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Launched in 2010, Jamalon’s e-commerce platform provides unparalleled access to a comprehensive catalogue of books in English and Arabic. Ala’ has captured a share of the US$1 billion MENA book market, which has faced technical barriers to quickly classify and digitize books. The fragmented Arab publishing landscape has lagged behind others in digitizing collections because of the lack of digital metadata (ISBN) for Arabic-language literature. Jamalon offers a convenient bilingual platform to browse and purchase books. The company receives a discount from publishers that ranges from 50%-80%, which it partially passes on to customers. The website allows several payment options including cash-on-delivery, credit card, and PayPal. Recently, Jamalon partnered with Amazon to enable the e-commerce giant to fulfill orders for Jamalon’s various Arabic titles to customers living outside the Middle East.
Jamalon’s library has grown to include over nine million titles, with metadata for 150,000 Arabic books, and has expanded to reach over 11,000 customers in eight countries. The company received the People’s Choice Award at the ArabNet Digital Summit-Startup Demo Competition in Beirut. Ala’ recently won first place in the UAE’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit business plan competition, precipitating his expansion into Dubai.
The company’s growth has been facilitated by strong relationships with publishers and dependable regional logistics. It has the capabilities to deliver Arabic-language books that are warehoused within three days, while English-language books are drop-shipped by publishers within seven. With two warehouses in Amman and an organized processing system, Ala’ plans to establish a distribution hub in every Middle Eastern country where Jamalon has a footprint.
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