Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer, has announced the launch of a book store featuring more than six million books.
In a move similar to Kindle books on global e-commerce giant Amazon, Souq.com’s Global Bookstore will make books more accessible to the region and supports the UAE government’s Year of Reading initiative, a statement said.
The Global Bookstore features all book classifications including culture, children, family, education, and business, it added.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, Souq.com CEO and co-founder, said: “We are delighted to launch the books category to provide our customers with easy access to such a large assortment of books and we plan to grow further in future.
“We look forward to cooperating with national organisations concerned with reading and knowledge mainly Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and Dubai e-Library.
“We are aligned with the UAE’s National Reading initiative and this category expansion comes at an interesting time when we are witnessing new momentum in the culture of reading across the region. This initiative will make books more accessible to people in the region.”
According to a recent survey by the Arab Reading Index, people in the UAE read for around 51 hours a year, well above the average of 35 hours for the rest of the Arab world and read 24 books a year compared with the regional average of 16.
E-commerce in the Middle East is continuing to show robust growth, according to a recent report by global consultancy AT Kearney.
It said the e-commerce market in the GCC is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2020 from $5.3 billion in 2015.
“The books category is an exciting inclusion and a step further towards completing the purchase cart of a customer on Souq.com,” added Mouchawar.