Complex Made Simple

Yoox Net-A-Porter and Dubai’s Alabbar sign retail JV

* Yoox Net-A-Porter Group signed JV with Alabbar to create luxury retail business in Middle East

* YNAP will hold 60 per cent and Alabbar will own 40 per cent

* Alabbar is also planning to launch a messaging service to rival WhatsApp


Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) signed a joint venture agreement with Dubai-based business mogul Mohamed Alabbar to create a luxury retail business in the Middle East, the Italian online fashion retailer said on Monday.

YNAP will hold a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture while Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Alabbar, will own the remaining 40 percent, YNAP said without giving financial details, Reuters reported.

Alabbar acquired a four per cent share in the Italian retailer last April, and YNAP announced a capital increase of €100 million, to be entirely subscribed for by Alabbar Enterprises, founded and owned by Mohamed Alabbar.


Expansion plans

“With an unrivalled product offering a superior customer experience, I look forward to collaborating with the management team and board as the group further expands within the region,” Alabbar said in a statement at the time of purchasing the share.

Most recently, Alabbar teamed up with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and other private investors to launch a $1 billion Middle East-focused e-commerce platform, called was 50 per cent owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Alabbar said at a news conference in Dubai, while the other 50 per cent was owned by him and other regional private investors, whom he declined to identify.

Alabbar Enterprises operates and invests in businesses from different sectors, such as luxury, fashion, retail and e-commerce, among others, in different parts of the world, including the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.


Global power

In addition to flexing his muscles as a strong player in the e-commerce sphere, Alabbar’s ambitions are now higher and he has announced that he is planning a messaging service for the Middle East, one that aims to rival WhatsApp and the like.

More details are yet to be disclosed about this project.