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Discover what’s new with Etisalat

Learn about the latest news and events, from product launches and innovations to awards and promotions.

October 2021

  • Ministry of Education to support in the intern selection process
  • Interns to gain hands-on experience on cyber threat mitigation from Etisalat
  • Plans are underway to expand the programme

The UAE Cyber Security Council (CSC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Etisalat, announced the launch of an internship programme for Emirati university graduates and professionals who recently joined the cyber security workforce.

The programme, which runs for three months, seeks to enhance the interns’ cyber security skills and knowledge, further protect the UAE’s digital transformation, and provide them with valuable professional and business acumen skillsets. It is open to 10 UAE nationals selected by a committee composed of experts from the CSC and the Ministry of Education.

The CSC selected Etisalat to expose the interns to the essential aspects that exist within a comprehensive cyber security organisation. They will have the opportunity to work at Etisalat’s Cyber Security department, where they will be able to grasp the threats to the UAE which are responded to daily.

Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government said: “The CSC is continuously embracing innovative ways to enhance cyber security across the UAE’s critical infrastructure. We have a great opportunity to bring young Emiratis into a critical sector of government service. Having them work with Etisalat will expose them to real threats that our nation is experiencing on a daily basis so they could prepare for, respond to, and mitigate risks associated with cyber threats today and in the future.”

His Excellency Eng. Abdul Rahman Al Hammadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Performance Improvement, affirmed the ministry's preparedness to cooperate with national entities and implement various programmes and initiatives aimed at investing in young talent showing exceptional experience in vital sectors to achieve efficiency and quality.

"The launch of the UAE Cyber Security Council's internship programme, in cooperation with the Ministry and Etisalat, is a pioneering initiative in all aspects and is considered an important and proactive step to enhance the nation's capabilities in cyber security, and protection from any online attacks in light of the increased daily risks. This will result to protecting vital sectors by building a national base of youth equipped with the necessary skills to deal with any emergency electronic development in this field to achieve sustainability," Al Hammadi added.

Ayman Al Shehhi, Vice President, Network Security, Etisalat, said: “With cyber security playing a fundamental role in all aspects of digital business today, Etisalat is honoured to be part of this government initiative which aims to help train incoming cyber professionals and hone their skills to address the changing cyber threats of tomorrow. At our Cyber Security department, we will expose the interns to various cyber security domains where they will gain valuable insight and hands-on experience while working with security incidents and complex vulnerability management systems.”

The UAE Government’s Cyber Security Council has issued directives to all governmental and semi-governmental entities in the country to adopt advanced solutions in the field of cybersecurity to raise national operational efficiency, ensure business continuity, and protect against any cybersecurity attacks that would pose a potential risk. In this regard, the council has entered into a strategic collaboration with Etisalat, one of the world's leading telecom groups in emerging markets, and Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of Etisalat Digital, as part of its continuous efforts to strengthen the UAE’s critical infrastructure, improve its security posture and enhance the country's leading position in global competitiveness indicators.

The Cyber Security Council is the official agency overseeing UAE’s national cybersecurity framework, policies and implementation of best practices. The council has evaluated several security offerings provided by Etisalat and Help AG and approved Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation solutions as one of the national standards to protect government and semi-government entities in the UAE against malicious cyberattacks. All entities shortlisted by the council will receive subsidised subscription rates for the service.

Commenting on the partnership, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, said that all sectors – government and private – around the world are facing an unprecedented level of digital attacks which are increasing in size and complexity. Responding to these security threats requires close cooperation between various sectors in order to ensure the maximum degree of cybersecurity for the various vital sectors.

His Excellency added that the partnership between the public and private sectors represented in cooperation between the Cyber Security Council and the most important service providers in the country, such as Etisalat, is an essential pillar to achieve the national security agenda of the UAE and enhance protection from potential cyber-attacks.

Hatem Dowidar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group said the partnership with Cyber Security Council aims to protect government entities from malicious cyber-attacks and support the UAE leadership’s vision of bringing the country at the forefront in terms of digital transformation.

He added: “Our DDoS mitigation solutions aim to support the national cybersecurity strategy and ensure the highest standards of protection for UAE’s critical infrastructure. This service provides a multi-layered protection around the clock by specialised teams so customers benefit from threat detection and mitigation on a real-time basis, keeping businesses running uninterrupted.”

Etisalat today signed a memorandum of understanding for a four-year sponsorship deal with UAE Team Emirates, the first UAE World Tour cycling team.

Sultan Al Daheri, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Region, signed the MoU on behalf of Etisalat; and Mauro Gianetti, UAE Team Emirates' CEO signed on behalf of UAE Team Emirates, in the presence of senior officials from both parties.

Al Daheri said: "We are thrilled to be the official sponsor of UAE Team Emirates, reinforcing our deep commitment to major sporting events in the UAE and internationally, and to our growing customer base. This partnership reflects our brand association in the sports sector, highlights the positive bond between the brand and consumer, and is aligned with our objective of positioning the UAE as a leading country in the worlds sports map."

Gianetti commented: “Everyone at UAE Team Emirates is committed to growing a culture of health and wellness across the region. Over the past five years we have been able to positively contribute to the local community by inspiring and enabling cycling at all levels and this wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing support of our partners. We are proud to welcome Etisalat into the UAE Team Emirates family and look forward to working together to achieve our joint objectives over the 2022 season and beyond.”

UAE Team Emirates entered the highest level of professional cycling, the World Tour, in early 2017. The team aims to represent an entire nation, the UAE, and promote a healthy lifestyle linked to the use of the bicycle. Season after season, the Emirati team has attracted a growing number of world-class riders and quality sponsors, taking them to new heights and successes in the biggest races in the world. The team has won successive Tour de France titles and boasts of the world's top-ranked road cyclist Tadej Pogacar.

  • Rewards Exchange empowers customers with a one-stop shop to manage their loyalty memberships and exchange points in real-time

Etisalat announced that Shukran has joined the Smiles’ Rewards Exchange.

The new affiliation – announced on the sidelines of GITEX Global in Dubai - will allow members of Smiles and Shukran to cross-exchange points and maximise their benefits.

Launched in December 2020, the Smiles Rewards Exchange is still currently the only blockchain-powered rewards exchange in the UAE which can onboard multiple programmes and allow the flexibility of exchanging points or rewards from one programme to any other programme in real-time.

Members can cross-transfer points to benefit from deals, discounts and a range of partner offers across both platforms, with buy-one-get-one free offers and discounts on many of the UAE’s leading lifestyle, entertainment, wellness, and F&B outlets.

Smiles members can convert their Smiles points into Shukrans in multiples of 6,200 Smiles points, equivalent to 1,000 Shukrans. Through the Shukran app, members can convert their Shukrans into Smiles points in multiples of 1,200 Shukrans, equivalent to 4,000 Smiles points.

Khaled ElKhouly, Chief Consumer Officer of Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to partner with Shukran on Smiles’ Rewards Exchange, enabling both Smiles and Shukran customers to get the best value with a wide range of deals and benefits from partner offers across both platforms. At Etisalat, we always strive to offer the best value to our customers by forging the right partnerships to provide innovative services.”

Commenting on the partnership, Rahul Jagtiani, Group Director - Digital, Landmark Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with Smiles and offer our customers a new avenue to avail beneficial incentive and rewards. With Shukran, our commitment has always been towards innovation and value, enabled by robust partnerships. We continue to have our pulse on the growing demand for value-based offerings, and this new partnership is yet another way to cater to our ever-evolving customers.”

Under Rewards Exchange, Smiles customers can add loyalty memberships on one app, exchange points with any programme within the Rewards Exchange network in real-time, and access an expanded marketplace for points’ redemption. More importantly, members can avoid losing their hard-earned points due to expiry as they convert them to their most preferred loyalty programme such as Shukran.

Smiles, one of the largest lifestyle engagement programmes in the UAE, has more than 2.6 million registered members and is open to all citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, travel, services and wellness experience.

Shukran, Landmark Group’s premiere loyalty programme is the most successful retail loyalty program in the Middle East. Encompassing Landmark’s wide array of retail and hospitality concepts, the loyalty programme has a member base of over 12+ million across eight countries, 43 brands and over 2,100 stores.

  • Agreement to combine twelve data centres under Khazna Data Centers
  • Mega scale plans underway to provide 300 MW to turbocharge UAE’s digital economy
  • The deal to further strengthen the UAE position as a preferred destination for global technology companies

Etisalat Group and G42 announced the signing of a binding agreement to merge their data center (DC) offering in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of twelve data centers will be combined in a new joint venture business operating under Khazna Data Centers, creating the UAE’s largest data center provider.

G42 and Etisalat Group will each own sixty percent and forty percent of Khazna Data Centers, respectively. The agreement allows both parties to increase the value of their infrastructure assets contributed to the joint venture while also optimizing process and resource utilization, without impacting their respective commercial positioning, client relationships and leading market positions. Furthermore, Khazna Data Centers will continue to develop the existing business and explore new business opportunities, both in the UAE and abroad.

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, said: “Today, Etisalat and G42 are embarking on a bold new journey which will allow us to leverage our investments and expertise to deliver next generation digital infrastructure. Keeping in line with our overall strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’, we at Etisalat are committed to a total transformation of customer experiences. Etisalat Group today has set the foundation for creating a market leader in this space, and together with G42, we will take this to the next level.”

Peng Xiao, Group Chief Executive Officer of G42, commented: “We are honoured to partner with a leading telecom operator like Etisalat Group and strengthen the UAE’s data center proposition and economic ambition for the future. As data storage and cloud infrastructure demand continues to rise in the UAE and globally, this new partnership between Etisalat and Khazna, our data center business, will allow the country to accelerate its digital transformation journey, propelling public and private organizations into a new era of intelligence, resilience, flexibility and commerciality. We look forward to collaborating with Etisalat Group on this exciting initiative to create value for all stakeholders and unlock positive progress for the society at large.

Hassan AlNaqbi, CEO of Khazna Data Centers, said: “The levels of data produced, stored, and analyzed is increasing exponentially in the Middle East region, driving significant demand for wholesale data centers. This growth requires a greater focus on collaboration and using shared data to drive business performance. Khazna Data Centers, with 300 MW of capacity, will be the crown jewel backing businesses’ growth trajectory and their ability to manage the level of connectivity required to effectively deliver services to partners, customer and users alike and supporting the creation of a digital ecosystem.

Salvador Anglada, Chief Business Officer of Etisalat Group, said: “Etisalat Group is excited to partner with an innovative and leading service provider such as G42. The combination of our data center capabilities will deliver a unique portfolio of infrastructure services for current customers, and will also create a market leader for the future to global hyperscalers. We believe that this transaction will further strengthen the UAE as a preferred destination for global technology companies seeking world-class presence in the region, and propel the development of the digital ecosystem in support of the growth ambitions, which UAE is well-positioned to capitalise upon.”

Closing of the transaction is subject to customary procedures, including finalisation of transaction documentation, regulatory approvals and certain administrative procedures.

  • AI and robotic solutions in the spotlight for special needs, business, health, education and retail

The best of 5G empowered robotic solutions are on display on the Etisalat stand at the ongoing GITEX Global for sectors such as mobility, healthcare, retail, education and also for the special needs community highlighting a new era of communication that positively impacts the corporate world as well as the society at large.

Like every year, humanoid robots attract a lot of attention on the stand, with Dr Alfred from Mesmer welcoming visitors with his human bone structure, skin texture and expressions conversed with visitors as a medical professional. Roboy was the other humanoid robot that is completely muscoskeletal-the robot has muscles and tendons like humans do highlighting how it can help with remote assistance of patients.

For the special needs community, the exoskeleton from Human In Motion was a crowd puller with advances in assistive technology and next generation robotic solution allowing for natural walking and self-balancing capabilities to a crippled person. Alba robot was another autonomous mobility service that will support passengers with reduced mobility to become more independent especially for hospitals, airports and museums. The Haptx glove was a unique showcase that displaces the skin with 133 points of tactile feedback per hand achieving a new level of realism which are being used for VR training, design and robotics.

In the business area, Meltin's avatar robotic hands controlled wirelessly in a hazardous environment with zero latency highlighting how remote operability can be powered by the 5G network. At the same time, there were the robotic solutions with virtual reality from Sense glove that allows its users with haptic technologies to feel shapes and textures that can help improve healthcare/assistive mobility outcomes.

Huawei 5G robotic assistant was another example how such solutions can be used in a high precision industrial operation to respond in real time over the 5G network. Tactile robotic arms from Shadow Robotics considered to be the world's first haptic robotic system transmits touch feedback to an operator located anywhere in the world.

The potential of 5G technology within healthcare is immense bringing in valuable support to medical professionals as well as patients by offering in more accuracy, convenience, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. These include technologies such as telehealth, remote surgery, using wearable devices for real-time monitoring, assistive surgery, AR/VR integration and more.

BEC's hospital of the future displayed a surgical robot, movable bed robotic arm and an x-ray scanner robot. This area also had on display a surgical robotic arm from Doosan robotics that can join sensitive operations and operate precisely with remote support by surgery experts.

The robogym also made a presence here as the world's first personalised robotic strength training system that captures athlete's movements in real time.

Etisalat and Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) have teamed up to enhance their cooperation in a host of smart services and solutions in a bid to enhance sustainable transport in the emirate of Sharjah.

Under a partnership agreement, the parties will jointly develop and establish a long-term strategic collaboration, with Etisalat appointed as the transport authority’s digital, ICT and smart solutions service provider. Both are set to embark on a joint project to fulfill SRTA’s existing and future requirements, transforming its services into smart services.

Masood M Sharif Mahmood, CEO, Etisalat UAE, signed the agreement on behalf of Etisalat; and His Excellency Engineer Youssef Al-Othmani, Chairman, signed on behalf of SRTA in the presence of senior officials from both parties on the sidelines of GITEX Global in Dubai.

Abdel Aziz Hamad Taryam, General Manager - Northern Emirates, Etisalat said: “Etisalat is keen to enable SRTA access to the latest technologies and smart solutions to help realise its sustainable transport objectives. These efforts epitomise Etisalat’s strategic vision of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’. We look forward to working closely with the SRTA in developing technologies and initiatives to address its existing and future requirements.”

His Excellency Engineer Youssef Al-Othmani, Chairman, Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, stressed the importance of government partnerships to enhance the development process in the Emirate of Sharjah, enabling institutions to unify their efforts to execute development projects according to the highest international standards and to meet the needs of citizens and residents in all sectors.

His Excellency pointed out that the strategic MoU with Etisalat, embraced recently by the Executive Council of the Emirate of Sharjah, is a continuation of the existing relations and cooperation between the authority and Etisalat, resulting in several achievements that aim to facilitate the lives of the residents and visitors of the emirate. The partnership will also contribute to opening horizons for upcoming projects, characterised by the use of the latest technologies and the best ways to enable the authority to harness artificial intelligence to fulfill its future projects.

  • End-to-end solutions on display with integrated payment facility, wearables and facial recognition

Etisalat is demonstrating the retail spaces of tomorrow at GITEX Global 2021 with futuristic solutions that will transform the brick-and-mortar experience setting the pace for digital retail and enabling a digital experience for consumers.

With 5G connectivity, digitisation is a reality and during this year’s edition, the demonstrations will help visitors witness the evolution of retail and experience a connected store at the same time. Now with the 5G network, it will become a critical enabler of these futuristic use cases opening up a world of opportunities for the retail sector.

The main sections of smart retail focus on grocery smart checkout solutions, food and beverages, lifestyle and connected fashion and retail dashboard. There are advanced AI use cases, machine learning and computer vision all with Etisalat’s payment’s functionality integrated to demonstrate the capability of providing complete end-to-end solutions in this domain with enhancements like wearables and facial recognition for payments.

As soon as a visitor enters the smart retail area, it’s a futuristic experience. They begin their shopping experience with a Caper smart cart enabled by AI moving to an augmented shopping experience from Innovent ( Mojix) with a backend dashboard simulating all transactions, biometrics from Fujitsu’s Fulcrum adds to the contactless experience and a smart check out from Bizerba.

Other retail solutions just add to the holistic retail experience: advanced delivery solutions from Kiwibot; an unmanned store technology called Vicki with automated vending machine; and Pickey’s smart wearable captures all actions made by the user. SuperHii highlights a seamless checkout solution, which is also a great example of how Etisalat’s eWallet and Smiles can be integrated.

For those in need of that well-deserved coffee or smoothie break, Ella, Knext and Alberts' automated solutions are another example of unmanned retail technology. Even this year, smart garden solutions are on display from Natufia, highlighting how IoT and connected machines can get one fresh vegetables every day.

  • Multiple smart mobility solutions powered by 5G

Etisalat is once again putting jaw-dropping demonstrations at its stand during this year’s GITEX, offering a glimpse into the future of mobility with the transformative power of 5G and futuristic technologies.

The future of transport – as witnessed at Etisalat’s stand – will rely on the 5G network for its high latency and the communication between sensors of the vehicles and other objects.

Airspeeder, the world's first electric flying racing car, is making a presence for the first time in the UAE with its prototype hosted by Etisalat at its stand. This single-seat electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle can hit a top-speed of 160kph. Enabling an even faster connection between autonomous systems Etisalat's 5G networks, machine learning and autonomous and remote driving systems will offer new application options, advancing the development of autonomous solutions such as Airspeeder.

Making a grand entrance this year are the Mercedes-Benz autonomous vehicles. One of them is the EQS, the first all-electric saloon from Mercedes-EQ, which is the first model to be based on the modular architecture for luxury and executive-class electric vehicles. The AI with adaptive software gives the owner the freedom to choose from an array of infotainment and functions.

From neighbourhoods to campuses to urban city centres, Olli is the smart, safe, and sustainable shuttle. Etisalat's 5G networks are designed to significantly reduce latency and solutions such as Olli are using this to improve sending and receiving data.

5G is paving the way for a new generation of robots and assisted mobility solutions such as the ALBA Robot, which supports passengers with reduced mobility, to become more independent. It is a great solution for facilities such as hospitals, airports and museums.

Doosan DMI's autonomous drone has a six-hour operation time to operate extensive trips, solve problems and secure areas. This showcase is being powered by 5G, machine learning, and autonomous surveillance. To be effective, this solution requires ultra-high bandwidth data with near-zero latency, which is provided by Etisalat, making sending and receiving data easier.

KiwiBot is the largest robot delivery infrastructure in the world. This showcase brings to reality Etisalat's technologies such as 5G autonomous and remote driving as well as retail solutions such as payment and authentication, a connected retail dashboard, Etisalat eWallet, and Smiles points.

German startup Wingcopter launched the world's first triple-drop autonomous delivery to power logistical highways in the sky. It comes with a variety of new features such as an AI-based visual detect and avoid solution and a smart precision landing capability. Such as solution is using Etisalat's 5G networks, which are designed to significantly reduce latency, to improve sending and receiving data. This is also in line with Etisalat's focus in autonomous delivery systems that will be linked to the Smiles app.

  • Play all the music and games without using your mobile data
  • Enjoy music on Deezer and JioSaavn & mobile gaming on Arena
  • First-time subscribers to enjoy free 1st month of music & games

Etisalat and SWYP announced the launch of ‘Youth Music On & Game On’ add-ons, offering data as well as a free first month subscription to customers between 18 and 29 years of age when they subscribe to Music On Deezer, Music On JioSaavn or Game On Arena add-ons.

Etisalat Youth prepaid and postpaid customers as well as swypers can get a package of premium music (Deezer or JioSaavn) and gaming (Arena) with all the data they need for those apps for AED18 per month.

They can now listen to all music tracks to their hearts’ content, create playlists with their favorite songs, and go through unlimited skips with no ads. They will also get to enjoy more than 850 casual mobile games ad-free, without worrying about data. As an added bonus when they subscribe, customers get a free premium subscription during the first month.

Deezer is a French online music streaming service which allows users to access more than 73 million tracks and listen to music content from record labels as well as podcasts on various devices online or offline. An Indian online music streaming service, JioSaavn provides users access to 45 million songs that include the latest and trending Bollywood Hindi songs as well as Tamil, Telugu, and other regional Indian music. Arena is a new premium mobile gaming app by Etisalat, offering more than 850 high quality mobile games for casual gamers in partnership with Gameloft.

Etisalat customers can subscribe via the USSD code *101*18#, My Etisalat app and www.etisalat.ae. Swypers can use the swyp app or via USSD to subscribe to the add-ons.

The world and telecoms industry is undergoing a transformation and thus creating a new normal in which connectivity has become the lifeblood of economies and societies. This is offering telcos an opportunity to double-down on smart connectivity and maximise value creation by fully harnessing technology and adopting new business models, emphasised Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Corporate Strategy & Governance Officer, Etisalat Group.

Customers who subscribe to ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ on the Smiles app will not The world and telecoms industry is undergoing a transformation and thus creating a new normal in which connectivity has become the lifeblood of economies and societies. This is offering telcos an opportunity to double-down on smart connectivity and maximise value creation by fully harnessing technology and adopting new business models, emphasised Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Corporate Strategy & Governance Officer, Etisalat Group.enjoy unlimited access to 1,000+ offers at more than 3,000 locations in the UAE, but will also automatically get a free Expo 2020 Dubai one-day ticket.

Al Shamsi in his presentation highlighted how it is integral for telcos in the new normal to gain new competencies especially with an acceleration towards a cloud-based service model, services being separated from infrastructure, digital players taking precedence and ecosystems scaling up to offer co-creation opportunities. Digital is the new norm however at the same time connectivity and digital services are also two sides of the same coin.

He also shared insights on how digital lifestyle and Industry 4.0 accelerates the requirement for value-added connectivity while growth in core services creates further demand and stimulates technology evolution. This can be achieved by creating smart and programmable connectivity for segments by harnessing the full power of technology transformation in addition to innovating the business model.

He cited examples that require low latency and bandwidth such as IoT, autonomous cars, remote surgery and gaming.

“The new normal has also created an opportunity to reinvent connectivity with 5G playing a key role and with telcos already having assets and competencies that help them meet the requirements of sophisticated customer segments. All these can be achieved with the support of the wider ecosystem to co-create and gain mutual benefits. It is most critical for telcos to focus on important pillars, mainly strategy, technology and the operating model supported by the best talent pool in the industry,” reiterated Al Shamsi.

Accenture, Etisalat Digital, and Oracle have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to offer SMBs and large enterprise clients in the Middle East a seamless digital transformation and journey to Oracle cloud solutions across IaaS/PaaS/SaaS. By offering a one-stop-shop for Oracle solutions, the new collaboration will allow Accenture, Etisalat Digital, and Oracle to create a joint value proposition for clients in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and the wider region.

Under the agreement, Etisalat Digital assumes the responsibility of Managed Services, Security, and Operations, with Oracle as the Cloud Provider and Accenture responsible for cloud-enabled transformation, implementation, and migration services. Enterprises eager to anchor their cloud journeys on Oracle cloud offerings will be provided best-in-class Oracle cloud hosting, as well as delivery and operations services.

The MoU was signed by Gerardo Canta, Senior Managing Director at Accenture in the Middle East, Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer of Etisalat, and Leopoldo Boado, Senior Vice President – Business Applications, ECEMEA region, Oracle, in the presence of senior representatives from these organizations.

The scope of the agreement will see Etisalat Digital and Accenture shape Oracle-powered cloud transformation journeys and deliver local deployment of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications implementation services in the UAE and KSA. The parties will leverage their global scale, industry expertise, and local knowledge to provide best-in-class digital transformation cloud solutions and unleash the full potential of what technologies can do for organizations and for clients in the Middle East. In addition, the collaboration will accelerate and enhance the power and integration of Oracle solutions for clients, helping them win faster as they transform their businesses.

The agreement is closely aligned with the national visions of Gulf governments, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, to ensure and drive a sustainable digital agenda while enabling cloud-based transformation that supports easy customer journeys in keeping with the unprecedented changes brought on by the pandemic. The integration of capabilities will help the region’s public and private entities through the strategy, design, and implementation of their IT and digital roadmaps, leveraging the unique mix of experience from global and local markets and strong credentials in technology-enabled business innovation.

  • Subscribe to ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ and get a free Expo 2020 Dubai 1-day ticket

Etisalat today announced that its rewards and engagement programme Smiles is offering residents and visitors a complimentary Expo 2020 Dubai one-day ticket to witness the greatest show on Earth.

Customers who subscribe to ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ on the Smiles app will not only enjoy unlimited access to 1,000+ offers at more than 3,000 locations in the UAE, but will also automatically get a free Expo 2020 Dubai one-day ticket.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to offer our Smiles customers a complimentary one-day ticket to Expo 2020 Dubai, billed the 'Greatest Show on Earth'. The Smiles programme is designed to have a deeper engagement with our customers and enhance our customers’ happiness. With an ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ subscription, our valued customers stand to benefit from a wide-range of deals, discounts and rewards that are seamlessly accessible through the Smiles app.”

Smiles, one of the largest lifestyle engagement programmes in the UAE, has more than 2.6 million registered members on the Smiles app and is open to all citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, food delivery, travel, services and wellness experience.

Customers can subscribe to the ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1’ to get the free Expo 2020 Dubai 1-day ticket by simply downloading the Smiles app and visiting the ‘Unlimited’ section.

