E-commerce giant, Amazon, has recently announced its plan to open 11 brand new buildings across Saudi Arabia. Once all the new buildings are opened, which should happen by the end of 2021, they will create over 1,500 new jobs.
Right now, Amazon has three warehouses in Saudi Arabia, referred to as fulfillment centers, located in Riyadh and Jeddah. With the planned buildings, Amazon’s total floor area is supposed to reach 867,000 square feet, or about 80,000 square meters.
Amazon wants to enhance its storage capacity by 89 percent and its geographical delivery network by 58 percent to better cope with the growing demand for its services in the region. In addition to building new facilities, the company will also upgrade existing ones to enable faster, smarter, and more consistent deliveries of products to customers.
“These new investments reiterate our commitment to Saudi Arabia, contributing to the local economy through the creation of new job opportunities,” said Prashant Saran, Amazon’s Middle East and North Africa director of operations.
“Our investments in technology and infrastructure align with Saudi’s digital transformation goals, enabling world-class fulfillment offerings to our independent seller partners, and faster delivery on an expanded product selection to our customers,” Saran added.
Amazon is among the biggest winners of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its net profit increased by 84 percent to $21.3 billion as revenue grew 38 percent to $386.1 billion. In January of this year, the company launched its Amazon Prime service in Saudi Arabia, offering many convenient perks to Saudi shoppers, including free same-day and next-day delivery.
A small survey of nearly 1,000 Saudi shoppers conducted by advertising platform Criteo last year found that 58 percent of Saudis now prefer online shopping to in-store shopping, and 35 percent see the cost of shipping as a big factor in their decision-making process.
With the new facilities, Amazon will be ready to expand its presence in the region even further to meet customers’ growing expectations.
Stripe Enters The Middle East With Its UAE Launch
Stripe will initially only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
Stripe, a provider of online payment processing for internet business, has finally expanded to the Middle East with its official launch in the United Arab Emirates. The Irish-American company also opened an office in Dubai Internet City, allowing it to be closer to its new customer base.
At first, Stripe will only be available to UAE businesses, allowing them to accept online payments, make payouts, mitigate fraud, and attract customers from around the world.
“The UAE is a thriving hub for technology, supported by strong investor appetite, internet-savvy consumers, and an open, innovative ecosystem of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Henderson, EMEA Business Lead at Stripe. “Our launch today also means we can now connect our global user base to the Gulf, enabling them to seamlessly expand their operations in the region.”
Stripe’s entry into the Middle East market comes just weeks after its latest round of funding, which has resulted in the company’s value jumping up to $95 billion and making it one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world.
The UAE is the perfect entry point for the online payment processing provider because the total value of digital payment transactions in the gulf country has doubled in the last two years alone, reaching $18.5 billion in 2020. If the UAE remains on the current growth trajectory, its e-commerce sector is expected to add nearly another $10 billion over the next two years.
Another factor that makes the UAE such an ideal expansion point is the fact that accepting online payments in the country has historically been incredibly challenging. Stripe provides a straightforward setup process and developer-friendly APIs, making it easy for companies of all sizes to improve their online presence.
Last year, Stripe launched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. The company also expanded into Africa via Nigeria technology startup Paystack. In total, Stripe currently processes hundreds of billions of dollars each year.