Dubai billionaire-backed e-commerce venture Noon appoints new CEO

Noon, an e-commerce venture backed by Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), has appointed Faraz Khalid as chief executive.


Faraz Khalid has been appointed CEO of Noon, the soon to be launched $1 billion e-commerce joint venture founded by Mohamed Alabbar

Khalid joins from Middle East online fashion retailer Namshi, which he co-founded and where he served as managing director, Noon said in a statement on Monday.

Noon has been without a chief executive since at least May when Reuters reported CEO Fodhil Benturquia and other employees had left the company after it missed its January launch date.

Alabbar's Emaar Malls purchased a 51 percent stake in Namshi the same month for $151 million from Global Fashion Group (GFG), a start-up set up by Rocket Internet.

Noon is completing final work in its fulfilment infrastructure and payment systems and is on track to launch this year, Alabbar said.

The Gulf region's e-commerce market is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2020, global consultancy A.T. Kearney said in a report published last year.

In March, Amazon.com bought Middle Eastern online retailer Souq.com in a deal described by adviser Goldman Sachs as "the biggest-ever technology M&A transaction in the Arab world".

Alabbar, founder and chairman of Dubai's Emaar, developer of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, made an unsuccessful bid for Souq.com through Emaar Malls.

Increasingly focused on technology investments and e-commerce, he bought a stake in regional logistics firm Aramex last year

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