Etisalat Group today announced the appointment of its new Group Chief Operations Officer (GCOO) as part of its significant transformation and planning for the next phase of growth and expansion of the company.

Keeping in line with this vision and strategy, Obaid Bokisha will transition into the role of GCOO from his previous position of Group Chief Transformation Officer and acting Group Chief Procurement Officer, as he will continue to lead transformation, procurement and administration. Additionally, Obaid will now oversee business continuity and crisis management.

Obaid has had an illustrious career of 23 years at Etisalat, having joined in 1998 and growing across several roles from network planning and optimisation to introducing new technologies and enhancing mobile networks performance. He brings a wealth of experience to the position, including his previous role as Chief Business Continuity and Corporate Quality Officer at Etisalat. He also currently serves as a member in multiple boards of directors, governance teams and steering committees.

Bokisha will be now instrumental in taking Etisalat Group to new heights and in helping the company achieve its organisational goals as it continues to expand and grow.

  • Enjoy free Expo passes and other benefits with Visitor Line
  • Double data for 3 months, free Expo passes & bill discounts with the latest Freedom plans
  • Buy eLife online and get a multi-day Expo pass plus up to AED1,800 in free benefits

Etisalat today announced the launch of a wide range of special Expo 2020 Dubai offers and benefits, enabling visitors and residents to stay connected on the world's fastest mobile network as well as experience the best of TV entertainment and superfast broadband speeds.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: "We are delighted to introduce a host of offers and benefits such as loads of data and voice minutes, free double data and bill discounts, enhanced TV content and incredible home internet speeds, along with complimentary passes to Expo 2020 Dubai, the biggest cultural gathering in the world. At Etisalat, we are committed to provide top-notch benefits and are continuously innovating and evaluating ways to introduce best-in-value propositions to all our customer segments."

Visitor Line Premium and Visitor Line Premium+ plans, offer a one-day Expo pass and one multi-day Expo pass, respectively. A Visitor Line Premium (AED125) plan comes with 6GB data, 120 flexible minutes, five hours of free WiFi, AED 100 off Careem taxis, and instant access to Smiles 'Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1' vouchers. A Visitor Line Premium+ (AED200) plan provides 22.5GB data, 525 flexible minutes, 30 hours of free WiFI, and the same Careem and Smiles benefits.

Customers migrating to Etisalat's latest Freedom plans - New Freedom starting from Plan200 and Emirati Freedom - will get double data for three months and a bill discount of up to AED225. Customers signing up online will avail complimentary one-day, multi-day or season passes based on their selected plan.

New eLife customers who sign up online are also in for a treat. Etisalat is offering complimentary multi-day passes and other free benefits worth up to AED1,800. These benefits include free speed boost of 250Mbps, free premium TV packs for three months, and free installation, among others.

Etisalat is Expo 2020’s Official Telecommunications and Digital Services Premier Partner. It has built a dedicated modern network for Expo 2020 Dubai to meet its requirements and provide telecom services for the visitors throughout the six-month event. With a fiber network extended to every corner of the site, Expo 2020 Dubai visitors will experience seamless uninterrupted services with best-in-class download and upload speeds, high-quality content and minimal latency.

  • Get a Galaxy Watch4 from AED42 a month via Smart Pay
  • Acquire a pair of Galaxy Buds2 for only AED509
  • Enjoy free delivery for purchases on the website or My Etisalat UAE app

Etisalat announced that the Galaxy Watch4 Series, Samsung's latest and most advanced smartwatch line-up, is officially available through all its branches and online channels in the UAE.

The Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic's market introduction represents the beginning of a new chapter in smartwatch innovation, with both next-generation devices created in line with consumer demands for even more empowerment, luxury, and upgrades in terms of lifestyle, appearance, and user-centric capabilities. The Galaxy Watch4 Series comprises cutting-edge design, hardware, and health features, all of which come together to set new industry standards in smartwatch performance, appeal, and functionality.

Galaxy Watch4 (40mm) and Galaxy Watch4 Classic (42mm) can be purchased with Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, and 24-month contract starting from only AED42 and AED59 a month, respectively. The standalone price of a Galaxy Watch4 is AED949, while Galaxy Watch4 Classic is priced at AED1,339. A pair of Galaxy Buds2 can be acquired for AED509. All prices are VAT inclusive.

These trendy wearables will be available at Etisalat retail stores across the UAE. Customers who purchase via www.etisalat.ae or My UAE Etisalat app can enjoy free delivery.

Khaled El Khouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is committed to continuously offer the latest devices, wearables, and accessories to its customers by partnering with leading global brands and mobile manufacturers. With the recent launch of the brand new Samsung Galaxy Z Series, these latest wearables will be apt for all Samsung fans in the country. We are also making it affordable for our customers, through our Smart Pay options, to avail the latest smart watches and wireless.”

"Following a successful pre-order period, the Galaxy Watch4 Series has finally made its way to the local market. While this is extremely pleasing for us as a brand, what's equally encouraging is the operators we work alongside supporting us like always," said Osman Albora, Senior Director – Mobile Division, Samsung Gulf Electronics. "Operators are integral to consumers acquiring new innovations and remaining fully satisfied. Their involvement in the Galaxy Watch4 Series launch project will help ensure every Galaxy lover secures their new smartwatches quickly and seamlessly, something we truly appreciate."

Samsung’s Most Advanced Suite of Health and Wellness Features
To ensure users of all ages stay fit and well, the Galaxy Watch4 Series is a perfect lifestyle companion thanks to its industry-leading health technology. Samsung’s groundbreaking BioActive Sensor, which boasts a smaller and more compact design that doesn’t detract from measurement accuracy, uses a single chip to precisely run three powerful health sensors — Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. As a result, users can monitor their blood pressure, detect an irregular heartbeat, and measure their blood oxygen level.

Additionally, users will also benefit from smart tracking and health advice. For the first time, body composition can be calculated, meaning you can gain a clear picture of your body with key measurements, such as skeletal muscle, basal metabolic rate, and body fat percentage. A wide range of fitness routines are also available. Choose an extensive range of upgraded home workout on your Samsung Smart TV and see your heartrate and number of calories burned in real-time, right on screen.

Make life more convenient
Galaxy Watch4 Series users are set to become acquainted with a more seamless Galaxy experience with One UI Watch. Through this intuitive software overlay, you can seamlessly sync settings and downloaded apps between your smartphone and watch, receive important information with simple layout and attractive visuals, and adjust features and settings with a diverse range of easy-to-use controls – from Bixby and Gesture Controls to your watch’s bezel. What’s more, a multi-device experience across Galaxy devices is smoother than ever due to features including Auto Switch and Buds Controller.

Look your best – all day every day
Samsung has left no stone unturned during the Galaxy Watch4 Series’ development, an approach that will ensure every consumer enjoys a refined design. From the watch case to the strap, you can show off a sleek, eye-catching device that is perfect for all-day use and meets every unique preference. Flawless aesthetics are customisable to compliment individual tastes and lifestyles, such as straps and watch faces. What’s more, you have a choice of two distinct, fashion-forward designs. The Galaxy Watch4 boasts a modern, more minimalist option – designed for versatile use all day. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch4 Classic boasts a premium, timeless design with luxury materials and Samsung’s fan-favourite rotating bezel.

  • New and existing businesses to enjoy up to twice Internet speed reaching 1Gbps at no extra cost
  • Experience Etisalat’s robust fiber optic network

Etisalat today announced an Internet speed upgrade of up to 1Gbps, bringing tremendous value to existing and new business customers across the UAE.

Customers will also avail a host of benefits bundled with their connectivity such as free devices, exclusive digital and communication solutions, advanced telephony with flexible minutes and more.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat has always been at the forefront of empowering businesses with the most advanced digital solutions. This speed upgrade is a testimony to our commitment to the sector, giving us an opportunity to further cater to their requirements and helping them grow their business by enabling them in their digital journey. Faster broadband speeds significantly keep business operations running smoothly, increase productivity, and provide businesses with quick access to resources, data and cloud-based applications.”

Etisalat’s robust network has greatly contributed to help businesses achieve higher productivity and an efficient workforce. The new Internet speeds provide customers with a premium experience which is not limited to high-speed internet connectivity. Etisalat’s value proposition for businesses include free devices, a groundbreaking network protection, and a host of collaboration and digital solutions.

For more info, please visit etisalat.ae/internetbundles.

September 2021

Etisalat is offering the best-ever lineup of iPhone and iPad, including the innovative and elegant iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, the highly capable and affordable iPad (9th generation) and iPad mini with a new all-screen design, in the UAE beginning 24th September.

The devices are currently available at Etisalat retail stores across the UAE. Purchases of new iPhone 13 models can also be made via the website etisalat.ae/iphone13pro or My UAE Etisalat app.

Etisalat customers may opt to purchase an iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max with flexible Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, or 24-month contract starting from AED190 and AED215, respectively. An iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 can be acquired starting from only AED135 and AED155, respectively. All prices are VAT inclusive.

Redesigned inside and out, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max introduce the most advanced pro camera system ever on iPhone, Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion, improved battery life, the Apple-designed A15 Bionic chip with 5-core GPU, and an advanced 5G experience. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature the most advanced dual camera system ever in iPhone and the powerhouse A15 Bionic chip in a sleek and durable design. iPad mini features an all-screen design, the A15 Bionic chip, 5G, Centre Stage, and more. iPad features the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, Center Stage, True Tone, and now starts with double the storage.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is thrilled the much awaited iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini are now available for customers in the UAE. Apple’s newest flagship 5G smartphones are a game changer in the industry and available for all Etisalat customers in the UAE.”

With ultra-high speed and low latency services to the user, 5G enables Etisalat subscribers to enjoy uninterrupted 4K video streaming, best gaming experience, and the highly connected technologies.

Featuring an advanced 5G experience with more 5G bands, the iPhone 13 lineup works in more places on 5G for greater coverage and performance.1 Available in four stunning finishes — graphite, gold, silver, and the all-new sierra blue — iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, introduce an all-new Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion featuring an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, making the touch experience even faster and more responsive. They also introduce the best battery life ever on iPhone with iPhone 13 Pro Max, lasting up to two and a half hours longer in a day than iPhone 12 Pro Max, a new storage capacity of 1TB, and are protected by the Ceramic Shield front cover, tougher than any smartphone glass. With new Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras, the pro camera system gets its biggest advancement ever capturing stunning photos and video, powered by the Apple-designed A15 Bionic. These technologies enable impressive new photo capabilities like macro photography on the new Ultra Wide camera and up to 2.2x improved low-light performance on the new Wide camera, and new computational photography features like Photographic Styles to personalise the look of images in the Camera app, and Night mode on all cameras. Video takes a huge leap forward offering Cinematic mode for beautiful depth-of-field transitions, macro video, Time-lapse and Slo-mo, and even better low-light performance. Both models also offer end-to-end pro workflows in Dolby Vision, and for the first time, ProRes, only available on iPhone.

The next generation iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature a beautiful design with sleek flat edges in five gorgeous new colours — pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED.2 Both models feature major innovations including the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone — with a new Wide camera with bigger pixels and sensor-shift optical image stabilization offering improvements in low light photos and videos, a new way to personalise the camera with Photographic Styles, and Cinematic mode, which brings a new dimension to video storytelling.

Equipped with the Apple-designed A15 Bionic, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini also boast super-fast performance and power efficiency, longer battery life, a brighter Super Retina XDR display that brings content to life, incredible durability with the Ceramic Shield front cover, double the entry-level storage at 128GB, an industry-leading IP68 rating for water resistance, and an advanced 5G experience.

The new iPad mini delivers an amazing experience in a gorgeous new array of colours — pink, starlight, purple, and space gray — with a larger 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. Featuring the Apple-designed A15 Bionic chip, iPad mini delivers up to 80 percent faster performance than the previous generation, making it the most capable iPad mini ever. With 5G now available on iPad mini, customers can do even more with faster wireless connectivity on the go. Users can now stay connected and be even more productive wherever they are. A new USB-C port allows faster connectivity, and new advanced cameras, Center Stage, and support for Apple Pencil (2nd generation) enable new ways for users to capture photos and videos, communicate with loved ones, and jot down their ideas when creativity strikes. iPad comes equipped with the powerful Apple-designed A13 Bionic chip, delivering a 20 percent performance boost over the previous generation, all while retaining its all-day battery life.3 and incredible value. For the first time, True Tone comes to the beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display on iPad, which adjusts screen content to the color temperature of a room. iPad also features a new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, support for Apple Pencil (1st generation) and Smart Keyboard, the intuitive iPadOS 15, and starts with 64GB of storage — twice the storage from the previous generation.

Companies creating an innovative and productive workforce have to consider new approaches to talent management. Etisalat is paving the way by building an inclusive workforce with the talent and ability to evolve, learn and contribute to the digital transformation vital to the company’s strategy and vision. Moreover, it is about making their work purposeful and encouraging a culture that fits their values and continuously inspires them, highlighted senior Etisalat executives at the Board Summit.

The summit held under the patronage of Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa al Nahyan and hosted by Aurora50 set the stage for chairpersons, boards, aspiring directors, and their corporates to come together and discuss the future of boards.⁠⁠ This unique hybrid three-day event was dedicated to getting the attention of companies supporting and looking for women to join their board, enabling ecosystems to break down barriers and driving change in succession planning and leadership in the boardroom.

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, Dena Almansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, and Maha Muraish, Senior Vice President, Transformation-B2B from Etisalat, participated.

During the CEO panel discussion focusing on ‘The future of work- building inclusive workplaces’, Dowidar highlighted the importance of diversity as a critical driver of innovation and a crucial component for Etisalat to attain success on a global scale. He also shared insights on the company’s transformation across 16 countries by embarking on an exciting new chapter, with everyone internally working towards a common goal to drive a digital future and company ethos ‘Together Matters’. A diverse workforce with inclusion at its core means more access to different points of view, skillsets, creative visions, approaches, and experience, which is more likely to result in a technology company producing more innovative products and services for consumers and businesses.

Meanwhile, Almansoori emphasised the importance of striking a balance between diversity and inclusion during her presentation ‘Inclusion: The secret to an organisation’s success’, highlighting the importance of inclusion to business success and employee engagement. In addition, she stressed the relevance of leveraging data analytics during the hiring process to ensure a diverse candidate pool with the right experience and skillsets for the future.

An inclusive culture is not only the right thing to do but also makes business sense, she shared while highlighting some interesting research on the direct relationship between business success and inclusion. An organisation with an inclusive culture is twice as likely to exceed financial targets, three times as likely to be high performing, six times more agile and innovative, and finally eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

Etisalat has also launched various initiatives for customers from all walks of life to access services easily, highlighted Almansoori. These included training employees with basic Emirati sign language to elevate the customer experience and to help senior citizens and residents at home to conduct transactions on their smart devices. Another noteworthy cause was the launch of a first of its kind web extension to simplify the World Wide Web and make it autistic-friendly to support people with autism. These are a few examples of inclusivity to the customers that Etisalat serves to enable and empower them.

The importance of alignment in managing evolving investor and stakeholder expectations in building inclusive workforces was one of the key takeaways during Muraish’s panel discussion, which also focused on CHROs creating meaningful change, succession planning and the board’s role in supporting the corporate strategy and company executives.

  • Recognised as ‘Best Regional Data Centre Operator’ at the CC Global Awards 2021

Etisalat’s SmartHub community of customers is witnessing a massive growth, mainly due to its diverse and complete ecosystem offering an ideal environment for interconnecting and its proximity to regional end users, said Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat.

“As one of the biggest neutral carrier hotels, Etisalat’s SmartHub data centres will be an ICT bridge between continents always supporting critical business activities of global customers. We at Etisalat are committed to making ‘SmartHub’ a preferred location for carriers, cloud service providers, Internet exchanges and companies looking for a carrier grade data centres,” Amiri said.

SmartHub is a trusted digital enabler for global customers from various industry verticals including, telcos, OTTs, cloud players, content delivery networks, financial services, and gaming platforms. It also has direct access to multiple independent subsea cable system, interconnecting Europe, US, Asia, Middle East and Africa, which makes it capable of serving more than two billion people within 30 milliseconds latency to guarantee a superior customer experience.

SmartHub is the largest hub of submarine cable landing station in the region, allowing access to a list of wholesale services including data, voice, mobile, and satellite teleport services as well as Internet and IPX Exchange and offers flexible services and pricing models.

Recently, Etisalat was recognised as ‘Best Regional Data Centre Operator’ at the fifth annual Carrier Community (CC) Global Awards ceremony in Berlin.

The ‘Best Regional Data Centre Operator’ award recognises an entity with a unique service or an initiative that demonstrates the most effective and new service or solution and can illustrate the business benefits derived from it.

Commenting on the award, Amiri said: “Through our commitment to excellence and innovation, Etisalat’s SmartHub became one of the fastest-growing wholesale data hubs in the regions it serves including the Middle East, Africa and Europe. SmartHub is a key element of the digital infrastructure in the region, and will continue to offer its customers a world-class service that meets their evolving requirements.”

Etisalat SmartHub is a multiservice carrier-grade wholesale data centre in Fujairah, The SmartHub ecosystem currently has three facilities, namely SmartHub Fujairah 1, SmartHub Fujairah 2, and SmartHub Dubai.

Etisalat is currently building a fourth SmartHub facility in the UAE, which is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2022. The new facility is set to increase Etisalat’s capabilities and global capacity to meet its international clients’ growing needs for infrastructure across Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas.

Etisalat will offer the best-ever lineup of iPhone and iPad, including the innovative and elegant iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini, the highly capable and affordable iPad (9th generation) and iPad mini, with a new all-screen design.

Redesigned inside and out, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max introduce the most advanced pro camera system ever on iPhone, Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion, improved battery life, the Apple-designed A15 Bionic chip with 5-core GPU, and an advanced 5G experience.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini feature the most advanced dual camera system ever in iPhone and powerhouse A15 Bionic chip in a sleek and durable design. iPad mini features an all-screen design, the A15 Bionic chip, 5G, Center Stage, and more. iPad features the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, Center Stage, True Tone, and now starts with double the storage.

Customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 13 lineup on 17th September, with availability on 24th September. Customers can also order iPad mini and iPad beginning on 17th September, with availability on 24th September.

For complete pricing and availability details, please visit etisalat.ae/iphone13pro.

The mobile industry is becoming a great enabler across economies, by continuing to build partnerships across industries to enable meaningful economic growth, expand employment opportunities, and empowering societies at large, emphasised Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group, at his opening keynote on the first day of the GSMA Mobile 360–Eurasia in Moscow.

Dowidar participated in the fourth edition of GSMA Mobile 360–Eurasia with his keynote, followed by a panel discussion on ‘Empowering a Data-Driven Society’ with C-level executives from telcos, infrastructure companies and technology providers.

Main discussion points focused on how crisis accelerates innovations presents a choice, and is the key to unlocking post crisis growth with technologies such as AI, 5G, Big Data, and IoT shaping the future and transforming lives rapidly, reimagining a more connected society.

“The mobile industry has an unrivalled global reach and remains committed to actively working with governments, international institutions across global and regional platforms. Progressive governments play an important role in a data-driven economy, reaping benefits with a robust infrastructure and a much more evolved regulatory environment supporting this advancement.

“The UAE is a great example; the leadership’s efforts became a beacon for Etisalat and others to work tirelessly to support the country to become one of the top five countries around the world in terms of its technology infrastructure, ICT adoption, and investment in telecom services. This has in turn inspired Etisalat to continue with its investments in building the world’s fastest network and cutting-edge technologies of the future.”

The GSMA Mobile 360 – Eurasia conference featured case studies and discussions aimed at top-level regional and international decision makers focusing on how to harness new technologies to build and maintain a competitive business advantage, to drive new social and business opportunities, to increase revenue while also ensuring security.

The two-day event also saw the participation of ministers, telecom regulators, data protection authorities, identity authorities, and senior representatives from international organisations to discuss the growth of the global digital economy.

Discussions will focus on technological breakthroughs that bring solutions with the potential to enrich our everyday lives, and free people from mundane tasks, solving complex problems and generating value and prosperity.

  • Positions UAE as the fastest nation on earth
  • Breaks own Speed Score record touching 153.05
  • Only telecom operator on the planet to achieve this high Speed Score
  • Consumers and businesses enjoy faster internet speeds and enhanced connectivity

Ookla®, a global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analytics, recognised Etisalat as the world’s fastest mobile network operator in 2021, reaffirming its dominance for the second year in a row.

This global recognition positions the UAE as the fastest nation on earth as it continues to reign the mobile speed country index on its 50th anniversary celebrations, fulfilling its objectives to create a better tomorrow with a brighter future.

At an awards ceremony held at Etisalat’s Al Kifaf building in Dubai, Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO, Etisalat UAE Operations, received the award in the presence of Etisalat Group's CEO Hatem Dowidar, key Etisalat management executives, and representatives from the technology department.

The ranking is based on analysis by Ookla® of millions of tests actively initiated by customers across every network to check internet speeds using various applications on web and mobile platforms. The Speedtest Awards™ for top network providers are determined using a ‘Speed Score™’ that incorporates a measure of each provider’s network speeds (download and upload) to rank network speed performance.

With an average download speed of 193.88 mbps and an overall ranking in the ‘Speed Score’ at 153.05, Etisalat is the only operator globally to rank higher than 150 as per Ookla® Speedtest® data. Etisalat is the winner of the Speedtest Awards™ for both fastest mobile network globally and fastest fixed broadband network in GCC during Q1-Q2 in 2021.

Doug Suttles, CEO and co-founder of Ookla, said: “Speedtest Awards™, presented by Ookla®, are reserved for an elite delegation of network operators that have delivered exceptional internet performance and coverage within a market.

“It is our pleasure to present Etisalat with the awards for World's Fastest Mobile Network, as well as Fastest Fixed Network in the GCC region. This recognition is testament to their exceptional performance in Q1-Q2 based on Ookla's rigorous analysis of consumer-initiated tests taken with Speedtest.”

Etisalat’s individual efforts in building one of the most advanced networks have greatly impacted the country’s overall performance. As a result, the UAE was ranked the fastest country in the world in January-June 2021 for average mobile download speed, as reported on the Speedtest Global Index™.

Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO, Etisalat UAE, said: “This global recognition is an acknowledgement of the strong determination and sincere efforts of our leadership in building a country that has grown in all sectors, pushing it to the digital forefront to become the fastest nation in the world. We pride ourselves to be part of this inspiring journey, celebrating 50 years of staggering growth and building the nation to be a global player and leave a mark in history.”

“The continuous support of the UAE government with several incentives and a supportive environment and working in line with Etisalat’s strategy to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’ enabled it to consistently push boundaries to create the world’s best and leading networks across our markets and deliver long-term value to all our stakeholders, accomplishing our goals of driving digital innovation for a better future.”

High mobile internet speeds enrich the customers’ experience and enhance the level of mobile services, as well as support all business segments.

Etisalat has ever since been the first in the region to take a lead and launch previous generations of the network mainly 3G, 4G and 5G. As a previous winner of the Speedtest Awards™ for fastest mobile network and fastest broadband network in the region for 2020, Etisalat amplified its efforts on improving the mobile network, supporting business continuity in a work-from-home environment, facilitating distance learning, and providing entertainment to families at home.

Etisalat announced today that the brand new Samsung Galaxy Z 5G Series is now available for purchase across all its branches in the UAE. Comprising two next-generation premium devices – Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G – the latest generation of the Galaxy Z Series represents the beginning of a brand new chapter in mobile innovation. With world-class design, expert engineering, empowering features, and cutting-edge technology, both foldable smartphones are the most durable of their kind to date and promise to optimise consumer experiences – serving as gateways to enjoy new and unique ways to work, watch, and play. The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G (256GB) is available for AED6,799 through Etisalat stores and online channels, while the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G (128GB) can be acquired for AED3,799.

The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G and Galaxy Z Fold3 5G can be purchased with flexible Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, 24 and 36-month contract starting from only AED112 and AED201, respectively. All prices are VAT inclusive.

Etisalat customers purchasing the devices with a new or existing prepaid account would be eligible to dial *056# and receive one of the following special deal of the day offers: 1GB for three months, 3GB for two months, or 10GB for one month.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is delighted that the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G will now be available for purchase for our customers in the UAE. We have witnessed a huge demand on both flagship devices during the pre-order phase, enabling our customers to enjoy the best-in-class performance and our 5G network that boasts of ultra-high speeds and low latency services. With Etisalat's Smart Pay options - which now include a special 36-month plan further reducing the prices - we are truly making it affordable for all customer segments to get their hands on these two highly desired smartphones.”

With ultra-high speed and low latency services to the user, 5G enables Etisalat subscribers to enjoy uninterrupted 4K video streaming, best gaming experience, and the highly connected technologies.

Osman Albora, Senior Director – Mobile Division, Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating once again with operators for the Galaxy Z Series’ release. The recent pre-order phase proved that the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G will be in high demand across the country. And with this in mind, we are grateful that audiences can also make purchases through the operator channels that suit them.”

Galaxy Z Series common features
Samsung continues its foldable device manufacturing leadership with refined operations and time-tested processes to create devices that remain reliable after years of use. The revolutionary Hideaway Hinge enables the devices to stay in place at any angle for innovative user experiences with Flex mode, while enhanced sweeper technology ensures dust and other particles stay out of the Hideaway Hinge while maintaining a slimmer design. The Galaxy Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G also are equipped with the world’s first IPX8 water-resistance in the foldable category and the strongest aluminum on a smartphone to date.

Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
Built for those who need the ultimate device to power their productivity and maximise every moment, the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G combines power, efficiency and immersive viewing so you can check off your to-do list faster and have more time for next-level gaming, content viewing and video calling. With space for up to three apps at once, it is the ultimate productivity tool for modern multi-taskers. The new Taskbar that enables easy app switching without returning to the home screen and App Split View allows you to view more information without constant back and forth between apps.

Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
For those who need a device that’s as stylish as they are, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G empowers you to express yourself with bold color options, a sleek, compact design, and trendy new accessories. Unfold and snap a stunning selfie with Galaxy Z Flip3’s studio-quality camera features with Flex mode, then add to your social feed, which scrolls smoother than ever with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. Thanks to the super clear glass on the rear camera, you can also take photos continuously with high light transmittance and less flare in every single shot, with a host of other features at your disposal for an entirely new foldable experience.

For more details, please visit etisalat.ae.

  • App usage will not consume customers’ data allowance

Etisalat today announced that all its postpaid and prepaid customers would be able to access their Alhosn app in public places without activating or purchasing a data plan.

AlHosn app is now whitelisted so that any data consumed while using the app will not come off a mobile subscribers’ allowance.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to offer zero rated access to Alhosn app. This is a testament to Etisalat’s commitment to enhance customer experience while supporting the government’s efforts in using the latest mobile technologies to help contain the COVID-19 virus and maintain the health and safety of all citizens, residents and visitors in the country.”

Reiterating a decision announced in June, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee confirmed the mandatory use of the green pass on the Alhosn app for all tourists and residents in Abu Dhabi to enter most public places, which started on August 20.

The Alhosn app is being used by authorities to streamline movement of people across the UAE, including crossing the Abu Dhabi border. The status of one’s “green pass”, which turns green when one receives a negative PCR test, is displayed on the app. The app provides a complete history of one’s PCR tests as well as their current validity and one’s vaccination status.

August 2021

Etisalat and Orange have come together to establish an IPX peering point at Etisalat’s SmartHub PoP in UAE, improving its international wholesale arm’s reach across partners in the region and meeting the increasing demand for 4G and 5G connectivity. Etisalat SmartHub/IPX peering platform is neutral for mobile carriers to enhance customer experience for roaming customers, and will help address the IoT roaming business where lower latency is essential.

As part of the Etisalat SmartHub, Orange’s international wholesale arm will have presence in the Middle East to support its global infrastructure, interconnections, capacity and expand its reach into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The IPX peering agreement will enable the company to further support the global telecom infrastructure requirement of its existing customers as well as tap new markets with its specialised telecom services and solutions.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to have Orange as an IPX peering partner at Etisalat’s SmartHub. Our SmartHub stands out as an innovative regional exchange, capacity, and mobility platform to drive future growth. Over the years, the hub has successfully proved its capability in providing consistency and best-in-class connectivity in the region.

“We, at Etisalat, are committed to deliver the highest quality and innovative international services. The continuous flow of partnerships with Orange will signify Etisalat’s position as a central hub of regional IPX connectivity in the telecom market. Orange’s decision to establish peering with Etisalat will enable them to cater to global 4G and 5G connectivity requirements of their end customer and also extend their core infrastructure in the Middle East.”

SmartHub IPX Exchange connects mobile carriers seamlessly and is the fourth interconnection point for mobile carriers globally just after Amsterdam, Ashburn and Singapore bridging the gap between Singapore-Amsterdam adding quality and diversity to mobile carriers and operators.

In line with the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority’s (TDRA) announcement on 2G network gradually being switched off by the end of 2022, Etisalat assures all customers that it will continue to support this transition and modernisation of the network.

The 2G sunset is keeping with Etisalat’s strategy to support the UAE vision 2030, bringing digital transformation in the country as well as enhancing UAE’s ICT ranking in the global market.

Etisalat is ensuring a smooth transition by educating all its customers including individuals, enterprise, and small and medium businesses and providing alternate devices which support the switch off from 2G to advanced 4G/5G networks.

Etisalat is currently coordinating with all business sectors that are still using the 2G network for machine to machine (M2M) communications such as industrial, vehicle-tracking devices, gateways and Point Of Sale devices (POS). Offers are made to upgrade and replace those devices to support 4G network and LTE CATM1 IoT Network that will help achieve operational efficiency with better connectivity and lower network latency.

The 2G network switchoff is aimed at keeping pace with the rapid and continuous developments of the telecommunications sector, particularly in the digital front. The frequencies and bands utilised by the 2G network will be allocated to more advanced networks.

The 5G network has tremendous capabilities to support the acceleration of digital transformation that leads to new prospects and opportunities in many sectors. As a major enabler of the next generation of broadband service and the Internet of Things, investing in 5G is necessary as it delivers faster speeds and ultra-low latency, providing access to all kinds of applications and services and will drive innovation, efficiency and productivity to a wide range of business and industrial sectors of the UAE.

5G network is the backbone of many emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Autonomous Technologies, Augmented and Virtual Reality, among others. With the shutdown of older generations of networks, individuals and societies will witness the benefits of these technologies as an essential part of the digital future.

Etisalat reiterated that the due date for Etisalat bill payments is 15th of every month for bills generated on the 1st of the month for previous month’s usage.

This allows adequate time for customers to settle their bills on or before the due date to avoid recurring reminders and a AED26.25 reconnection fee inclusive of VAT.

Etisalat facilitates easy payment options through its website, My Etisalat UAE app, self-service on 101 or 125 Etisalat payment machines across the UAE, via bank mobile application, among others.

Customers are notified to pay their bills on the due date and before any service disconnection. An auto pay service can be set up where a fixed amount or the full amount of the bill can be deducted monthly from a customer’s credit card on the due date.

July 2021

  • Board approval of interim dividend for H1 2021 of 40 fils per share

Etisalat Group today announced its consolidated financial results for H1 ending 30th June 2021.

H1 2021 Financial Highlights and Key Developments

  • Etisalat Group subscriber base reached 156.1 million Subscribers.
  • Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 26.4 billion representing YoY increase of 3.2 percent while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 4.7 billion representing a year over year increase of 3.9% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.
  • Consolidated EBITDA reached AED 13.4 billion resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.
  • Board approval of interim dividend for H1 2021 of 40 fils per share.
  • Credit Ratings agencies S&P Global and Moodys affirmed Etisalat Group’s high credit rating at AA-/Aa3 with stable outlook.
  • Etisalat successfully completed a bonds issuance worth one billion Euros to refinance the maturing Euro bond tranche.
  • Etisalat crowned strongest brand in the MEA region across all categories.
  • Etisalat recognised as world’s fastest mobile network by Ookla.
  • Etisalat forays into 6G-the next generation of the mobile network by conducting research and developing international standards.
  • Etisalat expands its SmartHub footprint with a third location opening in Kalba complete with a state-of-art Tier 3 data centre facility.
  • Etisalat launched the region’s first online Mobile Service Centre, offering real-time visibility and control over business customers’ mobile usage.
  • Etisalat collaborated with Smart Dubai to provide cyber security services to Dubai government entities.
  • Etisalat joins programme led by Khalifa Fund for Small & Medium Enterprise Development.
  • Etisalat Misr completed the first VoLTE call using Virtual IMS technology.
  • Etisalat Misr signed an agreement with Canal Sugar Company, the first of its kind in the agricultural sector to digitally transform their financial transactions.
  • PTCL starts transformation of its IP Edge & Optical Transport Network.
  • UAE Trade Connect (UTC)’s digital trade platform went live with seven banks.
  • E-Vision launched the Television Audience Measurement (TAM) to identify viewership trends from eLife TV.
  • Digital Financial Services partnered with Lulu Group International and Al Futtaim to enable secure and contactless payments.
  • Etisalat partnered with Aruba to offer managed Wi-Fi and networking solutions.
  • Etisalat collaborated with Cisco to simplify Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) operations by building the region’s first open and autonomous and secured network.
  • Etisalat launched the Smiles’ food order and delivery service in the UAE.
  • Smiles partnered with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) to support the global ‘100 Million Meals’ humanitarian campaign.
  • As part of its commitment to support and empower People of Determination Etisalat partnered with Ministry of Community Development to launch a web extension to make accessing the web autistic friendly.

H.E. Jassem Mohamed Alzaabi, Chairman of Etisalat Group

“Etisalat continued to demonstrate strong performance showcasing growth across its operations for the first half of the year, thanks to our continuous efforts and focus on our vision of driving the digital future with a strong commitment towards the societies we serve and adding value to our shareholders.

We are confident that Etisalat Group will maintain its leadership position in the telecom industry while remaining focused on our core business and exploring new growth opportunities ensuring that we are well geared for the future with all our digital capabilities and solutions.

I would like to thank UAE’s wise leadership for their continuous support to the telecom sector and the Etisalat Group’s management team in making the digital vision a reality by staying focused on the company’s long-term strategy to drive stakeholder value. Thanks to both our shareholders and loyal customers for inspiring us to set new global benchmarks and reach new business heights.”

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group

“Etisalat Group’s strong results in the first half of 2021 is an outcome of our sincere efforts to drive growth and generate efficiencies, with an unwavering commitment to key strategic priorities to enable a digital future and drive digital innovation across our operations. Despite the challenges in our key markets, our businesses delivered growth in revenue, net profit and operating free cashflow.

We are proud that Etisalat Group was a key contributor to positioning the UAE as the fastest mobile network in the world and among the top fixed broadband networks globally, meeting the ICT aspirations of the country’s leadership. With our success in deploying 5G as well as taking the global lead in fibre penetration, we ensured that our networks are future-ready for the next generation of mobile networks and technologies. As we look ahead with confidence, we will focus on expanding our capabilities, maintaining industry leadership to achieve our long-term goals of enriching customer lives and empowering governments, businesses and societies across our footprint.

Etisalat remains grateful to the wise leadership of the UAE, thankful to our customers and shareholders for their constant encouragement, and to our employees who are the cornerstone of our success. We will remain focused on investments in futuristic solutions and next-generation technologies, enhancing the overall customer experience while delivering long-term value for all our shareholders.”

Subscribers

In the UAE the subscriber base reached 12.1 million subscribers in H1 of 2020, while the aggregate subscriber base reached 156.1 million, representing a year over year increase of 7%.

Revenue & Net Profit

Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 26.4 billion representing YoY increase of 3.2 percent while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 4.7 billion representing a year over year increase of 3.9% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.

EBITDA:

Consolidated EBITDA reached AED 13.4 billion resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.

Etisalat Digital today announced it has won the 2021 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year award for the UAE. It was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

Etisalat Digital was recognised for providing outstanding Microsoft solutions and services in the UAE. It has acquired several new customers across modern workplace/security and Azure in small, medium, corporate, and enterprise segments, including notable customers in government, healthcare and financial services. The organisation has also been instrumental in accelerating the customer journey on remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering Teams Direct Routing as a service, to help save costs and enable business continuity for multinationals.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognise Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based solutions during the past year. Awards were classified in various categories, with honourees chosen from a set of more than 4,400 submitted nominations from more than 100 countries worldwide.

  • Participates in National Bank of Fujairah webinar

Etisalat’s key priority during and post COVID-19 was to support the small and medium businesses (SMBs) in their digital transformation journey by becoming a one-stop solution provider that enabled them to deal with a single player and kept them agile in their business, said Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat.

He shared these insights during a webinar on ‘Post COVID business recovery and growth in the virtual world’ organised by National Bank of Fujairah. His session focused on dealing with business threats during 2021 and beyond, digitalisation efforts that has transformed business planning and projection, and lessons learned during the pandemic.

Etisalat’s initiatives since last year were in line with the UAE efforts to ensure public health and safety, and were based on SMB requirements for virtual meetings, cloud video surveillance and analytics, data, monthly usage of voice minutes, device purchases, and postpaid plans.

“Today we are able to play a greater role in enabling digital capabilities in SMBs with the backbone of a robust and one of the most advanced, fastest and widest network in the region. SMBs today make up about 98 percent of businesses in the UAE, representing over 80 percent of the country’s GDP, therefore represent an important segment in Etisalat business.

“All our initiatives during the pandemic and in the new normal focused on delivering innovative solutions by introducing a comprehensive Business Edge platform that support their day to day business requirements across six pillars, namely smart connectivity, unified communications, office productivity, security and analytics, business devices, and digital marketing,” highlighted Mahmoud.

With the gradual opening of businesses, safety measures, thermal scanners and social distancing procedures were in place. Etisalat launched a temperature screening solution with multiple product types and a wide range of applications that made temperature measurement and screening effortless during these challenging times.

Etisalat’s Video Surveillance as a Service (VSAAS) offered enhanced security and enables them to benefit from the power of video and video analytics. Customers could choose from four Etisalat video surveillance packages, and had the one-time installation waived off.

To support the unprecedented demand for connectivity and help businesses stay connected, Etisalat launched a wide range of device bundles along with access to Etisalat's unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting.

With a challenging retail environment, Etisalat provided an E-Store service bundled with a managed web solution for new and existing subscribers to transform businesses online and enable them to engage with their clients via Google My Business and Google Maps listing, website listing and website pages.

As some organisations began to reopen and others remained fully remote, small and medium sized businesses faced a unique set of challenges to keep employees safe, connect with customers, and move work forward.

Etisalat provided SMB customers access to a Microsoft 365 Business Basic package that allowed up to 300 users and included Online Office apps, a 50GB mailbox, a 1TB OneDrive storage, and Microsoft Teams, helping businesses accomplish more and faster with simple file-sharing, real-time co-authoring, and online meetings – all accessible anywhere.

Etisalat, from Emirates Telecommunication Group Company, and du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), have announced the finalisation of their master developer agreements (MDA) with Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MBRHE).

As part of the new partnership, both operators will cover MBRHE’s mega housing projects, providing essential telecommunications infrastructure through the Taawun infrastructure deployment initiative.

The agreement helps achieve the strategic objectives of MBRHE to create high-end residential communities offering comprehensive services. It also aims at increasing the levels of satisfaction of UAE citizens in Dubai, allowing them to choose the retail telecom operator of their choice without experiencing any disruption while moving into their new home. The arrangement will further support to the government’s long-term vision in developing smart infrastructure and establishing a robust telecom sector for master developers.

Under the MDA, du and Etisalat will install, maintain, and oversee state-of-the-art fixed telecom services and solutions across mega housing projects in Oud Al Muteena, Hatta, Al Warqa 4, and Muhaisnah.

Commenting on the partnership with Etisalat, Sami Abdullah Gargash, CEO, Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment (MBRHE), said: “We are excited about this partnership with Etisalat and Du, which reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility initiatives and providing advanced services to our communities. We value the efforts of both operators and all the partners who contributed to this initiative to develop the telecommunication infrastructure enhancing them across our residential communities.”

Saeed Alzarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat, said: “Taawun is an initiative we are deeply invested in at Etisalat, as it aligns closely with our commitment to support the government’s vision and the development of smart technologies and enable digital transformation across UAE. We are honoured to collaborate with Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment to deliver superior digital and communications infrastructure to our customers in line with our overall strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’. This agreement reaffirms our continued efforts to enter into partnerships, enhance our offerings across the UAE, and cater to the needs of generations to come.”

Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer, du, said: “Making valuable contributions to community transformations is an integral part of du operations. With smart infrastructure development becoming an increasing priority at the national level, we are proud to lend our support and expertise to ensure master developers reap the rewards of a telecom sector that meets every demand through world-class infrastructure and resources. At du, we have always worked proactively in line with the UAE’s sustainability agenda. Today’s announcement represents the next phase of this enduring principle, and we are proud of our partnership with MBRHE. Now more than ever, residential communities require comprehensive telco services, with seamless capabilities and without disruption. This is what we will deliver through this collaboration.”

  • Etisalat Group, STC, Zain, Mobily and du come together to commit on implementation of Open RAN solutions
  • Initiative to drive innovation, cost efficiencies and customer mobile experience

Etisalat Group, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Zain Group, Mobily, and du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), are joining forces to push forward the implementation of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) solutions in their existing telecom networks, share their industry knowledge and experience setting a clear path to drive innovation for the ICT sector across the Middle East.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the five operators confirms commitment to deploy Open RAN across their footprint, providing an opportunity to traditional RAN vendors to adopt open interfaces, software and hardware to build more agile and flexible mobile networks in the 5G and 4G era, support new entrants with innovative solutions and achieve cost efficiencies in RAN deployments.

This partnership will open immense opportunities for operators and the telecom ecosystem with the availability of interoperable, competitive and commercial grade Open RAN products, building a framework to exchange best practices and technical outcomes. For customers, they will gain advantage with service catering to the local market requirements with faster time to market while using the most advanced mobile access networks. With operators focusing on introducing software capabilities in the Open RAN environment it will bring technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the forefront.

Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat Group, said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Middle East operators to come together to promote the development of an open technology that will help to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of our networks. I am excited about this partnership that will foster a diverse and secure 4G/5G ecosystem based on Open RAN solutions. This is also a testimony to Etisalat’s commitment and leadership in innovation in the ICT sector and to development and adoption of Open RAN ensuring the best network experience for our customers.”

Haitham Alfaraj, Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations in stc Group, said: “stc is committed to the introduction of latest technologies and innovative 5G/4G mobile networks solutions. Today’s announcement signals the entry into a new era of operators’ collaboration in Middle East to accelerate the development of Open Network technologies, which helps in diversifying our strategic technology growth.”

He added: “Our commitment has always been to deliver a best-in-class mobile network to our deserving customers. This is an exciting milestone in stc’s digital transformation journey; stc will continue to endeavor to always lead the market towards digital transformation, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Nawaf Al Gharabally, Zain Group's Chief Technology Officer, commented: “This joint and innovative initiative by like-minded and visionary regional mobile operators is truly inspirational as it brings multiple benefits to all our stakeholders and further enhances the Middle East telecom sector’s position on the ICT world map.”

Eng. Alaa Malki, Chief Technology Officer at Mobily, said: “Mobily is keen to strengthen this partnership, which copes with the latest innovations in ICT sector, as it improves the services provided to customers and build an advanced open access network.

Almalki added: “The implementation of Open RAN solutions supports the flexibility and provides more innovation in managing the network for more efficient operations. Mobily is willing to exert all efforts for the success of this partnership and forge several partnerships that push forward the development and innovation in the ICT sector.”

Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer, du, said: “Driving innovation and Open RAN deployment is the shared responsibility of every telco operator. At du, we are committed to working with our regional counterparts, which will enable us to create further value by increasing infrastructure flexibility and efficiency while accelerating technology adaption and network expansion across the UAE.”

With Open RAN the industry is working towards standards and technical specifications that define open interfaces within the radio system, including hardware and software, so that networks can be deployed and operated based on mix-and-match components from different suppliers. Operators will be able to draw on the reinvigorated supplier innovation to drive cost efficiencies and more flexibly deliver customised services in response to evolving customer demands.

The introduction of Open RAN, virtualisation, and automation will enable a fundamental change in the way operators manage networks and deliver services. Operators will be able to add or shift capacity more quickly for end users, automatically resolve network incidents or provide enterprise level services on-demand for industry.

  • Move represents a step towards supporting the transition to sustainable energy
  • Electric vehicles feature ‘Together for a greener tomorrow’ message

Etisalat today announced that it has introduced Tesla cars to its fleet of vehicles as part of a wider initiative to foster a safe, clean and sustainable environment.

Etisalat’s customers will be pleasantly surprised to find their devices and accessories delivered at their doorstep via a Tesla Model 3 car with a message ‘Together for a greener tomorrow’. The branded electric vehicles (EVs) will be largely used for customers’ online deliveries.

Obaid Bokisha, Chief Transformation Officer, Etisalat, said: “At Etisalat, we strive to operate responsibly and transparently by living our inspiration ‘Together Towards a Sustainable Future’. The introduction of Tesla Model 3 to our fleet of vehicles represents an important step towards supporting the transition to sustainable energy.

“Etisalat is setting the pace for innovation and digital transformation, keeping in line with its strategy to ‘drive the digital future to empower societies’. We are committed to not only achieving our vision of digitalising and empowering communities, but also ensuring sustainability in all our endeavours.”

So far, the Tesla cars are the only EVs on Etisalat’s fleet. The Tesla Model 3 is the first vehicle built on Tesla’s third-generation platform. It is an electric fastback mid-size four-door sedan, which comes with the option of dual motor all-wheel drive, 20” Überturbine wheels, and performance brakes and lowered suspension for total control.

  • Up to 65 percent discount on devices and accessories with SmartPay options

As a strategic partner of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Etisalat is offering discounts of up to 65 percent on a wide range of devices and accessories for customers to treat themselves or gift their loved ones this summer season.

DSS is a great time to enjoy Etisalat’s deals and pick up gifts for loved ones. Customers can enjoy amazing discounts on the latest smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs, and accessories from popular brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Sony and Bose with Smartpay options of up to 24 months for devices priced above AED500 and free delivery for online orders.

Purchases of these devices could be made via the website www.etisalat.ae, My Etisalat app, and Etisalat retail stores across the UAE from 1st July to 4th September 2021.

The 24th edition of DSS, organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, will take place across 10 weeks this year from 1st July 1 until 4th September. The festival will feature an action-packed extravaganza of shopping, hotel, dining and entertainment options at discounted summer rates offering great value.

June 2021

In yet another global milestone, Etisalat today announced its foray into the next generation of the mobile network with considerable efforts towards 6G realisation, conducting research, developing international standards the main building blocks for the 6G ecosystem.

Haitham Abdulazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat shared these insights during his address at the session titled ‘Setting the roadmap to 6G’ at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the annual trade show dedicated to the mobile communications industry being held from 28th June until 1st July 2021.

Advancement and development of new mobile technologies has become much more rapid than ever. Introduction of new features, capabilities and use of millimeter frequencies seen in 5G is a result of this advancement, which is expected to be complemented with terahertz spectrum in 6G. Etisalat is one of the ambitious players making steps towards the sixth generation of the network.

“The excellent achievements by Etisalat today in 5G coverage, cloud native, slicing, Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) development, AI and automation platforms, as well as high fibre penetration which stands at more than 99 percent of UAE populated area coverage, is a result of the long term strategy paving the way towards 6G.

“We are committed to bringing the latest technologies to UAE market to enable digital societies. As part of our vision and future technology planning, 6G is going beyond earth networks into space to enable new era of services and usage scenarios with terabyte data traffic resulting in extra ordinary human to machine interaction. Etisalat is upgrading tools and capabilities of its R&D centre to enhance the contribution towards 6G global standardisation within the international fora and alliances.”

The promise of 6G is in the transformation of use cases targeted by 5G into a full integrated autonomy, enabling the move from science fiction to reality, robotic humans operation, sophisticated human to human, human to machine and machine to machine relationship. The 6G technology requires agile communications governance and increased collaboration across multisector stakeholders. The technology is seen as an enabler of new coverage dimensions in space and maritime in addition to the terrestrial dimension.

  • Customers can now redeem and earn Smiles points on Cleartrip via the Smiles app

Smiles has teamed up with leading online travel portal Cleartrip to provide customers a facility to conveniently book their tickets directly on the Smiles app.

Customers usually book their airline tickets via airline or travel websites and on mobile apps. Now they can book their flights from more than 1,000 airlines with Cleartrip directly on the Smiles app either by using their Smiles points or paying with their credit card. They can also earn one Smiles point for every AED1 spent on the Cleartrip section on the Smiles app.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “We at Etisalat are continuously innovating and evaluating ways to bring more value to the growing number of Etisalat’s Smiles app users, which now stands at 2.3 million. With the easing of restrictions on travel to and from the UAE, citizens and residents are keen to travel abroad for leisure or visit family and friends in their home country.

“In partnership with Cleartrip, we can deliver greater value to Smiles customers who now have the flexibility and convenience to book flights on the Smiles app and earn points. Additionally, Smiles users will soon be able to book hotels for their trips abroad as well as for their staycation.”

Amit Taneja, Chief Business Officer, Cleartrip, said: “Cleartrip has always been at the forefront of travel innovation in the Middle East. We have sought to simplify the travel process through novel means such as our latest offering TravelSafe, which provides detailed travel guidelines for over 200 countries. As travel restrictions ease, Smiles users will now have the incredible opportunity to book their flights with Cleartrip using their Smiles points. Etisalat's renowned customer-centric approach is in perfect harmony with our ethos and we look forward to making travel simple for Smiles users.”

Smiles, one of the largest lifestyle engagement programmes in the UAE, has more than 2.3 million customers on-boarded on the Smiles mobile app and 1,000+ participating brands. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, travel, services and wellness experience.

Etisalat today highlighted its plans to accelerate OpenRAN realisation as part of its cloud native NaaS transformation. Haitham Abdulrazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat participated in an Open RAN (O-RAN) conference conducted earlier today at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the annual trade show dedicated to the mobile communications industry being held from 28th June until 1st July 2021.

In 2020, Etisalat UAE deployed the first OpenRAN based mobile network cluster in the MENA, as one of the early adopters of the technology worldwide. Since then, the company embarked on an expanded scope to develop OpenRAN further on the network in the UAE.

