The e-commerce online retail platform first announced by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar in November last year has finally been launched.

As exclusively revealed by Zawya last week, the platform has finally gone live after months of delays, with the app available for Android customers in the United Arab Emirates via the Google Play Store. The company said in a press release late on Saturday that a version will be made available through Apple's App Store "in the coming days", while a launch in Saudi Arabia is expected within a few weeks.

The company is backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and by Kuwait's retail group MH Alshaya, with an initial outlay of $1 billion invested.

It has been launched as an "Arabic-first" platform, with offices in Dubai and Riyadh, the statement said.

Mohamed Alabbar said: “Today, we are excited to deliver orders to our first customers. We are proud to take this important first step in our journey, and we are committed to making Noon the region’s Arabic-first e-commerce platform.

He added: “As digital technologies cause disruptions across industries and geographies, it is important for us to shape a digital marketplace that is relevant to our local markets and serves as a growth platform for brick-and-mortar retailers.”

The initial range of categories launched includes electronics, fashion, beauty, baby, home and kitchen and grocery.

The site had been due to launch in January this year, but it has faced teething problems, including the departure of its former CEO Fodhil Benturqia, its chief technology officer and other, senior staff.

© Zawya 2017