The much-anticipated launch of Mohamed Alabbar’s ecommerce venture is “just weeks away”, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed to Arabian Business.

The $1bn launch, with financial backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has been beta-testing its site for the past two months and finalising launch plans.

Sources suggest the launch will include three-hour, door-to-door delivery on items, “ground breaking” return policies and advanced payment platforms.

“Nothing is being left to chance here. When this goes live, you will be able to order millions of different items and have your goods in just three hours. We are also working around the clock to make sure that every single item sold on Noon is original,” the source said.

“We are focused on providing the fastest delivery times, a seamless technology-enabled experience and top-notch customer service. We are absolutely confident that noon will deliver on these promises. Noon will truly be a game changing initiative that will make an impact on the global stage,” the source said.

There is also expected to be a huge focus on the fashion segment, with hundreds of exclusive fashion brands on offer – five times that of its nearest competitor. Noon is also expected to offer millions of products covering electronics, music, games, beauty, health, books, home, sports and more.

“Our fulfilment centre in Dubai has now entered the soft launch phase, our staff are trained and ready and we are conducting the final checks on the next-generation technology that will deliver a best-in-class online retail experience for our customers in the Middle East,” the source said.

Alabbar’s launch comes just after Amazon agreed to a deal believed to be worth about $650m to take over Dubai-based, currently the largest ecommerce player in the region.

Alabbar had previously been linked with a buyout of However, a source close to him said he was “not worried” by the deal. “Competition is a good thing, and it’s a definitely a good thing for the consumer. It will raise everyone’s game. We see online sales in the region growing from 2 per cent, or $3bn a year, to 15 per cent – which is $70bn, within a decade. There is clearly enough room for everyone.”