During the conference he reflected on the efforts Etisalat has taken in adopting OpenRAN, “Etisalat has taken early strides going beyond research and development, leading the implementation of OpenRAN in UAE. Together with global stakeholders and partners, we are committed to advance a combined OpenRAN and MEC ecosystem development.”

“As a leading operator within the region, Etisalat’s appetite for new development stretches our vision to draw value from upcoming technologies by early realisation and contribution in the development processes. OpenRAN as part of our cloud native NaaS transformation will disrupt the ecosystems in mobile communications to the benefit of the industry.”

Etisalat has also made immense developments in the Access Network by developing state of the art AI, ML and Automation platform A3. The platform is designed with OpenRAN and MEC requirements in mind, accommodating OpenRAN on 4G, 5G and future technologies. “A3 is our flagship in achieving our OpenRAN vision, including zero touch across provisioning, optimisation, operations and planning, etc,” said Abdulrazzak.

  • 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology deployed in the network
  • High-band deployment offers subscribers faster speeds and lower latency

Etisalat today announced that it has joined forces with Ericsson to deploy 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) across its commercial network. The 5G high-band commercial deployment will help achieve high performance 5G downlink data speeds of 4.2Gbps and latency of 8 milliseconds (ms).

Etisalat has built a 5G network infrastructure that can be enabled with superior performance, including ultra-high speeds and ultra-low latency to enable the digital transformation in the country and the wide implementation of use cases related to industry 4.0, automation and Internet of Things (IoT).

The UAE leadership is a driving force in accelerating the digital vision along with the telecom regulatory authority TDRA (Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority) becoming one of the first to allocate mmWave spectrum to be used for 5G technology deployment across the country.

5G mmWave delivers high spectrum and capacity, making it ideal for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to deliver fast, fiber-like internet speeds wirelessly over the last mile, and for crowded hotspots such as stadiums, malls and large indoor events that require high peak rates. It also includes wide spectrum segments available for 5G along with lower latencies.

Haitham AbdulRazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat has always been at the forefront of the telecom industry, and we continuously work to provide our customers with the best possible digital experience. This deployment is in line with our overall vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’ empowering our customer with the experience of ultrahigh quality 5G connectivity. Moving ahead we look forward to expanding this technology further on demand for all customer segments.”

Saeed Alzarouni, Senior Vice President Mobile Network, Etisalat, added: “We are proud to have introduced 5G mmWave as part of the UAE’s digital infrastructure. Etisalat is always working towards providing the best and ensuring the latest technology is available to all our customers. The partnership with Ericsson is a key milestone in our 5G journey that will support the automation and massive bandwidth demands of futuristic technologies and advanced use cases.”

Ekow Nelson, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit Etisalat at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said: “We look forward to supporting Etisalat in harnessing the opportunities that new technologies like 5G can present for the people of the UAE. In combination with established solutions, such as Fixed Wireless Access, largely untapped mmWave frequencies can help meet the increased demands for high-quality connectivity while facilitating exciting use cases from advanced video streaming and online gaming with augmented and virtual reality experiences to industrial IoT and smart factories.”

The 5G standardisation focuses on certain requirements to provide connectivity for superior services, such as enhanced mobile broadband to smartphones and other mobile devices for video streaming and real-time online gaming, as these have extreme requirements on availability, latency, and reliability.

In response, 5G radio frequency ranges were widened to meet the need for enhanced mobile broadband and performance. The 5G radio frequencies now include all those previously held by 4G, as well as more frequencies up to 6GHz (Sub-6) and the high-band (mmWave) spectrum beyond 24GHz. The next wave of 5G expansion will allow businesses of all types to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security, making emerging technologies outlined for the future development of the UAE such as autonomous driving, automated factories, robotic process automation, virtual and augmented reality possible.

The telecom wholesale business will continue to play a pivotal role in the future just as how it has been especially evident during the pandemic, said Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, during the second day of the Telecoms World Middle East 2021.

“During Covid-19, the telecom wholesale business played a critical role in making things work for the world. We witnessed its ability to accommodate the surge in data and SMS traffic, which was triggered by the huge increase of all kinds of online activities. All these were made possible with a well- established carrier wholesale ecosystem,” said Amiri.

Amiri, who participated in a keynote panel on ‘A post-pandemic market: innovation and technology remain key for wholesale success’, said successful telecom wholesalers of the future must have the infrastructure or ecosystem that enables a customer experience that matches the digital players. This can be enabled by automation, virtualisation, and on demand services that are delivered in near real-time.

He also shared his insights into digitalisation, automation, and standardisation, which are essential for carrier wholesalers to be more agile and open.

“Digital wholesalers will be able to provide services on demand using easy to use customer portals or applications, enabled by the virtualisation of the network. This requirement is vital to be able to serve new types of customers in addition to telcos such as Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platform providers, content providers, gaming and financial services sectors,” Amiri said.

The panel also delved into harnessing virtualised communications, business intelligence, machine learning and blockchain in their products, and wholesale delivery architecture; and dramatically advancing digital wholesale opportunities and replacing legacy systems for future agility.

The two-day virtual event, which concluded on 16th June, focused on the strategies, technologies and big ideas that will be essential for telecommunication companies in 2021.

The telecoms industry and 5G play a major role in supporting digital transformation as businesses move towards more collaborative and immersive remote working, said Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat International, during the Telecoms World Middle East 2021.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation globally with a shift in investment opportunities and changes in online behaviours. Remote working infrastructure, new online services, technology skills and cyber security are now common investment priorities for governments, corporates, and SMEs. These changed investment priorities are accelerating the digital transformation of society,” said Bamatraf.

Bamatraf, who delivered a keynote opening presentation titled ‘Shaping a new future for businesses and consumers with 5G and advanced technologies’, underscored 5G’s huge potential as a game changer for several industries. 5G offers exciting new revenue prospects but telcos need to go beyond connectivity to achieve good return on investment, he stressed.

Recent analysis has estimated that by 2025 there will be around $4.7 trillion of revenue generated and associated in some way by 5G or advanced connectivity. Around $1.6 trillion will be directly due to connectivity, and the remaining $3.1 trillion will be hardware, software, services, platforms, etc.

The two-day virtual event on 15th and 16th June brings together CEOs and key decision makers of the leading regional operators to discuss the current landscape, their growth strategies, and investing for their future.

Etisalat chief executives participated in panel discussions and live interactive sessions moderated by global and regional experts. Mohamed Almarzooqi, Vice President, Synergy and Operation Support, Etisalat International, shared his insights into ‘Next generation networks with the power to transform how industries operate’.

Antonio Ricciardi, Senior Vice President, Consumer Intelligence and Engagement, Etisalat, meanwhile took part in a panel discussion on ‘Unlocking value with the next generation of customer value management’.Antonio Ricciardi, Senior Vice President, Consumer Intelligence and Engagement, Etisalat, meanwhile took part in a panel discussion on ‘Unlocking value with the next generation of customer value management’.

At a session titled ‘Building digitally connected infrastructure in Middle East and Africa’, Abdulrahman Alhumaidan, Senior Director, Fixed Access Network Planning and Design, Etisalat, discussed the opportunities and challenges of building a digitally connected national infrastructure, the impact of 5G on national infrastructure, and the investment and regulatory framework.

May 2021

  • Broadcasters and industry professionals will be able to analyse and respond to viewership data of over 3.5 million UAE TV viewers via independently accredited TAM system

Dubai, 25th May 2021: E-Vision today announced a new initiative identifying the audience's selections, trends, and desires from eLife, the region’s largest and most successful IPTV service that is set to put the UAE at the forefront of TV audience measurement in the MENA region.

Television Audience Measurement (TAM) system identifies the number of views and the interests of TV viewers, so that TV stations can develop their programs to match the desires of their audience and to air them at the most appropriate timings.

For many years, the MENA TV industry has had to rely on telephone surveys for audience information, whilst broadcasters around the world have had access to people metering (direct recording of TV viewing) to measure and understand audience nature. This is about to change with E-Vision’s initiative.

The TAM system is accredited by an independent audit agency following rigorous testing and verification. Broadcasters, agencies, advertisers, consultants and industry experts will be able to subscribe to the data and log in to access a wide range of reporting tools.

“We are proud to be leading the way in the MENA region by offering exceptionally powerful audience analytics tools to industry professionals,” remarked Olivier Bramly, CEO of E-Vision. “By giving broadcasters insights about the interests and desires of our viewers, we are providing them with the tools they need to make their channels more relevant and attractive towards their viewers and more efficient towards agencies and advertisers.”

The TAM system will measure audience reach, ratings, share and viewing time for over 530 channels, and will cover both live and catch-up viewing across all viewers. Subscribers to the TAM system will be able to monitor viewing of any period, ranging from same day to previous years and have access to a variety of configurable reports within the TAM system, offering them a fully detailed analysis and reports with channel-related filters.

Broadcasters and other industry professionals now have access to detailed performance reporting for both TV channels and individual TV shows in TAM. Further functionalities measuring the performance of TV advertising will be released later this year.

E-Vision has partnered exclusively with ChannelSculptor to manage the distribution and client support of the TAM system. ChannelSculptor was selected for its position as a leading industry consultancy, its exceptional reach amongst broadcasters in the MENA TV industry and its leading position in audience analytics, serving major regional and international TV networks.

  • New facility leverages partner ecosystem to enable scalable, agile infrastructure
  • Subsea telecom system Africa-1 lands at new SmartHub
  • Addresses the growing demand and enhancing geo-diversity

Etisalat today announced the further expansion of its SmartHub with a third location opening in Kalba complete with a state-of-art Tier 3 data centre facility addressing the growing demand and enhancing geographical diversity.

SmartHub Kalba is Etisalat’s third wholesale data centre, following the opening of facilities in Fujairah and Dubai last year. The new data centre will offer geo-redundant ecosystem for global players to expand their regional presence. Additionally the new facility is also selected to be the landing for Africa-1, a new subsea telecom system connecting Africa, the Middle East and Europe. This gives SmartHub Kalba a pivotal role in catering towards facilitating faster connectivity to various global partners.

With the launch of its latest facility, Etisalat’s Carrier & Wholesale Services (C&WS) has set a benchmark in the region, and is a testimony to the company’s strategy to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’. It is also in line with UAE leadership’s vision to continue leading as an ICT and data hub for the region addressing the diverse requirements of global telecom infrastructure.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, said: “As one of the biggest neutral carrier hotels, Etisalat’s SmartHub data centres will be an ICT bridge between continents always supporting critical business activities of global customers. SmartHub Kalba will enable us to increase our capabilities and global capacity to meet our international clients’ expanding needs for infrastructure across Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. We at Etisalat are committed to making ‘SmartHub’ a preferred location for carriers, cloud service providers, Internet exchanges and companies looking for a carrier grade data centres.”

The new facility is scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2022 providing a robust data centre infrastructure evolving to meet future demands including landing of a new generation of submarines as well as becoming a disaster recovery hub for Etisalat’s customers in the Fujairah SmartHub.

  • Tie up with Khalifa Fund via the e-Empower programme
  • Registered e-Empower SMBs will have access to Hello Business Hub, digital academy and a comprehensive digital platform

Etisalat today announced its value propositions that address the varying requirements of Abu Dhabi’s small and medium businesses (SMBs) in a bid to boost their digital transformation journey.

This follows Khalifa Fund for Medium Enterprise Development’s recent announcement of Etisalat and Microsoft being the latest industry leading organisations to come on board the e-Empower programme ecosystem with innovative resources, such as webinars, workshops, preferential rates and digital support.

Etisalat is committed to support the growth of UAE’s SMB sector, which represents more than 94 percent of the total number of companies operating in the UAE and employs over 86 percent of the private sector workforce, according to the Ministry of Economy.

Abu Dhabi’s start-up community will have access to a dedicated platform that has all the information of the initiatives. Registered e-Empower SMBs will gain access to Etisalat’s one-stop destination ‘Hello Business Hub’. The dedicated business hub offers tailored telecommunications as well as value added services to SMBs while providing them the ease and flexibility of kick-starting their operations in the UAE, whether it be registering their company, setting up a bank account, telecommunication services or another aspect of operational set-up.

Etisalat’s Hello Business Hub partners will provide exclusive trade license and banking offers for the startups to legalise their presence in Abu Dhabi.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “We are honoured to be a strategic partner of Khalifa Fund and be part of the e-Empower programme, enabling us to cater to the requirements of small enterprises and startups, while helping them to grow their business and accelerate their digital transformation.”

Khalifa Fund’s SMBs will also have access to Etisalat’s digital academy, providing a host of informative videos, interviews with subject matter experts, and webinars that will take their business to the next level. In addition, the start-up community can benefit from Etisalat’s customised comprehensive digital platform addressing all their business needs, ranging from smart connectivity to office productivity, business devices, digital marketing solutions and Microsoft business applications.

Etisalat is offering preferential rates for Microsoft 365 and digital support as well as educational webinars sponsored by Microsoft to help SMBs upskill, grow and run their business.

  • New bonds issuance aim to maximise shareholders’ value by reducing the cost of funding

Etisalat Group announced the successful completion of a bond issuance worth one billion euros to refinance the maturing bond tranche it had issued in 2014 for the acquisition of a controlling stake in Maroc Telecom.

Etisalat Group issued bonds in two tranches, the first is a 7 years tranche amounting to 500 million euros with an annual yield of 0.4%. The second tranche for a period of 12 years amounts to 500 million euros with an annual yield of 1%.

The refinancing decision aims to diversify the company’s sources of funds and extending the repayment schedule of existing debt while taking benefit of improved cost of funding thereby maximizing shareholders value. The bond issuance was very successful as it witnessed a remarkable demand from local and international investors with being 6 times oversubscribed.

This high demand reflects investors’ confidence in Etisalat Group’s performance, strong financial profile and credit ratings; Aa3 stable (Moody’s) and AA- Stable (S&P Global), one of the highest rating in the industry. This also highlights the growing confidence of international investors in the UAE economy.

  • Best time to be on eLife Unlimited Plans
  • Entry speed now upgraded from 250 Mbps to 500Mbps
  • Free speed upgrade valid from 6th May until 31st July 2021

Etisalat today announced that customers on eLife Unlimited plans would get a free broadband speed upgrade until the end of July.

Etisalat is committed to keeping the UAE at the forefront of telecommunications worldwide, delivering customers the fastest mobile network experience on earth. Further supporting this commitment, eLife Unlimited plans are the number one choice for home broadband entertainment in the UAE, and are setting the benchmark for fixed broadband network speeds, starting from 250Mbps.

From 6th May until 31st July 2021, the entry-level plan, ‘eLife Unlimited Starter’, will now offer 500Mbps, double the current 250Mbps. Both eLife Unlimited Sports and Entertainment plans, currently at 500Mbps, will now offer 750 Mbps during this period.

The free speed upgrade gives eLife Unlimited customers the best of Etisalat’s fixed network, making this one of the best times for new customers to join eLife Unlimited. Existing customers on older generation eLife plans can benefit from a limited time 10x increase in speeds when they upgrade to an eLife Unlimited plan during this time.

The speed upgrade is automatically applied for all eligible customers without any changes to their commitments or any need to opt-in; they will simply enjoy the new speeds until the end of the promotional period. After this, speed will revert to the plan’s original speed.

Khaled El Khouly, Chief Consumer Officer at Etisalat, said: “We, at Etisalat, are delighted to offer our home eLife Unlimited customers a free speed upgrade as a token of our appreciation and gratitude for their continued support. Our eLife Unlimited plans are designed to cater to the needs of our customers who require superfast broadband to support an increasing number of devices in their homes. Etisalat continuously invests in innovation, next-generation technologies and services to enhance the network, and is committed to blazing fast internet speeds, rich and exclusive TV content and best in class Wi-Fi equipment.”

eLife Unlimited allows customers to enjoy all the premium content from major TV broadcasters, media and content companies such as MBC, OSN, BeIN and StarzPlay on one box, to ensure that non-stop entertainment is delivered to every household in the country.

  • UAE is leading among 135+ countries in Ookla Global Country Mobile rankings for 1Q of 2021
  • Etisalat, recognised as world’s fastest mobile network, enables the country’s top ranking

The UAE leads a global mobile index as the country with the fastest mobile network speed in the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest data from Ookla, a global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis.

This significant achievement adds one more feather to the UAE’s cap, and comes at an opportune time with the recent declaration of 2021 as "Year of the 50th" as the nation celebrates its milestone Golden Jubilee.

With a download speed of 178.52 Mbps in March, the country overtook South Korea and Qatar in the mobile broad speedtest. The UAE also overtook both countries in January and February, with download speeds of 183.03 Mbps and 177.10 Mbps, respectively.

The Speed Test Global index, which assesses over 135 countries, compares internet speed data from around the world on a monthly basis. Data for the index comes from the hundreds of millions of tests taken by real people using the speed test every month.

Mobile network speed is a major contributing factor to the well-being, economic wealth and social prosperity of a nation. This achievement has a lot of favourable implications for a enabling environment for future aspirations, country’s ICT agenda, productivity of businesses, amongst others.

Etisalat is proud to contribute to the UAE ranking first in terms of mobile network speed. This is yet another milestone achievement for the UAE, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority as well as Etisalat’s testament to its relentless efforts towards its strategy and vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’. As the country's leading mobile operator and world's fastest mobile network, Etisalat is uplifting the national performance, enabling the ICT aspirations of the country’s leadership.

Etisalat today announced that it will offer iPad Pro, the most powerful and advanced iPad Pro ever, now with support for ultra-fast 5G, at its retail stores across the UAE, via www.etisalat.ae, or My Etisalat app.

Customers booked their orders for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation) starting from Friday, 30th April 2021 at 5am Pacific Time (4pm UAE).

Etisalat will also offer the all-new AirTag accessory, a private and secure way to locate the items that matter the most, at its retail stores across the UAE, via www.etisalat.ae, or My Etisalat app.

Orders began on Friday, 23rd April 2021 at 5am Pacific Time (4pm UAE time). Retail sales and customer deliveries started on Friday, 30th April 2021 at 8am UAE time.

April 2021

  • Heartwarming Labour Day video depicts emotional side of this vibrant community
  • Inspiring message to the UAE’s ‘hidden’ heroes: “You’ve built today so let us build your child’s tomorrow’
  • Workers were each gifted a scholarship for their children’s higher education

Fifteen construction workers of various nationalities got a surprise of a lifetime in a touching tribute ahead of Labour Day.

It all began with a concept – to honour the UAE’s ‘hidden’ heroes to mark Labour Day - but Etisalat took it up a notch and made the celebration more meaningful, touching everyone’s hearts, bringing them joy, and putting a smile on their faces.

The workers were selected from four labour camps in Dubai to participate in a special project. They were transported to a site where they unknowingly pieced together a massive tile structure with a hidden message. As it was slowly taking shape, little did they know what lay in store for them and their families that fateful night.

Flashed on a giant screen was an inspiring message: ‘You’ve built today, so let us build your child’s tomorrow’. The men broke into rapturous applause and got teary-eyed when finally told of Etisalat’s surprise gift: “So, as you can see in the tile structure you’ve just created, we want to help you play an important part in your future. In particular, your children’s future. Etisalat is giving a AED25,000 scholarship towards your children’s higher education.”

Each worker stood up, received a ceremonial certificate and excitedly called their families back home. Abdul Latif Awan, a 65-year-old father of two from Rawalpindi, Pakistan, said: “I had never imagined that my prayers this Ramadan will be answered and that I will get such a big reward from Etisalat so that my children’s life will be taken care of. I have given 38 years of my life in this country, and this country has given me such a big parting gift. I will cherish this all my life.”

Like many migrant workers, 34-year-old Indian Shaikh Riyazuddin came to Dubai in 2018 in the hope of securing a better for himself and his family. Fighting back tears, he said: “Today we worked so hard and Etisalat has rewarded us. I want our adopted daughter to get a higher education so she can stand on her own two feet and be ready for the world.  I am very happy that I will be able to give her a good education.”

“With this money, I can help build a brighter future for my family and can also save for their future,” said Mohammed Firoj Mia, a Bangladeshi father of two who arrived in Dubai in 2004. “I’m very grateful to Etisalat. Because of this, I will be able to fulfill a very big dream of mine.”

Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “We at Etisalat believe that these workers, who left their home countries to work in the UAE, are an integral part of the country’s success story. Their contributions to the society and economy are invaluable; they are playing a key role in the construction of world-famous skyscrapers and iconic sites. It is but fitting for us to mark Labour Day by paying tribute to their hard work and sacrifices.”

The UAE, home to about 2.2 million blue collar workers, observes International Workers Day, also known as ‘Labour Day’ on 1st May every year. It aims to recognise the labourers' efforts across the nation.

To view the ‘Labour Day’ video, click here.

Representing a 7.9% increase YOY


Etisalat Group today announced its consolidated financial statements for the three months ending 31st March 2021.

Financial Highlights and Key Developments of Q1

  • Aggregate subscriber base reached 156 million, representing a year over year increase of 4%.
  • Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 13.2 billion while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.3 billion representing a year over year increase of 7.9% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.
  • Consolidated EBITDA totaled AED 6.8 billion, representing an increase of 0.7% year over year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.
  • Etisalat crowned strongest brand in the MEA region across all categories.
  • Etisalat Misr and Huawei completed the first VoLTE call using Huawei’s Virtual IMS
  • Etisalat launched the region’s first online Mobile Service Centre, offering real-time visibility and control over business customers’ mobile usage.
  • Etisalat partnered with Aruba to offer managed Wi-Fi and networking solutions.
  • Etisalat partnered with Cisco to simplify Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) operations by building the region’s first open and autonomous and secured network.
  • Etisalat collaborated with Smart Dubai to provide cyber security services to Dubai government entities.
  • Etisalat is now Etihad Airways’ official telecom partner, providing the best-in-class mobile and digital solutions for the evolving business requirements of the SMB and startup community.
  • Digital Financial Services partnered with Al-Futtaim to enable secure and contactless payment options for eWallet customers.
  • As part of its commitment to support and empower People of Determination Etisalat partnered with Ministry of Community Development to launch a web extension to make accessing the web autistic friendly.
  • Etisalat launched the Smiles’ food order and delivery service in the UAE.

CEO Message:

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group


“Etisalat Group’s first quarter results are a continuation of the strong performance the company has achieved over the past year due to the resilience and agility shown across our business operations. The company generated record results in the new hybrid scenario helping consumers adapt to a new work-and-learn-from-anywhere reality while continuing to deliver innovative services subscribers require and demand.

“Our teams rallied to support our customers with technology playing a central role in keeping our society, economy and lives connected. Digital evolution is the future where telecom operators are the key players to enable the transition and be the exemplary adopters of digital transformation. Stemming from this conviction, Etisalat will continue its efforts to align its business with the digital mandate it has undertaken, by shifting the operating model, investing in future technologies, generating new revenue streams and by acquiring and disseminating digital capabilities across its markets.

Etisalat is also thankful to the vision of our wise leadership in the UAE in positioning the country among the most digitally advanced globally, inspiring us to deliver world-class networks and innovative services. We will continue to focus on capitalising opportunities and enhancing overall customer experience while delivering long-term value for all our shareholders.”

Subscribers

In the UAE the subscriber base reached 12.4 million subscribers in Q1 of 2021, while aggregate subscriber base reached 156 million, representing a year over year increase of 4%.

Revenue & Net Profit

Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 13.2 billion while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.3 billion representing a year over year increase of 7.9% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.

EBITDA:

Group Consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter of 2021 increased by 0.7% to AED 6.8 billion while EBITDA margin remained stable year on year at 51%.

Held under the patronage of UAE Ministry of Economy & empowered by Ericsson

Abu Dhabi 22 April 2021: Etisalat today announced its successful participation at the ‘Together Apart Hackathon’ that engaged innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors of the UAE to identify innovative and viable solutions showcasing how technology and connectivity facilitate the challenges and provide solutions inspired by UAE Vision 2021 themes showcasing the power of 5G.

Under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy and empowered by Ericsson the ‘Together Apart Hackathon’ kicked off on 22nd April 2021 concluding on 31st March 2022. The event is aimed at attracting new ideas and stimulate innovations in the target verticals aligned to the UAE vision 2021.

Participants at the event included eminent speakers from Etisalat, namely Mahmoud Al Bannay, Vice President 5G, Mobile Network & AI; Khalid Ghaloua Adine, Head of Digital Health Care; Dr. Tamer El Toni, VP Digital Services and Devices; and Dr. Abdelkader Houssaine - Head of Digital Education and eGovernment.

Al Bannay was part of a panel discussion focusing on ‘Changing the conversation with 5G-Role of 5G’. “In our quest to drive the UAE government’s ICT vision Etisalat has continuously invested in deploying advanced technologies that has led to positioning the network as the fastest on earth. We began this journey with a planned and strategic infrastructure building approach fusing the capabilities of cloud, AI and machine learning to build a 5G network. This has become a stimulus for innovation and development in the UAE,” he said during the session.

Adine participated in a panel title ‘World Class Healthcare’ while Dr. El Toni shed light on the ‘Competitive Knowledge Economy’. Dr Houssaine shared insights on the ‘First Rate Education System’ during his session.

