Amazon is officially – officially – in the UAE now
- The launch of Amazon.ae brings the e-commerce website to the UAE proper
- Previously, online buyers would use souq.com (which also sold Amazon products)
- Souq.com was bought in 2017 by Amazon for a rumoured US$580 million
- Amazon.ae will mix local and international products
Much like your last ill-fated online purchase, Souq.com’s transition into Amazon proper took its sweet time. But, would-be shoppers, it has finally arrived.
In 2017 everyone’s favourite local online shopping portal – Souq.com – was purchased by World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos. The deal saw the website under ownership of Amazon, but not a great deal else. Amazon Worldwide products became available, but that was about it.
Today marks the launch of Amazon.ae and – sad times – the end of Souq.com. Indeed, if you head to the souq.com website you will be re-directed to the UAE’s new Amazon store. Same too if you try and get into souq.com via the app.
The new amazon.ae has the same products as old souq.com, as well as a touching letter by Ronaldo Mouchawar – the co-founder of Souq.com – and now Vice President of Amazon MENA.
“In 2005, the first item ever ordered on Souq was delivered to a customer in Dubai,” the letter quips. “IN the years that followed, we have worked hard to continually enhance your shopping experience by adding millions of products, offering faster delivery and consistently focusing on great value.”
“There have been many milestones for Souq over the past 13 years and today, we have another to share with you,” states Mouchawar. “We are proud to announce that we are now Amazon.ae.”
The new website is the same as most other Amazon.com portals, save for the fact that there’s no Amazon Prime features right now. That means no one-day delivery, no Prime Video and no Prime Music.
The new amazon.ae does make it easier to shop from Amazon’s global stock of products, letting you see items from Amazon’s UK and US stores in dirhams.
Souq.com went from strength to strength when it launched, positioning itself as the first proper online retail space here in the UAE. Recently, it has been putting efforts into creating solid distribution channels, as well as an affiliate network of buyers. It also makes headlines each year for its ‘White Friday’ sales, similar to the US’ ‘Black Friday’ sales before December.
The transition from souq.com to amazon.ae was inevitable, and took its sweet time coming. However, it’s still a tad sad to see one of the UAE’s biggest technology firms – the original souq.com – become nothing more than a regional Amazon hub.