UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Yahoo to join forces with Arabic site
Web giant Yahoo has announced its acquisition of the Arab-based site Maktoob.com.
At the conference, Yahoo’s Senior Vice President and Head of Emerging Markets Keith Nilsson said, “Maktoob is a terrific local brand. Yahoo will be combining its global technology and Maktoob’s local Arabic content.”
The site, which was founded in 2000 after the dot-com rise and fall, serves 22 Arab countries as a vendor for online debit cards, auctions, a marriage-service directory and entertainment but most notably as a search engine.
However, it globally expands to a potential reach of more than 320 million, according to Bloomberg. Compete.com says that Yahoo, which is the second-most popular search engine in the U.S. (Google is No .1 with more than 147 million regular monthly visitors), receives more than 141 million.
“Maktoob is the ultimate Web-based company of the Middle East region because it started before the dot-com boom of the 1990s and survived the crash,” Maktoob co-founder told Bloomberg today.
In 2007, Abraaj Capital Ltd., a Dubai-based company, sold its share in Maktoob to an investment firm in the U.S., Tiger Global Management, which will now go to Yahoo.
-- Amber Smith in Los Angeles