Islamic Lifestyle

What does the Alabbar/YNAP deal mean for the Mideast fashion world?

Photo: DUBAI, UAE - DECEMBER 5, 2015: Shoppers in Dubai Mall, UAE / S-F /

On April 19 Yoox/Net-a-Porter (YNAP) announced that Dubai-based Alabbar Enterprises had bought a 4 percent stake of the company in a deal valued at 100 million euros, firmly solidifying Muslim buying power in the fashion world.  

Alabbar Enterprises is owned by Mohamed Alabbar, the founder and chairman of Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls Group. Alabbar’s Emaar Malls Group flagship is The Dubai Mall, which boasted 80 million visitors last year, and was recently ranked higher than New York’s Fifth Avenue, London’s Regent Street and the Champs-Elysees in Paris in retail quality, according to Global Retail Destination Index 2016 from Savills.  

Net-a-Porter, which was bought by Yoox Group last year to form YNAP, has already been offering its Muslim and Middle Eastern customers Ramadan-themed fashions. But with Alabbar’s input, the high-end luxury site can begin to potentially target more customers.

“I am pleased to have been provided the opportunity to invest in and support Yoox/Net-A-Porter, the leader in online luxury retail. With an unrivaled product offering and superior customer experience, I look forward to collaborating with the Management team and Board, as the Group further expands within the region,” Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls Group, said in a statement.

On the flip side, with YNAP’s e-commerce capabilities, the partnership is a win for Emaar Malls Group as well.

A merger does not look likely. This deal is an investment, and Alabbar brings its regional know-how to a company with major digital prowess.

The influx of capital will allow YNAP to further its growth opportunities, invest further in its platform and retain maximum balance-sheet flexibility.

“I sincerely admire Mr. Alabbar for his forward-thinking and relentless drive to innovate, a vision that has led to the creation of the world’s biggest mall. His track record in delivering exclusive luxury and retail experiences across the Middle East will provide us with invaluable insights in the fast-growing regional luxury fashion market.” Federico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox/Net-a-Porter Group said in a statement.

Whatever pans out from this deal, it’s clear the big winners are the shoppers.

© 2016


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Amina Akhtar