Emaar Malls, the shopping-centre arm of leading property developer Emaar, confirmed in a statement submitted to the Dubai Finance Market (DFM) that it has submitted a $800 million bid for Souq.com, a leading UAE e-commerce platform.
Emaar Malls has made a bid for Dubai's Souq.com in a challenge to Amazon's (AMZN) reported play for the online retailer.
Amazon has an exclusivity clause in its buyout talks for Souq.com, a Bloomberg report said.
Other bidders in the Goldman Sachs managed sales process, including mall operator Majid Al Futtaim all pulled out, the publication said. The U.S. e-commerce giant declined to comment, and Souq.com did not respond to emailed comment requests. Emaar's bid was previously reported by Arabian Business.
Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.
Emaar's offer comes as a surprise, after Alabbar had earlier chose to compete with Souq.com by raising $1 billion from investors backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to establish e-commerce firm Noon, which is expected to launch in few weeks.
Emaar chairman Alabbar is increasingly focusing on technology investments.
Alabbar bought a stake in regional logistics firm Aramex PJSC in July and 4% of Yoox Net-a-Porter for 100 mil euros in April.
Dubai-based Souq.com is the largest online retailer in the Arab world, operating in English and Arabic.
Amazon offered to acquire Souq.com last week, sources told TechCrunch last week. The company hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to find buyers for a stake a year ago, people said at the time.