Amazon is making a push for the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. CNBC reported the ecommerce giant has been reaching out to large third-party sellers in North America about the opportunity to expand in the underserved, oil-rich region.
The launch has Amazon downplaying Souq.com, a Dubai-based online retailer it bought in 2017 for $580 million. Amazon is telling sellers not to sign up on Souq.com as it has plans to list all its inventory on its own marketplace.
In September, Amazon launched a local service in Turkey, marking its 17th global site, according to CNBC.
The new marketplace could look a lot like other Amazon international sites along with the same seller back-end system used in the U.S. and access to Fulfillment by Amazon services.
Amazon executives said during a third quarter earnings call in October they’re pleased with its international business. The company continues to invest in Prime benefits and is seeing growth in international expansion.
“The story is different country-by-country obviously, some are much further along than others, but overall we’re very happy,” Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s CFO, said on the call.