At the end of the hackathon a total of six winning teams will be chosen – one winning team from each focus area in UAE Vision 2021. The six winning teams will receive support in testing their solutions and will also be given the chance to showcase their solutions at the Swedish Pavilion in Expo2020. One team will receive the grand prize to visit Ericsson’s headquarters in Sweden to pitch the team’s solution and interact with the entrepreneurial community.

  • Easily make payments using eWallet at Lulu hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores and webstore
  • Enjoy an array of benefits from quick checkouts to a secure and contactless payment facility

Digital Financial Services LLC, a joint venture of Etisalat and Dubai Islamic Bank, has partnered with Lulu Group International to enable secure and contactless payment options for eWallet customers. The official launch was attended by Dr. Tamer Eltoni, Chief Commercial Officer of Digital Financial Services, and Ashraf Ali, Executive Director of Lulu Group International.

With this partnership, eWallet customers will be able to use their eWallet for purchases made at Lulu hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores across the UAE as well as in Lulu’s web store. By using eWallet, customers will enjoy an array of benefits from quick checkouts to a secure and contactless payment facility. Regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, eWallet is a revolutionary digital payment service aimed at empowering the UAE residents with safe, convenient and flexible payment solutions through an easy-to-use eWallet mobile app.

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no need to have a bank account, credit or debit card to do digital payments. Customers need a valid Emirates ID and a UAE mobile number to open an eWallet account. Once registered, users can instantly top up their wallet balance and start sending and receiving money within the UAE as well, amongst 200 countries and territories, simply through their mobile phones. Further services include transfer to own or third-party bank accounts, direct merchant payments, bill payments, and mobile recharges, amongst others.

Ahmed Al Awadi, Chairman of Digital Payment Services, said: “eWallet continues to be at the forefront of innovation as more UAE residents experience the benefits of a secure and contactless payment method, even more so during these unprecedented times. Our partnership with Lulu Group International demonstrates our commitment towards an instant and cashless payments ecosystem, further enriching our consumers with a state-of-the-art customer service experience.”

Ashraf Ali MA, Executive Director, Lulu Group International, said: “Innovation and ease of doing business have always been our key focus areas. Contactless payment options are of prime importance to us and we strongly believe that collaborating with tech leaders such as Digital Financial Services will further boost the in-store and online shopping experience of our large multi-ethnic shoppers. “

For more details, please visit www.eWallet.ae.

  • One of the first commercialised blockchain applications in the country
  • Nationwide platform to create an ecosystem for multiple trade-related entities
  • Solves various issues in trade finance e

UAE Trade Connect (UTC), a new nationwide blockchain platform co-created by Etisalat Digital and seven leading UAE banks and Avanza Innovations and initially ideated by First Abu Dhabi Bank, goes commercially live today. This unique platform invites all UAE banks and the supply chain industry to join the platform to combat fraud and duplication, among other issues in the trade finance space.

The commercial launch took place earlier today at a virtual press conference in the presence of senior management from UTC and partnering banks.

The steering committee for the platform consists of the Central Bank of the UAE and seven leading banks namely Commercial Bank International (CBI), Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Fujairah (NBF), and RAKBANK..

Dr. Sabri Al Azazi, Chief Operating Officer at the Central Bank of the UAE, said: “The Central Bank promotes financial and monetary stability, efficiency and resilience in the financial system. The launch of the UTC Digital Trade Platform is one of the key steps towards achieving this goal as it will help to minimize the risks of fraud inherent in the existing paper-based system in trade finance. It also reflects the banking sector's commitment to step up the digital transformation process to prepare the UAE to enter into the new digital banking era.“

He added: "The new platform will enhance international collaboration and innovation, and produce fruitful results for the trade finance industry globally.”

Zulqarnain Javaid, CEO, UTC, said: “Today’s announcement is a milestone moment in the financial sector in UAE. Technological advancements are presenting innovative solutions to historic problems and enabling the sector to power forward. The solution is aligned with the UAE government’s vision to bring futuristic technologies like blockchain and will be yet another enabler for economic growth”.

The steering committee commented: “UTC has created a platform to find duplicates and close-matches of trade invoices, from within millions of invoices being handled by UAE banks. By de-risking trade financing it is envisaged that SME’s will have improved access to funding for trade and supply chain related finance.”

The platform is based on blockchain and other disruptive technologies enabling data to be shared in a secure manner. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) read invoices to identify duplications, frauds and dubious transactions within the banking trade finance offering.

The initial phase will focus on addressing the risks of double-financing and invoice fraud before turning to other key areas of trade finance, such as digitalizing bills of lading and e-invoices. UTC is aimed at driving digital transformation of trade in the UAE by enabling banks, enterprises and government authorities to collectively benefit from future technologies.

Etisalat Digital, along with the seven banks, has formed a working group to further develop and extend the solution to other areas of trade. This nationwide platform, which is open for all UAE banks to join, will safeguard banks from potential fraud losses through advanced detection tools, allowing them to extend additional financing to their corporate and SME clients.

The platform has also won the ‘Fintech Partnership of the Year’ award at Fintech Abu Dhabi Awards organised by Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Central Bank of the UAE last year.

  • Partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives
  • Order food from the Smiles app to donate to the ‘100 Million Meals’ initiative

Etisalat today announced that its award-winning deals and rewards programme Smiles has partnered with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) to support the global ‘100 Million Meals’ humanitarian campaign during Ramadan.

Smiles customers can help provide ‘100 Million Meals’ to vulnerable communities in the world throughout the holy month in two ways. They can order food on the Smiles app, and Smiles will donate 5 percent of the total order value to the ‘100 Million Meals’ initiative. In addition, Smiles members can order Iftar or suhoor meals on the Smiles app and donate them to the initiative.

Khaled El Khouly, Chief Consumer Officer of Etisalat, said: “We are honoured to partner with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in its ‘100 Million Meals’ humanitarian campaign. Having launched the food order and delivery service on the Smiles app earlier this year, it just made perfect sense for us at Etisalat to offer people in need of a meal or food parcel, especially those families and communities affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our contribution via the Smiles app is our simple way to expand our support for the community this Ramadan, the month of giving.”

The ‘100 Million Meals’ follows the highly successful ‘10 Million Meals’, the nation's biggest community campaign launched in 2020 under the umbrella of the MBRGI in collaboration with Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19. The campaign enables corporates, entities, humanitarian and charitable organisations, businessmen, philanthropists and the public to make financial contributions towards meals and donate food items to support vulnerable individuals and families.

In February 2021, Smiles launched its food order and delivery service in the UAE, covering more than 3,000 restaurants on the app, across the UAE. With the delivery feature, customers can order food from restaurants around them, earn and redeem Smiles points on their food deliveries, and enjoy unique discount deals on food deliveries exclusive to Smiles. Customers ordering food via the app earn Smiles points on any card payment.

Smiles, a lifestyle engagement programme in the UAE, has more than 2.3 million registered members and is open to all citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services, food delivery services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, travel, services and wellness experience.

Etisalat today announced the launch of an Esports tournament with Manchester City Football Club, targeting the FIFA gaming community across UAE and Egypt during Ramadan.

Esports is the latest development in Etisalat’s long-term partnership with Manchester City as the Official Telecom Partner of the Club.

Etisalat is one of the Official Partners of Manchester City’s global Esports programme, in addition to sponsoring the Club’s esports kit worn by its professional FIFA esports players. The partnership is an opportunity to be a global driver of Esports and connect in new ways with an ever-growing community of gamers in the countries where Etisalat operates.

The online FIFA tournament is a great opportunity to be engaged at home during the holy month of Ramadan, and is targeted at gamers in UAE and Egypt on the PlayStation gaming console. It is organised by Electronic Sports League (ESL), an esports organiser and production company known for producing video game competitions globally. The Grand Finals will be broadcast live on Twitch and YouTube, with cash prizes and two PlayStation 5 consoles being given away to the winners.

Starting from 14th April, interested gamers from UAE and Egypt can register to participate in the qualifying matches set to take place on 7th May for Egypt (http://bit.ly/ManCityEsportsCupEgypt) and 8th May for UAE (http://bit.ly/ManCityEsportsCupUAE) with the finals on 14th and 15th May.

In addition to enjoying success on the pitch, Manchester City are aiming to lead the way in the esports world with Shaun ‘Shellzz’ Springette recently emerging as the ePremier League Champion, qualifying to compete in such tournaments as FIFA Global Series European Playoffs.

Shellzz is joined by Ryan Pessoa as part of Man City’s FIFA esports team representing the Club in major competitions around the world, with Pessoa competing on Xbox and Shellzz on PlayStation. Both players are recognised by the gaming population and regularly engage with fellow gamers through their Twitch and Facebook channels.

  • Postpaid customers can enjoy double data while prepaid customers can avail double data and voice at no extra cost when they subscribe to Ramadan special packs
  • Amazing discounts of up to 75% on devices, TVs and accessories to treat yourself or gift your loved ones

Etisalat today announced the launch of ‘Closer Together with Ramadan offers’, providing special bundles for its postpaid and prepaid customers so they can enjoy twice as much data and voice allowances at no extra cost.

Taking it to the next level, Etisalat is also offering up to a whopping 75 percent discount on a wide range of devices, TVs and accessories this Ramadan until Eid Al Fitr from 13th April to 17th May across Etisalat retail stores, via www.etisalat.ae, or My Etisalat app. Customers can enjoy good deals on the latest smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs and accessories from popular brands to treat themselves or gift their loved ones.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and a special time for family and friends to come together to strengthen their bonds. In keeping with the spirit of the month of giving, we are doubling our customers’ data and voice allowances absolutely free when they subscribe to our Ramadan special bundles, so they can spread joy, share Ramadan moments as and when they happen, and strengthen social relationships throughout the holy month.

“Etisalat is delighted to also offer generous discounts on the latest devices, TVs and accessories. With everyone looking forward to treating themselves and planning gifts for family and friends ahead of Eid Al Fitr, this is the best time to buy them at a huge discount.”

Starting from 13th April to 13th May, postpaid customers can subscribe to any of the four data packs and double their 1GB up to 10GB data allowances for free. It is a one-time offer with a 30-day benefit period from the subscription date and multiple subscriptions are allowed.

Prepaid customers can subscribe to any of the five combo packs offering free double data and voice allowances, starting from doubling 500MB + 25 flexible minutes. For those looking for bigger data and more minutes, they can opt for the fifth combo pack where their 10GB + 250 flexible minutes allowances are doubled at no extra cost. Subscriptions are auto-renewable with a 28-day validity. Multiple subscriptions are allowed and the flexible minutes can be used for local and 65 IDD destinations.

Upon subscribing via Etisalat USSD code *101*77#, SMS, My Etisalat app and www.etisalat.ae, customers will receive double data and voice automatically.

To find out more about Etisalat’s special Ramadan postpaid and prepaid bundles as well as devices promotion, please visit www.etisalat.ae.

Etisalat announced the successful participation of Hatem Dowidar, CEO at Etisalat Group, at the Leaders’ Summit 2021 headlining top decision makers from the telecom and ICT industry spanning multiple geographies.

The virtual event gathered global leaders and entities focused on fostering cross sector collaboration as the world embraces new norms in socialisation, conducting business, and adopting digital technologies to benefit from the social and business values created by them.

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group, gave his insights into the increasing relevance of ‘Digital Transformation’ in today’s extraordinary times during a one-on-one session.

“The COVID-19 crisis provides a glimpse into a future world, one in which digital has become central to every interaction, forcing both organisations and individuals further up the adoption curve almost overnight. In this world, digital channels take precedence to build resilient societies, allowing millions of people to continue to work, buy basic necessities, socialise, access medical care, entertainment, and learn, all without leaving their homes. At Etisalat we have taken extraordinary measures to digitally accelerate, become agile and flexible to meet the varying customer requirements across sectors,” said Dowidar.

Bocar A. BA, CEO and Board Member SAMENA Telecommunications Council, UAE said, “I want to thank Eng. Dowidar for shedding light on the tremendous role of telecom operators and their commitment to bringing digital connectivity and benefits to everyone as we master our effort to achieve universal digital access, and tirelessly work that no one is left behind. The Leaders Summit this year was a success with virtual discussions and keynotes focusing on the acceleration of the digital economy gathering leaders and regulators from the telecom industry encouraging them to work collaboratively in the new normal.”

Leaders’ Summit 2021 organised by SAMENA Telecommunications Council is a premier annual congregation of public and private sector leaders from South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond. The event is designed to exchange business, commercial, policy, and regulatory perspectives on rising complexities of the digital space in an open, multi-stakeholder setting and a world-class business ambience.

Etisalat honoured its top performing partners of 2020 at the virtual ‘Partner Awards Event 2021’.

Each year, Etisalat holds an awards ceremony to recognise and reward the company’s partners for their continued support and efforts in taking Etisalat to greater heights.

The event was held virtually this year in line with Covid-19 protocols and safety standards. A total of 45 partners were awarded from different segments mainly retailers, franchisees and distributors.

Omer Rashid, Senior Vice President, Sales Consumer, Etisalat, said: “Despite the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Etisalat had a very successful 2020. Our consumer sales partners played a very important role in these achievements. The ‘Partner Awards Event 2021’ reaffirms our commitment to building strong relationships with our partners in keeping with our slogan ‘Together Matters’.”

Mohamed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Distribution and Customer Registration, Etisalat, for his part, said: “We at Etisalat use this event as a platform to recognise as well as engage and motivate our partners and frontline staff. As we go from strength to strength, we look forward to working closely together, receiving feedback to maximise sales opportunities and hurdling challenges effectively so we can make 2021 yet another successful year.”

Etisalat’s partners expressed their appreciation for the awards and declared their continuous support for the event, which serves as a cornerstone of their success. These entities take pride in partnering with Etisalat, one of the world’s leading telecom groups in emerging markets, the fastest mobile network globally by Ookla, and the strongest brand across all categories in Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

Held since 2016, this annual event seeks to recognise the top performing partners to drive passion, motivate and create a competitive environment.

  • Easily make payments using eWallet at Al-Futtaim brand stores and webstore
  • Enjoy an array of benefits from quick checkouts to a secure and contactless payment facility

Digital Financial Services, a joint venture of Etisalat and Dubai Islamic Bank, today announced its partnership with Al-Futtaim to enable secure and contactless payment options for eWallet customers across their brand network.

With this agreement, eWallet customers can now make purchases at selected Al-Futtaim brand stores across the UAE including leading brands such as Al Futtaim Watches and Jewelry, Watsons, IKEA, Marks & Spencer, ACE Hardware and Toys R Us among others. eWallet will enable customers to enjoy an array of benefits from quick checkouts to a secure and contactless payment facility. Regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, eWallet is a revolutionary digital payment service aimed at empowering the UAE residents with safe, convenient and flexible payment solutions through an easy-to-use eWallet mobile app.

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, eWallet subscribers can conduct digital payments without a bank account, credit or debit card. Customers only require a valid Emirates ID and a UAE mobile number to open an eWallet account. Once registered, users can instantly top up their wallet balance and start sending and receiving money within the UAE as well as internationally amongst 200 countries and territories simply through their mobile phones. Further services include transfer to own or third-party bank accounts, direct merchant payments, bill payments, and mobile recharges, amongst others.

Ahmed Al Awadi, Chairman of Digital Payment Services at Etisalat, said: “Contactless payments have emerged as an integral solution for all businesses enabling them to drive their business forward along with ensuring safety to combat the current pandemic. eWallet has given all consumers and businesses a safe and convenient channel interacting with fewer surfaces providing an optimal and seamless experience.

“Today’s announcement reiterates our commitment in unlocking the value in mobile wallets for all customers and sharply moving forward to making eWallet the go-to payment source across all channels.”

Tansel Kilicarslan, Chief Transformation Officer at Al-Futtaim, noted: “Al-Futtaim’s ability to adapt and meet changing customer demands is a core strength, so expanding our contactless payment options during these times is an important development.”

Paul Carey, EVP, Cards & Payments at Al-Futtaim, commented: “As the digital payments landscape is rapidly changing in the UAE, our focus is to ensure our customers can pay with the latest payment solutions in a secure and seamless manner. Our partnership with eWallet will enable us to broaden our contactless payment options, so important at this time to safeguard our customers and staff when checking out.”

For more details, please visit www.eWallet.ae.

March 2021

  • Launch in partnership with Ministry of Community Development coincides with World Autism Acceptance Day
  • ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ extension to enhance the browsing experience of autistic people
  • Initiative is in line with Etisalat’s purpose of bringing people together & its commitment to breaking barriers

Etisalat, in partnership with the Ministry of Community Development, today announced the launch of a first of its kind web extension aimed at simplifying the World Wide Web and making it autistic-friendly.

The launch was made earlier today in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, and Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman, Director of People of Determination Welfare and Rehabilitation Department at the Ministry of Community Development, to commemorate World Autism Acceptance Day, which falls on 2nd April.

The day aims to put a spotlight on some of the hurdles that autistic people face every day and celebrates the unique way autistic people view the world. The World Health Organisation estimates current global prevalence to range between 1 in 100 and 1 in 132 people.

A panel comprising autism specialists graced today’s virtual press conference, namely Dr. Sharifa Yateem, the first Emirati behaviour analyst certified by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board and an autism expert; Amal Sabry, Founder and Managing Director at Emirates Autism Centre; and Dr. Rawhi Abdat, a researcher and psychologist at the Ministry of Community Development.

Etisalat tapped the expertise of Brussels-based IT company Bliss to come up with a web extension aimed at empowering autistic people and personalising their browsing experience. This extension was developed in collaboration with autistic people based in the UAE and guided by global evidence-based research findings on autistic-friendly designs.

On April 2nd, users can log on to the website and click ‘on’ to download and activate the ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ web extension. From April 3rd onwards, the web extension will remain on the Google extension page. Using the drop-down menu on Google, users can click on ‘More Tools’ and ‘Extension’. They can click on the ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ green icon, which has a description of the extension. Once activated, websites will display autistic-friendly settings such as neutral colours like dark grey or medium grey, simplified fonts, simplified menus, simplified layouts, fewer images, ad blockers, and carousel freezing to facilitate reduced sensory overload.

With Etisalat’s groundbreaking solution, autistic people worldwide can now access www.etisalat.ae and activate for free the ‘Etisalat Wider Web’ extension, which instantly transforms a standard web page into an autistic-friendly one.

The initiative is in line with Etisalat’s purpose of bringing people together as well as its commitment to inclusion and breaking barriers.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is honoured to launch the world’s first web extension dedicated to empowering autistic people because we believe the world is a better place when people come together, and is a testimony to our strong commitment to inclusion, accessibility and breaking barriers. This stems from our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to support and empower People of Determination through a plethora of initiatives and services, and is aligned with our strategy of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies.”

Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman, Director of People of Determination Welfare and Rehabilitation Department at the Ministry of Community Development, said: “We live in a world where communication, digital content and information technology is constantly expanding. Covid-19 has increased this need, where autistic people, like others, become dependent on screens due to distance learning, remote work and the desire for virtual communication with others.

“The launch of this interactive web extension reflects this need to help autistic people who are browsing websites and improving their experiences in the Internet. This is in line with the accessibility axis in the national policy to empower people of determination, which includes easy access to informative content just like other individuals. The Ministry of Community Development is committed to collaborate with all initiative as well as support and empower priority groups especially when it comes to people of determination in a way that guarantees a better quality of life for all members of society.”

Dr. Shereen Sharaan, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology who is affiliated with The University of Edinburgh and Emirates Autism Centre, said: “Autism affects how you perceive and interact with the world, and there are differences in how an autistic person’s brain receives, processes, manages, and translates information into behaviour.

“A common phenomenon that autistic people can experience is sensory overload, where the brain receives more information than it can handle. This can result in confusion, anxiety, meltdowns, and/or even physical pain in autistic people. Unfortunately, sensory overload can be an all-too-common experience for autistic people, especially when spending time online, which is something most people need to do on a daily basis for work, education, leisure, and communication.”

  • Chief Technology Officer highlights the transforming communications landscape
  • Etisalat speakers highlight unlocking new 5G possibilities in the region

Etisalat today announced its successful participation at the 5G MENA 2021 Digital Symposium headlining eminent speakers sharing insights on the transforming communication landscape and immense opportunities in the 5G landscape.

The digital symposium took place virtually bringing together telecom representatives, operators, manufacturers and regulators in an effort to address all the stakeholders of the 5G ecosystem.

Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat Group gave a keynote address on transforming communications in the MENA region. The main discussion points focused on the changing role of a telco in becoming an enabler of digital transformation.

“Telcos have played a critical role in accelerating growth in the country and across sectors, bringing an advanced network and ground breaking advanced connectivity solutions. During the pandemic and in the new normal the pressing need for vital digital infrastructure and connectivity has increased the necessity to build resilient societies allowing millions of people to work and study from home. With the support of the government and regulators it’s possible to create an ecosystem where telco innovation can be unleashed.”

The other speakers from Etisalat Group included Hani Mohammad Yassin, Senior Director, Technology Strategy; Ayman Magdy Abousenna, Director, 5G networks & Digital Enablers Planning; and Fadi Shannah, Senior Director, Enterprise Sales.

Yassin took part in a panel discussion focusing on ‘Consumer 5G: from devices to FWA and beyond’ while Abousenna headlined a debate on ‘5G and edge unlocking new possibilities in MENA’. Shannah focused on MNO, vertical market and regulatory perspective on the 5G enterprise uptake and timelines in his session.

Etisalat’s successful 5G projects such as Expo 2020, Dubai Police, DMCC smart district services and remote autonomous operation in ports and oil fields were also discussed in detail.

  • Appointed as official telecom partner to provide best-in-class mobile and digital solutions
  • Etihad’s business customers and Hello Business Hub start-up community to enjoy special benefits

Etisalat announced today that it is Etihad Airways’ official telecom partner, providing the best-in-class mobile and digital solutions for the evolving business requirements of the small and medium business (SMB) and startup community, and enabling them through their digital transformation journey.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fatma Al Mehairi, Vice President of UAE Sales at Etihad Airways, in a ceremony attended by senior officials from both companies.

Under the terms of the partnership, both entities will work on providing customised value propositions for Etisalat and Etihad business customers. Etisalat will provide all its business customers and Hello Business Hub start up community with ‘value for money’ exclusive Etihad travel offers, while Etisalat will provide Etihad business customers access to special mobile and digital offerings.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “The SMB sector plays a key role in the UAE economy in driving innovation, job creation and disruptive business models. Etisalat has been working closely with start-ups and the SMB community to cater to their requirements and help them grow their business by ensuring a successful digital journey.

“This partnership with Etihad is integral to our successful journey for enabling best-in-class solutions and services with industry leaders. We look forward to collaborating with the UAE’s national airline to provide a comprehensive array of telecom and digital products and services that bring tremendous value to each other’s customers.”

Fatma Al Mehairi, Vice President UAE sales, Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad and Etisalat will cooperate to design special products, offers, and activities that support SMB’s to start and grow their business with the latest innovative and convenient solutions. The airline is always exploring new ventures to enhance the customer experience and partnering with a major player in the UAE economy like Etisalat will bring incremental value to both Etihad and Etisalat customers.”

Both parties will collaborate to enrich Etisalat’s business mobile plans with Etihad’s BusinessConnect, a smart loyalty programme for small to medium sized enterprises. Etisalat and Etihad will also look to collaborate on alternative digital channels that mutually enable them to sell their products and services on each other’s websites. For instance, Etisalat will have digital presence on Etihad Airways’ BusinessConnect website, enabling the airline’s customers to purchase telco products from Etisalat, and vice versa.

  • AGM approves 49% ownership of non-UAE nationals

At Etisalat’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders have backed the board’s recommendation to pay full-year 2020 dividends of 80 fils per share, approved the cancellation of the share buyback program and instead agreed to a one-time special dividend of 40 fils per share, bringing the total dividend per share for 2020 to AED 1.20. The AGM backed the board’s recommendation to increase the non-UAE nationals share ownership limit to 49 percent.

The AGM also elected four board members to fill the seats of Etisalat Group’s Board of Directors that are not reserved for the Government Shareholder. The elected members are:

  • Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Sultan Al Dhahiri
  • Mr. Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal
  • Mr. Khalid Abdulwahid Hassan Alrustamani
  • Mr. Otaiba Khalaf Ahmed Al Otaiba

Etisalat Group also announced that the Emirates Investment Authority, as the government shareholder in the company, has appointed its representatives in the Etisalat board as the following:

  • H.E. Jassem Mohamed Alzaabi, Chairman
  • Mr. Essa Abdulfattah Kazim Al Mulla
  • Mr. Hesham Abdulla Qassim Al Qassim
  • Ms. Mariam Saeed Ahmed Ghobash
  • Mr. Saleh Abdulla Ahmed Al Abdooli
  • Mr. Mansoor Ibrahim Ahmed Almansoori
  • Mr. Michel Combes

The new board of directors will begin their duties with the start of the new term of the board scheduled to begin on 21 March 2021.

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman, Etisalat Group said: “I am pleased to announce that our shareholders approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors to proceed with a record high full year dividend payout. Another historical milestone was the approval of 49 percent ownership limit of non-UAE nationals that will help diversify the investor base and add further value to our current shareholders as well as bring liquidity and depth in Etisalat’s financial capabilities.

