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Alabbar launches JV for online luxury retailing

|By Arabian Post Staff| Emaar chairman and leading Dubai businessman Mohammed Alabbar followed up the launch of his $1 billion online retailing venture Noon with a joint venture for online luxury sales.

Alabbar announced at a press conference in Dubai that  the firm Symphony Investments, owned by him, was taking 40 percent stake in the joint venture with Milan-based online retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter to profit from luxury spending in the Middle East.

The Italian retailer may start selling products into the Middle East in the next 12 months, he said.

Bloomberg adds:  Alabbar is leading a $1 billion technology investment company formed with other regional investors, and also raised $1 billion from investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to create e-commerce firm Noon. He plans to start a social app similar to WhatsApp early next year. Alabbar bought a stake in regional logistics firm Aramex PJSC in July and 4 percent of Yoox Net-a-Porter for 100 million euros in April.

“E-commerce in the Middle East is still fresh and new, it’s 1.5 percent of total retail, it’s a baby,” Alabbar said. “We built Emaar into a sizable real estate company from nothing, and we need to build the next Emaar in e-commerce.”