Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) is launching in the Middle East. The e-tailer has signed a joint venture agreement with Mohamed Alabbar to create an online luxury retail business in the region. YNAP will hold a 60 percent stake in the joint venture while Symphony Investments, which is controlled by Alabbar, will hold the remaining 40 percent. The financial details of the agreement have remained undisclosed. Alabbar is the Dubai-based tycoon who chairs Emaar Properties, the London-listed group which counts the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, among its properties. For the time being, the joint venture will cover the territories of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. The venture will be headquartered in Dubai. The agreement will also see the establishment of a distribution center in Dubai offering same-day delivery as well as a Dubai-based office with dedicated sales, customer care, marketing and PR teams. The local office and distribution center are scheduled for opening by the end of 2017. Yoox and The Outnet will be the first to debut in 2018, while Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter will launch in 2019, followed by select online flagship stores. YNAP's relationship with Alabbar began earlier this year, when the tycoon invested €100 million in the e-tailer.

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