Thanks to the Group’s talented workforce and investment acumen, Etisalat was able to deliver on its vision in the current macro-economic climate. The unprecedented economic headwinds caused by COVID-19 have certainly demanded agility across our operations and we have demonstrated capabilities to quickly adapt to the present market conditions. Etisalat continued its focus on enhancing the core business and exploring new growth opportunities, while being well geared for the future with its digital capabilities and solutions. Etisalat’s dedication to continue to build a robust, agile and transformative business enabled us to meet customer demands for quality services during the lockdown, while generating shareholder value and returns.

I would like to express my gratitude to the visionary UAE leadership for their continuous support, the loyalty of our customers and the trust of our shareholders. I also want to extend my appreciation to Etisalat’s management team for their contribution to the company’s success and commitment during a challenging year while working towards achieving our vision and strategic goals.”

Eng. Hatem Dowidar CEO, Etisalat Group said: “In 2020 we have delivered robust financial performance with consolidated revenues reaching AED 51.7 billion while consolidated net profit after federal royalty amounted to AED 9.0 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to the previous year. Despite the challenges, a strong execution, an agile and resilient business model led to EBITDA reaching AED 26.4 billion with a growth rate of 0.3 percent and a margin of 51.1 percent.

During these challenging times, we advanced our efforts to digitally transform our business both internally within the company and externally to all our customers, this led to increasing our subscriber base by 3.6 percent reaching a total of 154 million subscribers. This growth is central to our belief that the network and infrastructure has played a key role in empowering millions of customers during the pandemic. In the new normal, telecoms and digital technologies have become the anchor of our lives - be it remote working or virtual classrooms, our networks ensured that the world did not come to a standstill. Innovations in telecom and digital technologies have altered the fabric of life, becoming a necessity and a human right in a digitally connected world.

2020 has been a defining year for Etisalat with intensive transformation and agile delivery of services, ensuring a strong performance while making Etisalat well positioned for the future. An outstanding outcome considering the stagnant global economy and challenges caused by the pandemic across our footprint. We witnessed a step change in customers’ adoption of digital solutions and affirmed our technological leadership in this rapidly evolving ecosystem, ensuring value creation for our customers and shareholders.

Thanks to the sheer determination of our teams, Etisalat delivered on the ambitions and aspirations of its customers, continued to support the communities it serves and added value to the markets in which it operates. I would like to extend my appreciation to the UAE leadership for their enduring support and inspiration by driving us to always aim higher to widen our horizon. Moreover, I am thankful to our loyal customers and shareholders who motivate us to innovate and push boundaries, and to our employees who are the cornerstone of our success.”

  • ESAAD cardholders to enjoy up to 70% discount at children’s entertainment centres and retail stores in the UAE
  • Initiative is in line with Etisalat’s CSR pillar of community involvement and engagement

ESAAD, which celebrated its third anniversary on March 13, is a loyalty programme offering exclusive privileges, discounts and promotions to members of the Dubai Police and employees at UAE government entities who are cardholders. The programme aims to enhance the quality of life and engagement for employees of Dubai Police and their families, and other government departments.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is honoured to have the privilege of partnering with ESAAD in this great initiative to celebrate Emirati Children’s Day. This collaboration stems from Etisalat’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) pillar of community involvement and engagement. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate ESAAD on its third anniversary and look forward to more joint initiatives in the future.”

Mona Al Ameri, Head of the ESAAD committee, said: “This collaboration with Etisalat, a strategic partner of Dubai Police, reflects a mutual endeavour to serve all segments of society and aims to achieve the values of happiness in our society. We expect that this collaboration will lead to more joint initiatives at various national events and occasions. As 15th of March marks Emirati Children's Day - an occasion full of happiness and joy for children - we are proud to offer them with up to 70% discount at children’s entertainment centres and retail stores in the UAE in line with our third anniversary on 13th of March.”

For a complete list of ESAAD discounts and offers to mark Emirati Children’s Day, please visit esaad.dubaipolice.gov.ae.

February 2021

Etisalat and stc Named MEA’s Strongest & Most Valuable Telecoms Brands

  • stc is region’s most valuable telecoms brand, brand value up 14% to US$9.2 billion and achieves AAA- brand strength rating for first time
  • Etisalat is MEA’s strongest telecoms brand, and 4th strongest globally. Etisalat Group's portfolio of brands is most valuable telecom brand portfolio in MEA, breaking $11bn this year.
  • Verizon widens lead ahead of AT&T as world’s most valuable telecoms brand, brand value up 8% to US$68.9 billion
  • Deutsche Telecom climbs up to 3rd in Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 ranking, following successful T-Mobile and Sprint merger in US
  • Jio is shining star as sector’s strongest and fastest growing, Brand Strength Index (BSI) score 91.7 out of 100
  • China Mobile retains position as Asia’s most valuable telecoms brand despite recording 23% brand value loss

View the full Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 report here

MEA brands continue to innovate

Etisalat and stc remain the frontrunners across the MEA region, claiming the title of the MEA’s strongest and most valuable telecoms brands, respectively.

stc is the region’s most valuable brand, its brand value up an impressive 14% to US$9.2 billion, simultaneously jumping 5 positions to 13th and becoming a AAA- brand. stc has recently doubled the capacity of its network, never compromising on customer service – something the brand prides itself on. stc is playing a crucial part in KSA’s Vision 2030 – a strategic framework to diversity the economy away from oil – through establishing a digital hub for the whole region, to accommodate future growth in the IT sector.

David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance commented:
“stc’s brand has evolved and grown following its successful masterbrand refresh and extension into Kuwait and Bahrain at the beginning of last year. The company continues to execute its DARE strategy successfully and has strengthened its positioning as a company that enables digital life. Its commitment to digital transformation has been shown with stc pay, recognised as the first tech unicorn in Saudi Arabia.”

Brand Finance evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer perceptions, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. Etisalat has been crowned the MEA’s strongest telecoms brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 87.4 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating – the only brand in the region to achieve this rating.

Thanks to its strategy over the last few years and its recent achievement of becoming the fastest network on the planet, the brand was in a position to respond immediately to the 'new normal' of the pandemic, providing solutions and flexibility in a way that connected emotionally with consumers. Etisalat Group, the most valuable telecoms portfolio in the region which has recently broken the US$11 billion mark, is turning its sights on transforming into a truly global player.

David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance commented:
“When COVID struck in 2020, Etisalat led from the front ensuring business continuity, robust e-governance, enablement of smart cities and remote learning, to help drive the digital future of the UAE. Staying relevant and enabling the nation with the fastest network on the planet, Etisalat has earned its place as the region’s Strongest Brand, ready deliver on its ethos of Together Matters as the UAE welcomes the world at Expo 2021.”

Out of the seven Middle Eastern brands Etisalat, Mobily, Ooredoo and stc have climbed the ranks this year. Mobily is the fastest growing telco brand in the region with a 17% brand value growth, jumping 10 places in the ranking to 75th position. Mobily (brand value US$1.3 billion), has strengthened its business and brand over the last three years by positioning the brand as the everyday hero. It has attained the highest Brand Strength Index score in its history at 75.4 out of 100 (brand strength rating AA+) and is in a strong position to capture the next wave of growth by seizing opportunities in the digital economy.

Telecoms brand guardians

Every year, Brand Finance releases the ranking of the world’s top brand guardians – the Brand Guardianship Index – which includes the top 100 CEOs globally. Brand Finance has researched and evaluated the brand guardianship score of over 200 CEOs this year.

stc’s Nasser Sulaiman Al Nasser topped the list of Brand Guardians from the telecoms sector this year. Al-Nasser announced his resignation in November of 2020, having presided over a successful rebrand and a period of growth for the stc brand.

The two most recently appointed Brand Guardians in the Telecom industry were Etisalat’s Hatem Dowidar, ranking 3rd and Telia’s Allison Kirkby, ranking 6th. Both had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in their first 12 months and have taken the challenge head on.

Verizon retains top spot globally and across region

For the second year in a row Verizon has claimed the title of the world’s most valuable telecoms brand following an 8% increase in brand value to US$68.9 billion. This brand value growth has not only propelled it back into the top 10 most valuable brands globally in the Brand Finance Global 500 2021 ranking, but has meant the brand has continued to widen the lead over second placed AT&T (brand value down 13% to US$51.4 billion). 15 further US brands feature in the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 ranking, with a combined brand value of US$182.8 billion.
Two years since the beginning of Verizon’s business transformation program, Verizon 2.0 - focusing on the transformation of the network, the go-to-market, the brand, and the culture of the business – the brand continues to make leaps and bounds across the industry. The giant is widely recognised to have the best-in-class network and the widest coverage in the US, with the network’s usage surging during the pandemic, handling a staggering 800 million phone calls and 8 billion texts per day. Verizon is making significant strides in its 5G expansion programme, which now spans over 2700 cities and 230 million people.

Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director, Brand Finance commented:
“While 2020 was the year for Verizon to optimise its existing assets, we expect 2021 to be the year where Verizon strengthens its network leadership through acquisitions of a broader spectrum and a wider launch of its 5G and Onefiber. The brand is leveraging its superior brand strength to increase customer differentiation by migrating customers to unlimited plans and increasing stickiness with content and partnerships such as Disney+, Apple and Discovery plus.”

Deutsche Telecom reigns as most valuable

With a brand value of US$51.1 billion, Deutsche Telekom has retained its position as the most valuable telecoms brand in Europe, climbing one spot in the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 ranking to 3rd place. Following an impressive 28% brand value growth, the brand is the fastest growing in the top 10 by far, outperforming the second fastest growing brand, Spectrum, which has increased by 11% to US$21.4 billion.

As the largest telecoms provider by revenue in Europe, Deutsche Telekom has reaped the rewards of its expansion into superfast internet connections and a boost in popularity for its MagentaENIS service package. Last year, the German telecoms brand also completed the T-Mobile and Sprint merger in the United States, which has significantly bolstered its total revenue, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With one successful merger under its belt, the telecoms giant is now turning its sights back to Europe to continue its expansion – an endeavour that will more than likely lead to further success in the coming year.

Jio is shining star as sector’s strongest and fastest growing

Taking the sector by storm as the world’s strongest telecoms brand is Indian telecoms giant, Jio, with a BSI score of 91.7 out of 100 and an elite AAA+ brand strength rating.

Despite only being founded in 2016, Jio has quickly become the largest mobile network operator in India and the third largest mobile network operator in the world, with almost 400 million subscribers. Renowned for its incredibly affordable plans, Jio took India by storm through offering 4G to millions of users for free, simultaneously transforming how Indians consume the internet – known as the ‘Jio effect’.

The dominance of the brand across the nation is evident from the results from Brand Finance’s original market research. Jio scores highest in all metrics – consideration conversion, reputation, recommendation, word of mouth, innovation, customer service and value for money - compared to its telecom competitors in India. The brand has no major weaknesses within the sector, and unlike other telecoms brands globally, Jio has shown that it has broken the mould, and enjoys genuine affection from consumers.

As well as being a standout brand for brand strength, Jio is the fastest-growing brand in the ranking in terms of brand value, bucking the negative trend across the industry, with a 50% increase to US$4.8 billion.

Fellow Indian brand Airtel has also celebrated a strong year, jumping 12 spots in the ranking to 23rd following 36% brand value increase to US$6.1 billion.

View the full Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2021 report here

  • Etisalat Group Reports Consolidated Net Profit of AED 9.0 billion a 3.8% increase year over year

Etisalat Group announced today its consolidated financial statements for the 12 months ending December 31 2020.

2020 Financial Highlights and Key Developments

  • Aggregate subscriber base reached 154 million, representing year over year increase of 3.6%.
  • Consolidated Net Profit reached AED 9.0 billion a 3.8% increase year over year attributed to strong growth in the international operations that outweighed the decline in the UAE operations.
  • Consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.4 billion, representing a year over year increase of 0.3% and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51.1%.
  • Proposed dividend payout of 40 fils per share for the second half of 2020, representing a total dividend payout of 80 fils for the full year.
  • Board proposed cancellation of the share buyback program and instead proposed a one-time special dividend of AED 0.40 per share. As a result, the total ‎dividend per share for the full year 2020 is AED 1.20
  • Credit Ratings by agencies S & P Global and Moodys affirmed Etisalat Group’s high credit rating at AA-/Aa3 with stable outlook.

Community Support during Covid19

Etisalat launched multiple initiatives to support the community during the pandemic including but not limited to:

  • Etisalat provided Free Internet access to families without connectivity at home to facilitate access to distance learning services.
  • More than 10 million Etisalat mobile subscribers enjoyed free browsing to over 800 websites related to education, health and safety.
  • Free access to apps and platforms for distance learning and for government services.
  • Launched enhanced offers for customers to upgrade their home and mobile plans at no extra charge.
  • Etisalat introduced a wide range of device bundles and free access to Etisalat's unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting to help businesses stay connected.
  • Introduced new innovative applications and services to ensure seamless business continuity during work from home period.
  • Etisalat deployed a dedicated task force to ensure business continuity, monitor the performance of basic applications and ensue smooth access to data locally and internationally
  • Establishing command centres equipped with advanced tools to monitor the performance of services provided to government departments, businesses and customers 24/7
  • Allocating extra network resources and services to the health sector
  • Provided connectivity to quarantined and other critical areas in the health sector
  • Conducted Stay-At-Home awareness campaigns across multiple channels.
  • Etisalat rolled out special offers with the support of the Frontline Heroes Office to help frontline professionals nationwide stay connected to family and friends at home and abroad while protecting the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Recognition

  • Etisalat crowned as the ‘Strongest Brand’ in MEA region and ranked the most valuable telecom portfolio brand in MEA for 5th year in a row
  • Etisalat recognised as the fastest mobile network in the world by Ookla
  • Etisalat awarded ‘Best Regional Wholesale Carrier’ for the 12th year
  • Etisalat recognised by Frost & Sullivan as ‘UAE Data Centre Services Industry Company of the year’

Key Developments

  • Etisalat completed the acquisition of Help AG, a privately held regional company specialising in the delivery of cyber security solutions and services
  • Digital Financial Services, a joint venture of Etisalat and Noor Bank, partnered with MoneyGram to offer international remittance services in the UAE
  • Etisalat achieves the world’s fastest 5G download speed of 9.1 Gigabits per second
  • Etisalat partnered with Ericsson to connect to its charging system and 5G Business Support Systems (BSS) supporting new use cases including IoT, network slicing, AR and VR
  • Etisalat successfully launched open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN), becoming the first operator in MENA to achieve this technological feat
  • Etisalat unveiled the 5G-enabled smart patrol for Dubai Police, a first in the Middle East and North Africa region
  • Etisalat subscribers can now access 5G fixed networks for the first time from their homes in UAE
  • Etisalat in partnership with Ministry of Interior signs an MoU with Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme to provide villas with the smart fire alarm solution ‘Hassantuk’
  • Etisalat teams up with BMW Group Middle East to power connected drive services in UAE
  • Etisalat launched ‘Business Edge’, a new comprehensive platform offering a wide range of services and solutions that cater to Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) collaborated with Etisalat to deploy innovative technologies for an advanced telecom infrastructure, high speed internet and superior mobile connectivity
  • Etisalat partnered with Microsoft to enhance its public cloud infused with automation and AI
  • Etisalat joined Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect Service Delivery Programme to offer fast, private, and secure connectivity for accessing AWS cloud services
  • Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) partnered to deploy a cloud-based IoT Smart Building solution, providing FAB ‘anytime anywhere’ access and ease of operations across its entire portfolio
  • Etisalat expands ‘SmartHub’ presence with a Tier 3 data centre facility at two new locations in UAE
  • Etisalat partnered with Alef Education, to enable both entities to collaborate on a series of digital initiatives to empower the region’s education sector.
  • Etisalat partnered with Smartworld to bring ‘Shahada’, a tamper proof digital certificate platform for all educational institutions in the region.
  • Etisalat loyalty programme ‘Smiles’ launched UAE’s first ever blockchain-powered Rewards Exchange
  • Etisalat partnered with Department of Health, the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi to launch the ‘Digital Healthcare’ Centre
  • Etisalat launched first-of-it-kind telehealth service in the private sector as a continuation of its mission to provide clinical excellence to patients in need
  • Etisalat partnered with Vectramind, a global healthcare and communications technology firm to offer ‘Firstpass’ an innovative healthcare platform to its customers in the region.

Chairman’s Statement:

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Etisalat Group, said: “As we begin our journey into a new digitally empowered future, 2020 was a true testimony to Etisalat Group’s resilience and agility.

“Despite the unprecedented global impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, Etisalat demonstrated robust financial performance, driven by our bold vision to constantly innovate while ensuring that communities we serve remain connected, informed and productive. Across our footprint, we stood for our communities and took immediate steps to protect our teams and customers, support critical verticals, and ensure the uninterrupted delivery of quality services. We engaged heavily with governments and authorities while supporting the community with innovative offerings and free initiatives that assisted students, organisations, and societies as a whole. During the year, revenue and net profit growth were witnessed in our international markets while the domestic market experienced a decline in both due to the pandemic and market maturity.

The telecom industry has proven to be the backbone of the new-norm and a tool of empowerment. We take pride in our response that stood out amongst global peers across our footprint. Etisalat demonstrated strong commitment, swift reactions, and readiness as a result of years of adept planning of business continuity and crisis management scenarios. We have also been in leading positions across several industry rankings. Years of investments in infrastructure and digital capabilities resulted in positioning Etisalat on global standings in ICT readiness and adoption, broadband subscriptions, fiber penetration and mobile coverage.

Etisalat Group is well positioned for the future and we are confident in our ability to maintain our exceptional financial performance. In addition to sustaining our total dividend of AED 0.80 per share, we are pleased to be proposing a special one-time dividend of AED 0.40, bringing the total dividends for the year to AED 1.20 per share representing a dividend payout ratio of 115% and a high dividend yield for year 2020. This is a testament to our commitment of enhancing shareholder value.

I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to the UAE leadership, an inspiration and motivation behind every success in our journey. Thanks to our customers for allowing us to be part of their lives, our stakeholders for their continuous trust and Etisalat employees and management team for their efforts and unwavering commitment towards realising our vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies.”

GCEO’s Statement:

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat Group, said: “Our journey in 2020 was transformational with an unprecedented pandemic that reshaped humanity, created a new ‘irreversible’ normal, shattered the digital adoption divide, and accelerated the future. For Etisalat Group, it was a year of resilience, agility, social responsibility, and in contrast to many businesses, great results. A moment of truth that obliged us to reflect and transform at group level to affirm our position as a leading world-class telco.

It was indeed a challenging year, however across our operations we remained committed and took necessary steps to support our customers and the communities we serve. Our prime focus was to ensure business continuity and the sustainability of high quality services in a manner that was safe for our employees and customers. This was all possible due to the relentless effort towards realising our vision while investing for growth, sustaining a world-class telecom infrastructure, retaining differentiated assets, platforms, and capabilities integral to building a network for a better future across our operations. As a result we have achieved many historical milestones, from being recognised as the fastest mobile network in the world, to being crowned the strongest brand in Middle East and Africa and the most valuable telecom portfolio brand for a fifth year in a row.

In a challenging environment, we performed effectively and achieved strong financial and operational results with slightly lower revenue. Group consolidated revenue decreased by 0.9% while EBITDA rose by 0.3%, resulting in a healthy EBITDA margin of 51.1% The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on UAE’s performance that resulted in revenue and EBITDA decline. This was mostly compensated by growth in revenue and EBITDA of international operations. Consequently, consolidated group net profit grew by 3.8% reaching AED 9.0 billion.

Moving forward, I am confident that we will remain in a strong position compared to our global peers and other industries by maintaining our momentum and continuing our efforts to address several industry-wide challenges, focusing on operational areas of improvement and creating group synergies to capture further value.

We are looking beyond business as usual achievements and aiming to accelerate several key strategic priorities. We are certain that our “own transformation” is a necessity considering the enormous changes in industry ecosystem. In 2020 we have launched a Group-wide transformation program to address the challenges and seize the opportunities while shaping the future for Etisalat Group as a leading world-class telco.

The digital services and international portfolio remain the major drivers for future growth. There is considerable untapped potential and opportunities in the areas of cloud, IoT, and cyber security, which are expected to fuel future digital growth and rebalance telecom revenues. We will remain focused on improving operational excellence across our footprint, rationalise our portfolio and enrich it with assets that maximise the return on investment for our shareholders and added value for our customers. Moreover, 5G deployment will continue and unlock new business opportunities.

Etisalat is thankful to the visionary leaders of the UAE for their continuous support of the telecom sector and we owe our customers and shareholders immense appreciation for their trust and support. Thanks to our dedicated teams for going far and beyond in serving our customers, sustaining premium services in times of uncertainty and in times of prosperity.

Subscribers

In the UAE, the subscriber base reached to 12.2 million subscribers, while Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers reached 154 million subscribers representing a year on year increase of 3.6%.

Revenue and Net Profit

Twelve month consolidated revenues reached AED 51.7 billion, while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty for the twelve month amounted to AED 9.0 billion an increase of 3.8% compared to last year.

EBITDA

Consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.4 billion an increase of 0.3% compared to prior year, and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51.1%.

  • Etisalat senior leaders participate in Expo Talks Travel & Connectivity Week

Technology elevates travel with connectivity enabling a seamless and immersive digital experience in the new norm facilitating virtual travel to bridge the gap between both physical and digital worlds, said Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group.

Eng. Dowidar was the keynote speaker at the ‘Expo Talks Travel & Connectivity Week’, a pre-Expo programme that explored connectivity in key sectors, including mobility, transport and logistics, governance, education and travel while championing digital connectivity as a human right for all.

He also stressed on the importance of virtual technologies and its implementation in physical events like the recently held GITEX Technology week in Dubai, where virtual visitors could witness and experience the entire show, presentations and showcases without travelling to the event.

“This was all made possible due to the advanced infrastructure in the country leading in every aspect of the network from the highest fiber penetration to the home globally to being the first operator to launch 3G, 4G and 5G networks in the region. The country is also home to the fastest mobile network in the world a result of years of building one of the most advanced network in the region and globally.”

The other senior leaders that headlined panel discussions at the event were Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat Group and Francisco Salcedo, Senior Vice President, Etisalat Digital.

Dr Bin Ali participated in a session titled ‘Leave no one behind’ that focused on bridging the digital divide for learning with global and national level participants from UAE Prime Minister’s Office, Dubai Cares, UNICEF and UNESCO. The session focused on the role of advanced connectivity for education during the pandemic. Through the discussion, they all explored how to make the global education system stronger and more resilient to future disruptions through digital transformation.

Salcedo joined the ‘Thrive together series’, a session that had opening remarks from H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia and participants from organisations such as Smart Africa, UAE TRA, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expo 2020. The session focused on the need to foster a more resilient and robust global economy, and enable economic growth and partnerships. The pandemic has resulted in the shutdown of our physical world, bringing to the forefront the importance of the contactless provision of services and goods, requiring not only technology, but a digital friendly business and regulatory environment and a government prepared to deliver services to its citizens.

The ‘Expo Talks Travel & Connectivity Week’ are part of the pre-events planned providing a glimpse of how Expo will bring to life the theme of travel and connectivity across the six months that it will open to the world, the talks convened experts from around the world, alongside Expo 2020’s international participants and official partners.

Etisalat is the official telecom and digital services partner for Expo 2020 aiming to provide an experience of a lifetime with the fastest, smartest and most connected sites on earth. Through Etisalat’s partnership, Expo 2020 Dubai became the first major 5G commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. This will be the first world expo to witness the 5G revolution.

  • Order food with Smiles, earn and redeem points on all food deliveries plus enjoy amazing discounts

Etisalat today announced the launch of Smiles’ food order and delivery service in the UAE as part of its continuous efforts to constantly innovate and enhance customer experience.

More than 2,500 restaurants are currently delivering via the Smiles app. With the new delivery feature, customers can now order food from restaurants around them and also earn and redeem Smiles points on their food deliveries as well as enjoy unique discount deals on food deliveries exclusive to Smiles. Customers ordering via the app can earn one Smiles point for every AED1 on card payments. This development not only adds to the various avenues of engagement with the Smiles app, but also enhances the possibility of earning and redeeming Smiles points for a service that is frequently used on a recurring basis.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “Smiles is well positioned to expand its presence in the food delivery market and create additional value to its customers and partners. Today dining is the most popular category on the Smiles platform, with our customers enjoying special offers with Smiles while dining out. We listened to the voice of our customers and have now extended the convenience of food ordering via Smiles from the comfort of their own homes.”

Smiles, one of the largest lifestyle engagement programmes in the UAE, has more than 2.3 million registered members and is open to all citizens, residents and visitors of the UAE. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, travel, services and wellness experience.

A surprise reunion of five UAE residents with their loved ones tugged at heartstrings and brought happy tears, courtesy of Etisalat.

At the heart of Etisalat’s brand act ‘Bringing your loved ones to you’ is the joy and family togetherness amidst these unprecedented times. Inspired by its core belief ‘Together Matters’, Etisalat made their dreams come true after years of separation further exacerbated by the pandemic.

