In this Jan. 4, 2010 file photo, Mohammed Alabbar speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP/Karam Jebreili)
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Days after Amazon announced the launch of its first Middle East centres, online retailer Noon.com has gone live in the United Arab Emirates, boosting a rapidly nascent e-commerce sector in the Gulf.Analysts say the arrival of Noon.com -- which comes months after retail giant Amazon acquired the Dubai-based Souq.com -- is expected to trigger a price war in the developing regional e-commerce market and will likely alter the face of consumerism in the Gulf.The news comes six after Emaar offered $800 million to acquire rival retailer Souq.com but lost to Amazon, which acquired the region's biggest online retailer for $650 million.Raghu estimates that online sales in the Middle East currently make up a mere two percent of overall retail sales, compared with 15 percent in more developed markets.
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