Mohamed Alabbar and Yoox founder Federico Marchetti have teamed up to conquer the region’s luxury fashion online market. It is just the latest in a series of plans by the Emaar chairman to become the biggest name in e-commerce.
We are sitting in the new Address Boulevard hotel in Downtown Dubai, yet another iconic building that is the brainchild of Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar.
“I wish I was 30 years old; I would control the region,” he says. But for once, Alabbar is not talking property. With Federico Marchetti, the CEO of the world’s leading online fashion retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter Group (YNAP) beside him, the two men are busy carving out a plan to conquer the world of e-commerce.
So far it is going pretty well. In April last year, Alabbar Enterprises, his private entity, took a 4 percent stake in the group for $112m. Seven months later, Alabbar’s Symphony Investments (part of Alabbar Enterprises) signed a joint venture agreement with YNAP to create what they hope will be the undisputed leader for online luxury retail in the Middle East. Symphony, which is chaired by Alabbar’s son Rashid, holds a 40 percent stake in the venture, with Marchetti’s group controlling the rest.
All this is happening while Alabbar puts the final touches to his mega e-commerce platform Noon.com, a $1bn venture that is...Read more...