It all began with a competition on Facebook back in November 2020, when Etisalat asked people whom they miss the most and tag them for a chance to win the latest 5G smartphone for a loved one.

Five lucky winners were invited to the studio where they would video call their loved ones. Little did they know Etisalat took it a step further by flying their loved ones to the UAE two days before the shoot.

Etisalat not only helped connect them via a video call but also hatched a surprise reunion at the studio, a week-long hotel stay, and a fun and thrill-filled day out at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Covid-19 precautions and safety standards were observed the entire time.

At a time when being reunited with loved ones is needed the most, Etisalat showed how much ‘together really matters’.

Marie Cristina Domingo, 46, a Filipina office administrator in Dubai, and her husband Anthony tagged their 21-year-old daughter Maria Erin, a university student in Laguna whom they had not seen for more than two years. They had no plans of flying home anytime soon due to the COVID-19 situation but were looking forward to spending their first holiday with their granddaughter Amari.

“We are very happy with Etisalat and would like to congratulate all the winners,” said Maria Cristina. “This wouldn’t have been possible without Etisalat of course,” Anthony chimed in.

Krishna Shrestha, 35, a sales attendant at a petrol station in Ajman, joined Etisalat’s competition in the hope of winning a smartphone for his wife and making their wedding anniversary extra special. Unknown to him, Rina and her brother Aakash arrived at Dubai airport from Nepal two days prior to the surprise reunion. Krishna was in complete disbelief when he saw his wife Rina emerge from a sliding panel following a short video call in the studio. “I’ve not seen her for almost one and a half years,” he said. “I’m so happy.”

Henna Bhojwani, 47, a homemaker in Dubai, tagged her brother Rajesh Lalwani, a 43-year-old overseas recruitment consultant in India when she entered the competition. “It’s all because of you that I won this prize,” said Rajesh, who flew in from Delhi along with his wife Sneha.

“Oh my God!” Henna shrieked in surprise as the siblings embraced with hugs and tears after more than a year and a half apart. “For me, everything has been so overwhelming, so emotional, I just don’t know how to thank Etisalat,” she said.

Hala Hassan, a 24-year-old homemaker in Abu Dhabi, nominated her sister Reham to win the smartphone. To her surprise, Etisalat had flown in Reham, a 31-year-old teacher in Egypt, along with their 65-year-old mother Sameeha Salem Ali. “I hadn’t seen my mother and sister for over a year,” Hala said. It was an intensely emotional and heartwarming family reunion after such a long time of them being apart, especially since Reham got married during that time and Hala couldn’t attend her wedding in these difficult times.

Carmela dela Cruz, a 27-year-old nanny in Sharjah, cannot wait to be reunited with her family in the Philippines. She had won a smartphone for her 54-year-old father Crisanto who was unable to fly to Dubai. Because ‘Together Matters’, Etisalat took it up a notch by surprising Carmela with an airline ticket so she could hand over the phone to her father in May.

“Etisalat, thank you so much for everything,” Carmela said, trying to smile through her tears after a video call with her parents and cousin. “This is so big. My family will be happy because I’m going home. I can’t imagine this is happening to me now. I’m so excited because I had not seen my family for almost two years.”

  • Multi-layered approach of cyber defence is in place to protect Dubai government entities
  • Partnership proactively safeguards ongoing citywide smart transformation initiatives

Etisalat has partnered with Smart Dubai to provide a comprehensive suite of multi-layered cyber security services and skilled expertise that will further strengthen Dubai government entities’ resilience to cyber attacks. The services will be offered by Help AG, the cyber security arm of Etisalat Digital.

Smart Dubai is the government department tasked with spearheading Dubai’s digital transformation and leading the efforts to build a world-leading smart city in the emirate, with cybersecurity being a key part of this mandate. A preferred partner of major enterprises and government entities, Help AG offers strategic consultancy, analysis, system integration, project implementation, governance and operations of tailored security solutions and services.

Etisalat will leverage the extensive experience and real-time visibility into the regional threat landscape to deliver robust round-the-clock protection for Smart Dubai’s critical digital assets. A unique advantage for Smart Dubai, considering the nature of its mandate, is that Etisalat’s services are in full compliance with the UAE government’s regulatory frameworks.

As Dubai government agencies communicate through the Government Information Network, managed by Smart Dubai, this partnership will serve to proactively safeguard ongoing citywide smart transformation initiatives.

A multi-layered approach of cyber defence is in place to provide protection, support the UAE Vision 2021 and its digital transformation objectives, and help reinforce the UAE’s National Cyber Security Strategy and the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy.

Commenting on the partnership, Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President/Government Sales at Etisalat said: “Etisalat is proud to work with one of the most innovative government entities in the UAE and the world. Smart Dubai is a partner with a great set of expectations and requirements, which drives us to optimise our service offerings to the benefit of the greater customer community.

"We look forward to effectively empowering Smart Dubai’s cyber security infrastructure and delivering tangible value to all Dubai government entities, enabling smarter and more secure transformation initiatives that will help drive the digital economy.”

His Excellency Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (Smart Dubai’s technology arm), said: “Smart Dubai’s mission consists of exploring advanced technologies and channelling them into services that make life easier and happier for Dubai’s citizens, residents, and visitors. It is a significant undertaking that calls on various government entities to work together and coordinate, and with that in mind, Smart Dubai launched the Government Information Network and a host of digital infrastructure projects to connect these entities and allow them to transfer and exchange data.”

“This makes matters of cyber security a top priority for us and for our partners and we are constantly working to further enhance the safety and security of our network. This partnership we are signing with Help AG, Etisalat Digital’s cyber security arm, is a significant step forward in that direction, allowing us to benefit from the company’s extensive expertise in the field,” H.E. Lootah added.

Smart Dubai is the government office in charge of facilitating Dubai’s citywide smart transformation to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors. The office has been innovative and pioneering in acting as a trusted advisor, as well as creating information security and cyber resilience standards for government and semi-government entities. The robust set of governance requirements in place have set a benchmark for the entire region.

Iconic ‘golf balls’ or the spherical structures atop Etisalat’s office buildings across the UAE proudly lit up in red in commemoration of the arrival UAE’s Hope Probe to Mars.

Etisalat is supporting the nationwide “Arabs to Mars” campaign, with an aim to raise awareness on a historic UAE and Arab achievement through its official social media channels, eLife and SMS. Etisalat will change its network name in honour of the Arab world’s major breakthrough in space exploration.

The Hope Probe – the first-ever Arab interplanetary mission – is expected to enter the orbit of Mars on 9th February, making the UAE the fifth nation ever to reach the red planet and in time for the country’s golden jubilee celebration. It carries the aspiration of millions of people across 56 Arab and Islamic countries for the UAE mission’s role in establishing an Arab presence on the global space map.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is honoured to be part of the nationwide ‘Arabs to Mars’ campaign by lighting up in red the iconic spherical structures atop our buildings across the UAE, along with other initiatives, to mark such a historic moment for the UAE and the entire Arab world. The Probe’s arrival to Mars is the dream of the late UAE founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and would not have been possible without the guidance and vision of the UAE’s leadership and support for our young talented Emiratis.”

Upon arriving in Mars after travelling 493 million km in a seven-month journey since its launch on July 20, 2020 from Tanegashima Island in Japan, the probe will provide the first-ever complete picture of the Martian atmosphere. The unmanned spacecraft will explore the planet’s climactic dynamics in daily and seasonal timescales for a full Martian year (687 earth days) – the first by a mission.

Etisalat today announced its support for the International Human Fraternity Virtual Summit as its official telecom partner.

The summit, held on 4th February, was organised by the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, in cooperation with the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. It is under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

The insightful sessions and interactive webinars shed light on current issues that need to be addressed with a special focus on ongoing issues around the world, including COVID 19 and its shortcomings upon the communities, as well as the persisting issues of racism, gender equality, policies, intolerance, persecution, and other issues.

In celebration of UN's International Day of Human Fraternity, Etisalat changed the network name to ‘Fraternity Etisalat’, extensively promoted the summit on its official social media channels and on radio, and launched an SMS campaign.

Etisalat’s bundle of initiatives and services for consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on all segments of society. It enabled students in the UAE to access distance learning websites and platforms using its advanced network, with more than 10 million mobile subscribers enjoying free browsing to over 800 websites related to education, health and safety. Etisalat supported business continuity by providing the necessary apps in a work-from-home environment and providing entertainment to families at home. Etisalat is also actively involved in local and international humanitarian and charitable initiatives.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to be the official telecom partner of the International Human Fraternity Virtual Summit, which is in line with Etisalat’s overall strategy of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’. This event, under the theme ‘Human Fraternity for Working Together to Achieve a Better Future, is closely aligned with our corporate social responsibility strategy to support the communities we serve. We at Etisalat join the UAE in its efforts to promote peace and spread the principles of fraternity and peaceful coexistence worldwide.”

Dawood Al Shezawi, President of the Organising Committee of the International Human Fraternity Summit, said: “It is our pride to have Etisalat as our Official Telecom Partner. I believe that our strong collaboration with one of the world's leading telecom groups is greatly instrumental in realising our commitment to provide world-class events for our global audiences. They have always given us the full support and trust we need to be able to competently fulfill the vital role we play in the events industry. As we bring events that aim to generate opportunities for different sectors, Etisalat has allowed us to maximise our utmost potential and achieve greater flexibility and resilience during these challenging times.”

January 2021

Etisalat today announced its sponsorship of the third edition of UAE Tour 2021, which demonstrates the UAE’s capabilities in international sport and highlights its role in bringing people together in the country.

Etisalat is the official sponsor of the race’s Green Jersey (general individual classification by points), to be worn daily starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.

As one of the leading telecom groups in emerging markets and ranked the most valuable telecom brand as well as one of the world’s strongest brands, Etisalat’s strategic sponsorship is in line with its endeavor to be at the forefront of sporting events. Etisalat’s support for one most prestigious competitions in the global sporting calendar also reinforces its deep commitment to initiatives that positively enhance the UAE’s global reputation.

The one and only World Tour race in the Middle East will be held from 21-27 February 2021. This year’s edition will see the riders start and finish in Abu Dhabi and compete over seven diverse stages that showcase the unique landscapes of the UAE. The organising committee will follow all necessary Covid-19 precautions to safeguard the safety of the riders, teams and staff. The seven-day race came into existence when the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour merged in 2018.

  • Makes it to the global top 25 strongest brands
  • Ranks among the global top 5 strongest telecom brands
  • Portfolio of brands now touching AED 40 bn
  • Most valuable telecom portfolio brand in MEA for 5th year in a row
  • Only brand in MEA to retain AAA brand rating

Etisalat has made history by emerging as the strongest brand across all categories in Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. This feat puts Etisalat among the top 25 brands globally in the strongest brands index by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

This global accomplishment was made possible due to Etisalat’s brand strength and performance with continuous efforts and investments in accelerating its value by engaging with consumers across markets with launching many successful innovative global branding initiatives.

With this ranking from Brand Finance, Etisalat is now among the world’s strongest brands including Ferrari, Coca Cola, Apple, among others making it to the global top 25 strongest brands in the world. Continuing its growth streak, Etisalat is turning its sights on transforming into a truly global player and climbed 17 spots in the global 500 brand value ranking this year from 225th to 208th . Another noteworthy achievement this year is being ranked among the top five strongest telecom brands across global markets and the strongest telecom brand in MEA region.

Etisalat has also retained its title as the most valuable telecom portfolio of brands for the fifth year in a row with an impressive portfolio of brands touching more than AED 40 bn including Etisalat Misr, Mobily, Ufone, Maroc Telecom, PTCL and is also the only telecom brand to retain AAA brand rating.

David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance said: “When COVID struck in 2020, Etisalat led from the front ensuring business continuity, digital and innovative solutions, enablement of smart cities and remote learning to help drive the digital future of the UAE. Staying relevant and enabling the nation with the fastest network on the planet, Etisalat has earned its place as the region’s ‘Strongest Brand’, ready deliver on its ethos of ‘Together Matters’ as the UAE welcomes the world at Expo 2021.”

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat Group said: “This is a historic achievement for Etisalat to be recognised on such a global platform among the best in the world and the region. Our efforts to bring innovation and digital transformation for all our customers have also led to Etisalat being ranked as the strongest brand on a global scale.”

“The previous year has demonstrated our strength and commitment in delivering uninterrupted high quality services to all our customers adding value to our brand while focusing on our vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’ realising our digital ambitions to reality,” Dowidar added.

“Recognised as the strongest brand in Middle East and Africa region is another testament to our efforts in sustaining a healthy portfolio that maximises synergies, creating brand loyalty and enhancing customer experience. Thanks to the UAE leadership’s support, vision and encouragement that has helped Etisalat achieve this significant milestone despite the headwinds posed by today’s extraordinary times realising our digital goals and surpassing many of the top global and regional brands.”

Operating in 16 countries with 149 million subscribers across Asia, Middle East and Africa, Etisalat’s success can also be attributed to its continued efforts to provide the best solutions and services in the various markets in which it operates, its support for community initiatives and events, and its adoption of digital transformation strategies in its various operations.

Etisalat has led the telecom sector and the region with the deployment of the 5G network setting a major benchmark in the industry. Most recently Etisalat made a huge leap forward with the landmark announcement of achieving the world’s fastest 5G download speed of 9.1 gigabits per second.

Etisalat’s pioneering 5G efforts in the region and delivering one of the fastest, smartest and best-connected places on earth for the upcoming global mega Expo 2020 Dubai has attributed to its success as a brand in the region. As the premier digital services and telecommunications partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Etisalat is prepared to deliver the event’s visitors and delegates 5G connectivity that brings the Expo themes to life for the millions of visitors.

The success and growth of Etisalat’s brand value is mainly driven by an innovative customer service strategy, adapting well to a digital savvy marketplace, leading the 5G revolution and the successful launch of global brand building initiatives. Etisalat has also led digital innovation in the country by working on several digital initiatives in infrastructure, entertainment and smart cities.

Etisalat has reached out and engaged with its consumers across markets with global branding initiatives by sponsoring global football teams and clubs aligning with the brand’s priorities of being at the forefront of major sporting events. Etisalat also launched the brand campaign ‘Together Matters’ to highlight togetherness among its subscribers in today’s world of connectivity.

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy, and is the organisation behind the Global 500 Brands and Telecom 300 league table of the world’s biggest brands ranked by their brand value, assesses the dollar value of the reputation, image and intellectual property of the brand.

Etisalat today rolled out its vaccination programme for eligible employees across the UAE in co-ordination with the Ministry of Health.

The inoculation drive began today at Etisalat’s Abu Dhabi headquarters Building A where a station was set up for employees to conveniently get the vaccine free of charge. The initiative is in line with UAE's plan to vaccinate more than 50 per cent of the country's population by the end of March.

Etisalat is making the Sinopharm vaccine accessible to its employees at selected buildings across the UAE. While vaccination is optional, Etisalat is encouraging its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine jab to protect themselves and their families. So far, more than 2,500 employees have signed up for the first dose of the vaccine.

Since the start of the pandemic, Etisalat has been implementing multiple layers of safety measures to ensure the health and safety of customers and its employees. As a company, Etisalat’s priority is to work closely with all relevant stakeholders responsibly in keeping its customers, employees and communities safe. Etisalat puts business continuity plans in place to respond to disruptive incidents such as COVID-19, while protecting the health of its employees, ensuring connectivity and minimising the impact of the delivery and quality of services.

  • Available on Etisalat’s Business Online portal, offers real-time visibility and control
  • Company admins can manage mobile accounts, usage consumption, set alert notifications online

Etisalat today announced the launch of the region’s first-of-its-kind Mobile Service Centre, offering real-time visibility and control over business customers’ mobile usage all conveniently accessible online.

This feature, available on Etisalat’s Business Online Business Online Portal, allows customers to manage their mobile accounts, check their subscription details and usage consumption, as well as receive real time alerts on high allowance utilisation and provide service subscription recommendations in order for the company admin to take action.

They can also create custom rules to trigger automated actions or notifications to avoid unexpected out of bundle usage charges and ensure uninterrupted connectivity.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small and Medium Business, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to introduce the region’s first-of-its-kind Mobile Service Centre, which provides business customers the flexibility to manage their accounts at their convenience online and the transparency to view all their subscribed services and usage details. Today’s launch is part of Etisalat’s continuous efforts to empower businesses with scalable and tailored advanced solutions to grow their business and increase revenue while managing their costs.”

Company admins can customise their mobile setting per employee needs and take real time action based on the customised usage rules they have set.

Etisalat today announced that it is building the region’s first open and autonomous and secured network. Cisco AI/ML automation is used to simplify Etisalat Emirates Internet Exchange (EMIX) operations with a set of innovative use cases aimed at providing an intent-based and closed-loop automation solutions to EMIX network.

As Etisalat advances in the automation journey, the network intelligence and refined analytics will improve operational decision making and reduce time-to-outcomes, which is critical in preparing the network for future 5G capacity demands and service agility to deliver always-on connectivity to EMIX customers and partners.

The new automation framework is built on the proven foundation of open APIs in Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), Cisco’s WAN Automation Engine (WAE), and Cisco AI/ML Platform to incorporate big data consolidation, machine learning, event correlation, and closed-loop change automation.

With the support of intelligent ‘capacity planning’ application, Etisalat will manage to quickly scale the infrastructure which will translate into being able to maintain service levels when traffic levels are in flux. While predicting network capacity demands based on the recent usage patterns and trends, which can be very unpredictable during peak utilisation times, and maintaining a high level of the service quality by automatically routing the critical applications using AI to predict the best network paths for high applications quality and customer experience.

“Advanced automation is at the heart of Etisalat’s strategy in every corner in the network. It is critical to 5G success for improving operational efficiency and driving new services,” said Haitham Abdulrazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat. “We are focusing on service performance metrics and the real time experience of our customers with immediate and long-term benefits to transform our infrastructure and deliver the best in class customer experience.”

“We opted for Cisco solution due to the outcome driven approach in automation that will have a major impact on network capacity management,” said Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President - Mobile Network, Etisalat.

“The next-generation networks that we're driving supports our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come,” said Adam MacHale, VP of Service Providers in EMEAR region, Cisco. “We worked closely with Etisalat to realise their vision for open, autonomous and secure EMIX network that can proactively handle upcoming demands, improve operational decision making and reduce time-to-outcomes, to deliver the best in class customer experience.”

  • Stay connected to Israel, the Middle East and North America with i24NEWS

Etisalat today announced the launch of the Israel-based network i24NEWS on eLife and Switch TV.

eLife customers can now enjoy watching i24NEWS (English) on channel 537 and i24NEWS (Arabic) on channel 520 for free. Switch TV users can watch TV i24NEWS (English) on channel 264 and i24NEWS (Arabic) on channel 265 at no extra cost.

The partnership between Etisalat and i24NEWS comes after the UAE signed a peace agreement to normalise ties with Israel in September.

Launched in 2013, i24NEWS is an international news network based in Israel that broadcasts in Arabic, English and French from studios in Jaffa Port, the US and Europe. In addition to up-to-the-minute news, the channel also features a wide variety of current affairs shows and reports on such subjects as economy, defense, sport, hi-tech, and culture.

i24NEWS is part of the Altice Group, owned by businessman Patrick Drahi and since its inception has been led by CEO Frank Melloul. In 2017, i24NEWS expanded into the North American market and opened bureaus in the United States. Today, the channel has studios in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Paris, New York, Washington and Los Angeles and deploys correspondents all over the world.

Etisalat today announced its partnership with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to provide Managed Wi-Fi and networking solutions to its customers in the UAE embedded with advanced analytics across the retail, healthcare, and hospitality verticals.

The strategic partnership with Aruba involves the state-of-the-art Aruba Central Platform hosted at Etisalat’s data centre. The locally hosted platform ensures data privacy and residency, guaranteeing a more secure and resilient user experience. The platform also provides a network management dashboard, enhanced Wi-Fi analytics and monetisation tools powered by Faraday Networks. Etisalat has also onboarded CADD Emirates as the system integrator and support services provider.

Etisalat’s customers will benefit from high speed network access, high-density wireless coverage, in-built IoT support, and comprehensive security among others, through the latest generation of access points, switches, user experience sensors, and other solutions. Businesses can take advantage of the bespoke solution architecture designed to meet their specific requirements.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat said: “We are pleased to offer Aruba’s solutions to our customers as it complements Etisalat’s agile and cloud-native Wi-Fi solution and LAN network designed to accommodate high speed, low latency, and comprehensive security. Through this collaboration, we look forward to empowering our clients with the latest digital technologies and smart solutions aimed at increasing operational efficiency and enhancing user experience.”

Ahmad AlKhalafi, MD, HPE UAE, said: “We are pleased to support Etisalat accelerating the launch of MSP services across the UAE leveraging our innovative solutions. Together we can offer a curated suite of solutions specifically designed to help enterprises in the UAE migrate to a more agile, cost-effective cloud-based IT models.”

December 2020

  • FAB becomes first UAE bank to implement state-of-the-art IoT smart building system across its portfolio

Etisalat Digital and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) today announced a strategic partnership to deploy a cloud-based IoT Smart Building solution, providing FAB ‘anytime anywhere’ access and ease of operations across its entire portfolio.

This is the first deployment of a portfolio-wide IoT smart-building management system for any of the UAE banks. The IoT solution – to be implemented across FAB’s buildings and data centre – meets the bank’s requirements to integrate the existing legacy system into a state-of-the-art IOT platform, built and hosted in the Etisalat Cloud. It includes a series of software applications and dashboards addressing alarms, fault detection, predictive analysis and centralised monitoring.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are honoured to collaborate with FAB, the UAE's largest bank, to implement our Urban Intelligence solutions. By utilising our cloud-based IoT Smart Building Platform, all assets and systems within FAB’s buildings will be integrated and centralised into a single platform, providing ‘anytime anywhere’ access and ease of operations across its entire portfolio. This facilitates efficiency in maintenance and operations and reduces utility spend when operated by a team of energy engineers and specialists from our 24/7 IOT command centre.”

Banks own multiple buildings and also operate branches across the country, which require extensive facilities management, maintenance and operations. Etisalat Digital’s Urban Intelligence solutions and IoT platform enables advanced and predictive analytics, which in turn provides unique insights into the buildings operations and empowers a truly smart facilities portfolio.

Vikas Anand, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Operations, First Abu Dhabi Bank, said: “Technology is a proven differentiator for FAB, and once again the bank is delighted to be a pioneer across the UAE’s banking industry. Customers and businesses are increasingly expecting ‘anytime anywhere’ access and ease of operations across all elements of their life. It’s only apt then that the UAE’s largest bank embraces a cloud-based IoT Smart Building solution befitting the standards that our business and customers require. We are honoured to collaborate with Etisalat, one of the world’s leading telecom groups – and, like us, immensely proud of its Abu Dhabi roots – to implement its Urban Intelligence solutions. We look forward to a strong and successful relationship in this regard.”

  • Etisalat Digital hosted Firstpass during GITEX 2020
  • Firstpass will be offered to hospitals in the region

Etisalat Digital today announced that it has partnered with Vectramind, a global healthcare and communications technology firm, to offer the Firstpass platform to its customers in the region. This is the first time that Etisalat Digital Healthcare will be positioning this solution under its portfolio.

At this year’s GITEX Technology Week, Etisalat Digital hosted Firstpass, a unified patient experience platform for hospitals that helps bring about better insights to customers on their hospital operations, improve patient experience, do better capacity planning, and reduce no-shows to appointments. The solution will be offered to hospitals in the region, starting with UAE and then expanding to Saudi Arabia and other jurisdictions.

Powered by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms, Firstpass anticipates patient inflows and wait times at every touchpoint and intelligently reroutes patients, streamlining the processes to optimise every moving part in the patient journey. Firstpass allows patients to have instant access to answers through 24/7 chatbots and a personalised information portal. In addition, it keeps patients in the loop with any scheduling shifts or updates via real-time communications and notifications.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is pleased to partner with Vectramind to offer the Firstpass solution in the region, starting with the UAE and later expanding to Saudi Arabia and other jurisdictions. At Etisalat, we aim to improve people's lives by use of digital health technologies. We have developed a comprehensive set of healthcare solutions to support the UAE national agenda to achieve a world-class healthcare system that is aligned with Etisalat's strategy of 'Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies'.”

Dr Murali Krishna Vakalapudi, Founder and CEO of Vectramind, said: “Vectramind aims to optimise the 4 Ps, namely patient, people, provider and productivity, with our flagship product Firstpass, and we are happy to team up with Etisalat Digital Healthcare team and offer this to their clients. This new relationship will bring to all of Etisalat’s clients a tool for enhancing patient experience and productivity across the care continuum.”

Under the terms of the MoU, Etisalat and Vectramind will collaborate and discuss opportunities that may be jointly pursued in the areas of patient experience and the Firstpass product.

  • Digital transformation in HR aims to empower employees and enhance their experience

Etisalat today announced a new initiative that aims to empower employees with Blockchain-powered digital HR credentials, becoming the first to implement this cutting edge digital technology in the region.

Implemented in partnership with Chaintrail.com, Etisalat is providing lifetime access to all HR letters, empowering employees with tamper-proof data at their fingertips. The objective of the blockchain implementation is to ensure all employees can generate, access and utilise credentials 24/7 and 365 days, while credential verifiers can do the same without any dependence on manual intervention.

