Online retail giant Amazon is making its move on the Middle East with the acquisition of Dubai-based online shopping retailer

The deal to acquire the e-commerce leader was made for an undisclosed sum. The Middle East is a relatively untapped market for Amazon, so the deal sees Amazon buy a company already established in the region that has its own payment and order-fulfilment process in place.

From apparel to technology, Souq carries around 8.4m products in 31 categories on its site, with around 45m unique visitors every month.

"Amazon and share the same DNA – we're both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking," says Russ Grandinetti, Amazon senior vice president, international consumer. " 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."

Souq, meanwhile, says working with Amazon will allow it to bring even more products and offerings to its customers globally.

"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," says Souq 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."

Subject to closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in 2017.

The move follows a similar one made by retail giant Walmart last week. The company has been beefing up its e-commerce strategy with a number of online acquisitions – most recently of women's online fashion and accessory retailer ModCloth.

Walmart snaps up online fashion firm ModCloth