Noon has quietly introduced free shipping in the United Arab Emirates on all orders with no minimum purchase. The company had initially put up a banner on its website yesterday announcing the move but for some reason took it off afterward. Some of Noon’s employees had also shared the news on different social media platform but apparently, all those posts have also been taken down. It’s not clear why the banner and those posts were taken off but Noon’s homepage and its Help Center/FAQs now state that the company offers free delivery on all orders.
We also gave it a try ourselves by adding the cheapest thing we could find on the website to our cart and it worked. We didn’t actually buy anything but the cart page had delivery listed as free (screenshot below).
Previously, the free shipping in UAE was only available on orders worth AED 100 or more. For Saudi & Egypt, the company still maintains SAR 200 and EGP 250 as minimum order value for free delivery.
The launch of free delivery in UAE by Noon comes almost a week after Amazon launched its premium membership (subscription) service Amazon Prime in the country. Amazon Prime that’s priced at AED 16 ($4.4) per month or AED 140 ($38.1) offers its members free next-day delivery with no minimum purchase and discounted same-day delivery. The service also offers free international expedited delivery on “millions of eligible items” shipped from Amazon US with orders over AED 100 and free access to Prime Video and Twitch.
Noon apparently wants to counter the free next-day delivery move for now. For most of the items that are fulfilled by Noon, the company already offers same or next day delivery. So it is essentially offering the free next-day deliveries to all its customers without charging them any monthly fee.
In the visuals that Noon had shared (now taken down – one of which we got our hands on and is featured as cover image of this story), the company had announced the promotion using the examples of 500 ml water bottle that costs less than a dirham, a box of pencils and travel adapter, saying that its offering free delivery on everything including these (cheap) products.
We don’t understand how Noon could sustain this or stop people from abusing the service but with all the money they have in the bank, they probably don’t care about the economics right now and are only concerned about beating the competition. Let’s see how that goes.