It’s Emaar vs. Amazon in the bid to win Souq.com

Last week, e-commerce giant Amazon bid USD$580million, or just over AED2.1billion to take over 100% of Souq.com. Those are some pretty big numbers. However, we all know that when it comes to doing it big, Dubai is never to be outdone.

Following the news above, Emaar Hospitality, developers of some of the most iconic buildings in Dubai such as the ever-popular Dubai Mall, bid $800million, or just under AED3billion for Souq.

The difference of nearly 1 billion Dirhams would surely mean it’s an easy choice, but reports have come in saying that an ‘exclusivity’ clause of Souq and Amazon’s negotiations mean that the Arab e-commerce platform cannot accept another offer while still in talks with Amazon.

Another factor comes into play with the emergence of ‘Noon,’ which would be a direct competitor to Souq.com and is owned by Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar. Noon was set to go live in a couple of weeks.

A source recently told Arabian Business: “A deal with Emaar Malls makes a lot more sense both strategically and financially. You have the owner of the biggest malls teaming up with a huge e-commerce platform. That would really drive consumer growth. And of course the bid is for a lot more than Amazon are offering.

“It isn’t clear whether every Souq shareholder is signed up to the Amazon offer, and they could still prevent the deal from going through. Ultimately, any shareholder selling out wants to get the maximum return. That isn’t coming from Amazon anymore, it is only coming from Emaar.”

Whatever the outcome, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.