An Emirati businessman hit the road dressed as a delivery rider. Mohamed Alabbar, founder of noon, drove a Minutes bike around Downtown Dubai to get a firsthand experience of the company’s operations.

In a video posted on the company’s social media channels, Alabbar along with renowned influencer Ayman tour a dark store - one of many situated across the UAE - to learn more about its innovative technologies and operations. They learn how the stores are a fully equipped fulfilment centre in which orders are processed and delivered.


Several companies in the UAE have begun using the concept of dark stores, making it possible to deliver groceries quickly. The delivery areas are limited to a certain perimeter around those stores making it possible to deliver groceries in as little as 10 minutes in some cases.

Noon as well as Careem, Talabat and Carrefour are now delivering groceries within 60 minutes or less.


Optimising store layout

According to Careem, which launched their Quik delivery service in 2021, the quick delivery system is achieved by minimising time taken in stores.

“We’ve optimised store layouts and invested in advanced fulfilment and inventory management technologies to reduce picking times and limit item replacement to less than 1 per cent of all orders,” said Chase Lario, the Global GM of Grocery at Careem. “We’re saving time on the fulfilment part of the order by significantly shortening preparation times and reducing replacement rates.”

The group also confirmed that there has been a burgeoning demand in this sector. “Our customer base has tripled month on month since launch, so we have built more dark stores to meet this demand,” he said.

According to delivery companies, the quick delivery model has managed to solve several pain points, including the need for fast delivery of daily essentials. With the advent of AI and other technologies and with Dubai planning vertiports, quick deliveries are soon expected to become the norm in the city.

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