||United Arab Emirates : UAE logistics firm Mara Xpress to spend $6m in GCC expansion by end of Q1
||The newest entrant to the UAEs express logistics industry, Mara Xpress, plans to establish shop in Abu Dhabi within a month, prior to its expansion to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in a $6 million (Dh22 million) expansion drive by the end of the first quarter of 2017, said chief executive officer Jeremy Skyrme has said.
By the end of the 2017, the Dubai-based company will be raising its investment across the region to $10 million, before diverting itself to the expansive African market.
Skyrme said, As soon as you set up here [in Dubai], the first natural place your customers and merchants want to go is into the GCC. For us, it is low-hanging fruit and obviously we need to finish that. Come the end of the first quarter, we will have made the move into the right African destination.
By 2018, the UAEs e-commerce industry is expected to touch $10 billion.
Mara Xpress which is part of the Mara Group, an African company with interests in technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture, remains focused to tap this growth potential.
Skyrme said, The investment in the Abu Dhabi facility is in the region of $500,000. Our next phase, once we finish this in about a month, will be to look at the next destination. We need to be in Bahrain, we need to be in Saudi Arabia. In the kingdom, we are not just looking at one location. We need to be in Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah.
Our plan is to be the [last-mile, e-commerce] service provider across all GCC markets, with a market share of 30 per cent by the end of 2017 and 50 per cent by 2018, he added.
According to Skyrme, the budgets and plans for Bahrain and Saudi city Dammam had been finalised, while plans for the remaining part of the GCC region are nearing completion.
These markets need a specialist provider. If you look at Saudi Arabia, there are only seven registered courier companies. It is very regulated there, compared to the UAE. Saudi Arabia needs a bit more time, we are going to visit it in the next few weeks, he said.
We want to be the eighth player in Saudi Arabia, but then, we are not a courier company. We will be the only registered last-mile, e-commerce delivery company, doing exactly what we do here there.
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