Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report on Tuesday, March 28, said that it would buy Souq.com, the Middle East's biggest online retailer, after Emaar Malls made a $800 million bid for the Dubai-based group.

The U.S. e-commerce giant did not reveal how much it paid for Souq.com, although earlier reports indicated it had bid between $650 million and $750 million before Emmar's approach.

The acquisition, which is subject to conditions and is expected to close in 2017, will give Amazon access to the Middle East and it will enable Souq.com to continue to grow, the pair said in a statement.

"Amazon and Souq.com share the same DNA - we're both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking," said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Senior Vice President, International Consumer. "Souq.com pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We're looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, we'll work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the Middle East."

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Dubai's Emaar Malls, the shopping center unit of Dubai's largest publicly-traded property developer, said Monday, March 27, it had bid $800 million for Souq.com. The offer comes as the property developer tries to align e-commerce with physical shopping, Emaar said in a disclosure on the Dubai Stock Exchange.

Souq.com is the largest online retailer in the Arab world, operating in English and Arabic. The site delivers to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

"We are guided by many of the same principles as Amazon, and this acquisition is a critical next step in growing our e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region," said Souq.com CEO and Co-Founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. "By becoming part of the Amazon family, we'll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon's great track record of empowering sellers."

Amazon shares were up 0.38% in pre-market trading on Tuesday. Stock closed at $846.82 on Monday. 

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