Dena Ali Al Mansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Etisalat, said: “The future of work is here. Our world changed in 2020 and Etisalat’s overall strategy to ‘Drive the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ has never been more important. Making this digital future a reality and bringing the technologies of the future to all our customers across our markets unites and fuels us. The HR team is focused on bringing that reality within Etisalat to empower our employees, increase engagement, organisational efficiency, and create an incredible employee experience.”

“Implementing Blockchain technology in HR ensures employee data is under their control and is secure and accessible anytime, anywhere. Deploying these technologies efficiently and responsibly across our communities and within our organisation is a top priority. Etisalat has some of the most talented and innovative minds in AI, Robotics, Blockchain and other technologies and as our society continues to transform digitally, we will continue to focus our efforts on these capabilities as part of our recruitment and talent strategy in 2021 and beyond.”

This is a classic example of how Etisalat is implementing and benefiting from Blockchain on top of helping government and private organisations on the adoption of this emergjng technology, such as in the blockchain trade finance platform UAE Trade Connect or the ‘Shahada’ Blockchain platform for digitising education certificates.

In addition to Blockchain, Etisalat HR has also soft launched an ‘HR Virtual Assistant’, a chatbot equipped with a complete set of FAQs and HR policies. In the next phase, ‘HR Virtual Assistant’ will be enhanced with a comprehensive interface for all Etisalat employees and will serve as an omnichannel in providing all HR services such as applying for leave and claims, requesting letters and other employee-related requests.

Etisalat has also successfully implemented Robotic Process Automation (RPA) into HR processes, enabling HR teams to streamline processes resulting in faster and more accurate data or request verification. Some of the RPAs verify educational claim, sick leave and business travel as well as job postings.

On the learning front, Etisalat offers iQra, a mobile first, AI powered learning platform, available for all employees and offers the highest quality digital learning from any device, anywhere they are based.

In line with UAE’s paperless initiative and strategy, reward and recognition certificates are automated and digitised this year, eliminating unnecessary delays on arranging hard copy certificates. The digital certificates such as Monthly Excellence, Outstanding Project Contribution Award and Long Service Award are instantly generated and emailed to employees.

  • Business First Plus and Business Xtreme plans with Easy Prepaid, “carryforward” and many more distinct features tailored to suit all business needs
  • All mobile business plans brought to you by Etisalat, the world’s fastest mobile network provider

Etisalat today announced various Mobile Propositions, a plethora of business postpaid mobile plans meticulously designed to suit the needs of its business customers.

Business mobile plans such as Business First Plus, Business Xtreme, and the Easy Prepaid feature, along with exclusive online mobile plans, address the needs of business customers from the usage behaviour and pricing point perspective, and cater to the convenience of business customers.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small and Medium Business, Etisalat, said: “At Etisalat, it is our constant endeavour to empower businesses by providing our customers with different business mobile plans which fit their particular requirements, allowing them to enjoy best in class services at great value. ‘Etisalat Business Mobile Plans’ reinforce our commitment to deliver value propositions that address our customers’ varying needs, especially amidst the current global phenomenon. With Etisalat being recognised as the fastest mobile network provider globally by Ookla® Speedtest® in 2020, our business customers are assured of reliability, speed and superior performance.”

Etisalat is offering budget-conscious customers the Business First Plus postpaid plan, starting from AED110 a month With a carry-forward feature, business customers are able to roll over unused minutes to the next month and enjoy the benefit of any unused allowance.

Customers in search of a stress-free plan complete with unlimited national and international minutes can select Etisalat’s Business Xtreme. In addition, they can stay constantly connected with yearly extra free bonus allowances, and choose from a selection of international minutes, local minutes, or free data allocations when subscribing to either Business First Plus or Business Xtreme for one year.

‘Easy Prepaid’ is an innovative feature that provides a separate prepaid account on top of an existing postpaid number. Hence, employees can seamlessly switch between their business postpaid account and a personal prepaid account enabling them to make personal calls at their own expense using their existing business mobile plans, and not be limited to their employer’s allocated allowance. For instance, an employee can use a prepaid account – with the same number – when he or she reaches the maximum allowance given by the company. In addition, employees can add on plenty of services like roaming voice minutes, local and international data and SMS.

  • Enables moving workloads securely and privately to the cloud
  • Businesses to experience high speed, low latency & dedicated connectivity

Etisalat today announced it has joined the AWS Direct Connect Service Delivery Programme to offer fast, private, and secure connectivity for accessing AWS cloud services. This enables Etisalat’s customers to accelerate adoption of AWS cloud solutions by using high performance and secure direct connectivity, providing customers with more choice in line with Etisalat’s multi-cloud strategy.

As an AWS Consulting Partner, Etisalat will support customers in their journey to move to the AWS cloud by delivering high-speed, dedicated connectivity, ensuring low- latency, consistent network experience, and robust security for customers leading to high performance levels and availability.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat said: “We are proud to be partnering with AWS to become the first telco in the UAE to offer cutting edge cloud connectivity solutions to all our customers. Etisalat’s expertise with AWS services will help customers in building a hybrid cloud environment. This is also a testimony to Etisalat’s commitment to its vision of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ and supporting all customers in their digital journey.”

Zubin Chagpar, Head of Middle East and Africa, Public Sector, AWS said: “We welcome Etisalat to the AWS Direct Connect Service Delivery Programme. As a leading telco in the region, this creates more opportunities to help organisations in the UAE to accelerate their digital transformation by migrating critical applications even faster to AWS. We look forward to continuing to work with Etisalat to bring more solutions that enable fast and secure cloud adoption.”

AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective cloud solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Service Delivery Programme to help customers identify AWS Consulting Partners with deep experience delivering specific AWS services.

  • Demonstrations on transport, retail, healthcare, education, fashion and entertainment truly reflect Etisalat’s GITEX 2020 theme ‘Empowering the Digital Future and Beyond’
  • Flying taxi, autonomous flying car, hybrid sports car, and a futuristic electric motorcycle a major hit among tech enthusiasts
  • ‘Technology for Good’ showcases transformative technologies to enhance the lives of People of Determination

Etisalat successfully concluded its participation at GITEX Technology Week 2020 – the region’s only face-to-face technology event of the year - which saw the convergence of 5G, AI, big data and IoT - under the theme ‘Empowering the Digital Future and Beyond’.

Visitors experienced the future of mobility, retail, healthcare and use of technologies such as robotics, AI, virtual reality, analytics across these verticals with a profound and positive impact on the different segments of the society.

The event also witnessed several strategic partnerships of Etisalat with world-famous industry names and government entities, and the launch of EtisalatAtGitex Live, a virtual channel which enabled tech enthusiasts to explore all the digital innovations on the stand, hear from Etisalat experts and get first-hand experience of the technologies reshaping key industries.

Making their debut on Etisalat’s stand this year were demonstrations on transport, retail, healthcare, education, fashion and entertainment. In ‘Future Transport’, Etisalat took visitors on a journey and the possibilities of the future mobility with 5G connectivity in commercial and regional as well as inter-regional aerial transport. The all-electric, highly automated and fully connected BMW Vision iNEXT, and BMW Vision DC Roadster, a futuristic electric motorcycle a major step into the full-size electric two-wheel segment, were an instant hit.

Certified showstoppers were the taxi SA-1, an electric flying taxi developed by Hyundai with Uber; AirCar, an autonomous all-electric human carrying flying car; the world’s fastest autonomous delivery drone by German drone maker Wingcopter; Rinspeed’s MetroSnap, an innovative autonomous driving concept; and the Park Rover, an autonomous pod designed to be part of a complete mobility system ecosystem integrated with a mobile app and a cloud service.

Healthcare and assistive technologies on the stand provided insights into how technology can transform this sector with cloud, IoT, M2M, AI, blockchain and state-of-the-art connectivity including 5G, with innovative and cutting-edge healthcare solutions from all around the globe.

‘Technology for Good’ demonstrations featuring transformative technologies included a self-driving electric wheelchair; the world's first medically approved 3D-printed prosthetic arm called Hero Arm; and NuEyes E2, a removable visual prosthetic that helps the visually impaired see again while keeping their hands free. Other showcases included the Sound Shirt that allows the deaf to “feel” music on their skin; frictionless retail solutions for the smart pharmacy store; and 3D medically approved technologies.

Just like previous years, Etisalat brought the best in the world of robotics to its stand. Humanoids Adran and Jen spoke and interacted with visitors, while innovative robots from MELTIN – MELTIN Arm and MELTIN-Z performed power-varied actions.

Etisalat’s stand also featured advanced solutions and services to support education during COVID times such as a demo-tutoring platform, an AI-based access control and students’ attendance system, an AI-powered solution measures and tracks students’ attention, focus and mental performance. Two industry-related COVID-19 solutions on display were the Connected Jobsite using wearables and AR-VR powered-solutions for predictive maintenance and remote operations.

Other technology showcases were smart retail highlighting checkout solutions, the F&B section, connected fashion, and a retail dashboard. At the LG ThinQ Smart Home on Etisalat’s stand, attendees witnessed firsthand how a seamless, connected smart home can be achieved – harnessing the power of Etisalat’s Wi-Fi technology.

  • Rewards Exchange empowers customers with a one stop shop to manage their loyalty memberships & exchanging points or rewards in real-time
  • GEMS Rewards is the first loyalty programme to join

Etisalat today announced that Smiles launched the UAE’s first ever Rewards Exchange powered by blockchain, facilitating fast, seamless and secure points exchange from a single platform to enhance customer experience.

The launch was held during the 40th GITEX Technology Week taking place from 6th to 10th December 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Smiles members can now link their other loyalty programmes to Smiles by adding their membership details on the Rewards Exchange page on the Smiles app. Currently the Smiles’ Rewards Exchange is the only blockchain-powered rewards exchange that can onboard multiple programmes and allow the flexibility of exchanging points or rewards from one programme to any other programme in real-time.

Under Rewards Exchange, Smiles customers can look forward to a number of benefits such as the ability to add loyalty memberships on one app, track all loyalty points in real time, exchange points with any programme within the Rewards Exchange network in real-time, and access an expanded marketplace for points redemption. More importantly, members can avoid losing their hard-earned points due to expiry as they convert them to their most preferred loyalty programme.

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Consumer Officer, Etisalat, said: “At Etisalat, we are committed to providing top-notch benefits and bringing in customer-centric innovations that focus on fulfilling our customers’ needs. We are delighted to launch Rewards Exchange on Smiles, the first Internet of Loyalties in the UAE powered by blockchain, which allows customers to earn and redeem points and maximise their savings by exchanging points with GEMS Rewards, as well as other loyalty programmes that will be integrated with Smiles in the near future.”

GEMS Rewards, an exclusive rewards programme designed for GEMS Education’s community of students, parents and staff, is the first loyalty programme to join Smiles’ Rewards Exchange. As one of the largest private education providers in the country, GEMS’ exclusive rewards programme is accessed by 100,000+ families of parents and faculty members across 43 schools in the UAE and facilitates a host of lifestyle and retail opportunities through thousands of family-focused offers and benefits, as well as savings.

Smiles members can exchange their Smiles points into GEMS Rewards points in multiples of 7,500 Smiles points, equivalent to 500 GEMS points, and pay for their children’s tuition fees, school transport, and other education fees. GEMS Rewards members can convert their GEMS points into Smiles points in multiples of 500 GEMS points, equivalent to 3,000 Smiles points, and enjoy a wide range of daily deals and lifestyle rewards.

Smiles, one of the largest lifestyle engagement programmes in the UAE, has more than 2.2 million customers on-boarded on the Smiles mobile app and 1,000+ participating brands. Smiles offers everyday savings to its members through earn and redemption of Smiles points for Etisalat, partner products and services as well as ‘Unlimited Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and other discount offers at over 3,000 outlets, on entertainment, shopping, dining, travel, services and wellness experience.

  • Healthcare section provides an insight into how technologies can transform the healthcare sector
  • ‘Technology for good’ showcase include a self-driving electric wheelchair, world’s medically approved 3D printed bionic arm & a removable visual prosthetic

Etisalat is demonstrating innovative healthcare solutions at GITEX Technology Week, with a major focus on ‘technology for good', highlighting transformative technologies aimed at enhancing the lives of People of Determination.

Etisalat’s mission is to constantly create a new care delivery model, leveraging Etisalat’s core assets such as big data, IoT, AI, blockchain and other technologies to improve patients’ experience and efficiencies for customers.

The healthcare section provides an insight into how technology can transform this sector with the cloud, IoT, M2M, AI, blockchain and state-of-the-art technology including with 5G, with cutting-edge healthcare solutions from around the world. The solutions follow a journey from health prevention, early diagnosis, timely treatment and care, health monitoring to patient empowerment and engagement.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat envisions its technology as an enabler to transform the healthcare sector and improve people’s lives using digital health technologies. When it comes to People of Determination, Etisalat has endeavoured to enrich their user experience by providing them with various services and means of support in line with our strategy of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’.”

A self-driving electric wheelchair, PiiMO, is capable of independently detecting, avoiding people and obstacles on the way to their destination. The fully autonomous wheelchair is capable to go anywhere and anytime. Hero Arm is the world's first medically approved 3D-printed prosthetic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics. Another example of ‘Technology for Good’ is NuEyes E2, a removable visual prosthetic that helps the visually impaired see again while keeping their hands free.

The Aimbot robot from ZoraBots is one of the best robotic solutions to address the current threat of COVID-19. It is an indoor intelligent and autonomous anti-epidemic robot designed and built for virus prevention. Equipped with functional modules and multiple sensors, it navigates autonomously, interacts with people, measures body temperature, detects improperly protected individuals and automatically sprays disinfectant in indoor space.

Also on display at the healthcare section is the first unmanned pharmacy store built on computer vision, machine learning, and sensor-fusion technologies. Consumers can scan a WeChat or Alipay code to enter the store, take goods, and leave while payments are completed automatically.

At the retail section, visitors can check out the Sound Shirt that slips on like a jacket allowing the deaf to “feel” music on their skin. The innovative shirt delivers a tactile experience where the hearing impaired can experience a live concert in a new, immersive way.

  • Solutions and services at GITEX 2020 address COVID-19 pandemic challenges
  • On display at the education booth are a demo-tutoring platform, AI-based access control & attendance system, mental performance solutions
  • Other solutions are predictive maintenance & remote operations as well as Connected Jobsite using wearables

Etisalat is showcasing at GITEX Technology Week 2020 advanced solutions and services to support education and industries amid challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has led to many significant changes in education thus disrupting traditional learning methods and now distance learning has become the norm. COVID-19 has required all industries to rethink their business models and accelerated their digital transformation.

Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat, said: “During this unprecedented period that has challenged both health and the economy, Etisalat has taken many steps to ensure that its network, services and teams are well equipped to support its customers. At this year’s GITEX, Etisalat is demonstrating a wide range of advanced solutions for enhanced distance learning and remote working in line with its strategy of 'Driving the digital future to empower societies'.”

A demo-tutoring platform, shown on an LCD screen, which also works with tablets, helps teachers and tutors interact with students. This solution has real-time annotations, enhance interactions, shares resources and has an AI tool for search-based learning. The National Tutoring Platform is a tool for scheduling tutoring sessions with features such as a live session notebook and personalised revision library.

GITEX attendees can also check out the AI-based access control and students’ attendance system. Face readers have been set up at the booth linked to the attendance server as well as to an existing camera to detect the faces of active and non-active students.

An AI-powered solution measures and tracks students’ attention, focus and mental performance. This is the perfect solution to detect if children are focusing or not and understand disabilities.

At Etisalat’s stand this GITEX, the Connected Jobsite solution consists of an ecosystem of devices, ranging from head mounted device to wearables and applications. The objective is to digitise time and attendance, improve site safety, and to measure productivity and cost matrices. This is especially relevant during post-COVID-19.

As for predictive maintenance and remote operations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality-powered solutions are offering the capability to reduce downtime periods in the factory and avoid impacts of technicians on field operations.

  • BMW Vision iNEXT and BMW Vision DC Roadster showcase the future of autonomous driving
  • Real show-stoppers include Hyundai’s SA-1 flying taxi developed with Uber, AirCar flying car, Wingcopter’s delivery drone & Rinspeed’s MetroSnap

Etisalat is pushing the boundaries of innovation at the 40th edition of GITEX Technology Week, as it takes everyone on a journey of immense possibilities in the future of mobility and retail with the transformative power of 5G and futuristic technologies.

This year at GITEX, Etisalat is introducing new mobility segments along with 5G connectivity in commercial and regional as well as inter-regional aerial transport. This in line with Etisalat’s continuous efforts to boost the Dubai Government’s strategy to raise the share of autonomous transport to as much as 25 percent of the total transportation in the emirate by 2030.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat, said: “5G stands out as a game changer with rich potential, an evolution that would elevate services, performance, and enablement. It is in line with UAE’s digital vision, market trends and Etisalat’s long-term strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’. At this year’s GITEX, 5G continues to take centrestage at Etisalat’s stand as we present connected and autonomous vehicles reflecting the shifting mobility preferences that appear to be reshaping the future of mobility.”

Making a grand entrance at GITEX this year are the all-electric, highly automated and fully connected BMW Vision iNEXT, and BMW Vision DC Roadster, a futuristic electric motorcycle a major step into the full-size electric two-wheel segment. Etisalat has also partnered with BMW to provide the eSIM platform, connecting wirelessly with ConnectedDrive vehicles, providing customers an enhanced driving experience.

Taking off from Etisalat’s stand is the taxi SA-1, an electric flying taxi developed by Hyundai with Uber. This fully electric car flies a distance up to 60 miles at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet. With 5G, this is a great use case that can enjoy the benefits of the ultra-low latency and high speeds of this superior network.

AirCar, an autonomous all-electric human carrying flying car, is taking private autonomous transportation to another level. The flying car can be charged by 80 percent in 15 minutes, enough to fly from one side to another in most cities.

The world’s fastest autonomous delivery drone by German drone maker Wingcopter is making its presence for the first time at the Etisalat’s stand. This futuristic concept will set a benchmark for the logistics industry.

Another showstopper at the Etisalat’s stand is Rinspeed’s MetroSnap, an innovative autonomous driving concept. This futuristic modular showcase can be used as a sharing shuttle for transportation and delivery - a perfect ‘Grab and Go’ experience along with facial recognition and payment solutions enabled by a delivery mobile app.

The Park Rover, an autonomous pod that takes tourists from point A to B, is designed to be part of a complete mobility system ecosystem integrated with a mobile app and a cloud service. It lets visitors summon the Park Rover and pay for it directly from the app itself.

On the smart retail front, Etisalat is showcasing advanced use cases of artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision in the form of innovative solution for retail businesses. The smart retail showcase includes a grocery smart checkout solutions, F&B section, life style/connected fashion and a retail dashboard.

The world’s first robotic kitchen, created by Moley, comprises two robotic arms in a specially designed kitchen, which includes a stovetop, utensils and a sink. The device is able to reproduce the movements of a human chef in order to create a meal from scratch.

Another showcase is Grand Connect’s retail back office that is a connected IoT based ecosystem of hardware and software comprising of ‘smart dressing rooms’, ‘smart staffing’, and ‘smart digital signage’.

At the LG ThinQ Smart Home on Etisalat’s stand, the experience is enabled with LG’s intelligent lifestyle technology and its smart home appliances controlled using a smartphone.

Tonal, the world's most intelligent home gym and personal trainer, uses AI to learn from the user’s body and tracks progress in real-time to take the guesswork out of strength training.

In yet another milestone in the 5G journey, Etisalat has achieved the world’s fastest 5G download speed of 9.1 Gigabits per second.

The throughput has been achieved by aggregating multiple commercial spectrum band of n78(3.5GHz), n41(2.6GHz) and millimeter wave n258(26 GHz). This was accomplished through a prototype 5G device that aggregates all three bands.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to announce that Etisalat UAE has achieved unprecedented 9.1 Gbps 5G network speed. This 5G ultra-wideband game-changing download speed is the fastest in the world. We at Etisalat always strive to meet the ever-increasing bandwidth demand from diverse needs of customers, businesses, automation, and gaming.

“Today’s landmark announcement is a result of Etisalat’s efforts in building a robust 5G network, and 9.1 Gbps is truly a huge leap forward in the 5G era to offer a speed 30 times faster than a 4G average throughput. This will have a significant and profound change on individuals, industries, society and the economy, transforming how we live and work.”

Etisalat has led the telecom sector and in the region with the deployment of the 5G network setting a major benchmark in the industry by becoming the first telco in MENA in May 2018 to launch the commercial 5G network providing fixed wireless service in the UAE. This was followed by another major substantial breakthrough in its 5G journey by connecting and partnering with Expo 2020 as the first major commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to access 5G services.

In May 2019, Etisalat was the first telecom operator in MENA to enable its customers to experience the power of the 5G network and release the first 5G handset before many others. Etisalat also became the first telco in MENA to provide indoor 5G coverage in selected buildings in the country.

Etisalat’s mobile network was recently recognised by Ookla as the fastest in the world showcasing high speeds all throughout this year. UAE network ranked with the fastest mobile download speed worldwide in January, March and July 2020. Etisalat is also the winner of Ookla’s Speedtest Awards for fastest fixed broadband network in Q3-Q4 2019 and was recognised in the same year as the leading operator for fastest mobile and broadband network. With a download speed of 115.89 mbps and an overall ranking in the ‘Speed Score’ at 98.78, Etisalat is the only operator globally to rank higher than 90 as per Ookla Speedtest data.

  • Convergence of 5G, AI, big data and IoT at the global technology show
  • Demos making their presence for the first time globally in transport, retail, healthcare, education, fashion & entertainment

Etisalat today welcomed all visitors this year at GITEX Technology Week 2020 to witness the convergence of 5G, AI, big data and IoT with digital showcases that will take technological innovations to a new height and bring transformation in every industry and the lives of customers from all walks of life.

Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President at Etisalat, who took the media on a tour of Etisalat’s stand, said: “Etisalat’s presence at GITEX this year signifies the increasing relevance technology and modern telecommunication services play in our lives and especially during the pandemic. All the solutions present on the Etisalat stand provides visitors an insight on the positive impact futuristic technologies will have in business, entertainment, education and all segments of the society. The focus this year will continue to be bringing together disruptive technology solutions from across verticals aimed to empower every segment of the society.”

The event's main focus will be highlighting a new era of communication in the region and globally encompassing 5G solutions and technologies enabling connectivity solutions for the future. Visitors will experience the future of mobility, retail, healthcare and use of technologies like robotics, AI, virtual reality, analytics across these verticals with a profound and positive impact on the different segments of the society.

In ‘Future Transport’ Etisalat will take you on a journey and the possibilities in future mobility with 5G connectivity in commercial and regional as well as inter-regional aerial transport. With 5G and high latency, the landscape of mobility is radically going to change with the converging of technologies. There are innovations from leading global technology leaders like Hyundai’s Uber Taxi to private autonomous all-electric human carrying Aircar also showcasing industry stalwarts like BMW’s futuristic concept in mobility.

Healthcare and assistive technologies on the stand provide insights on how technology can transform this sector with cloud, IoT, M2M, AI, blockchain and state-of-the-art connectivity including 5G, with innovative and cutting-edge healthcare solutions from all around the globe. Autonomous and visual technologies for the differently-abled, frictionless retail solutions for the smart pharmacy store and 3D medically approved technologies make a presence on the stand.

The other showcases that are a standout this year are mainly robotics with humanoids Jen and Adran interacting with visitors, future of e-learning during COVID times, smart retail highlighting checkout solutions, F&B section, connected fashion and a retail dashboard. Smart Home also makes a presence with LG’s ThinQ technology and Tonal Gym. For business and industry solutions highlight how enterprises can improve efficiency while working from home at the same time remaining connected.

The stand showcases how digital technologies and solutions in the future, enabled by Etisalat’s robust network, that will work in tandem with the customers’ ever-evolving lifestyle and the needs of corporate industries, including businesses, transportation, healthcare, education and many more.

Etisalat will offer a glimpse of the exciting future through a range of advanced solutions and concepts, from robotics to digital applications and virtual reality experiences, all these can be experienced firsthand in Etisalat’s stand at Za’beel Hall of Dubai World Trade Centre.

GITEX Technology Week 2020 brings technology leaders and stakeholders from across the globe to share their experiences in innovation set to transform every industry. The global event will set the pace for the region to kick start industry events and activities in the region and around the world.

November 2020

  • New channel to broadcast the much anticipated match of boxing legends Mike Tyson & Roy Jones Jr
  • 4.2 million action sports fans in UAE to enjoy benefits of first regional MMA fighting channel

Abu Dhabi Sports, one of the most watched sports channels in the Arab world, today announced the launch of ‘Abu Dhabi (AD) Fight’, the first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting channel in the region. To be aired via eLife by Etisalat, the new channel will allow sports fans in the UAE access to celebrity athletes, regional and global events, in addition to a range of exclusive content in both English and Arabic.

As part of the official channel launch the much anticipated boxing match between legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr will be telecast on Sunday, 29th November, with full coverage starting at 6am and the main fight expected to start at 8am (UAE time).

AD Fight will offer a range of content for the 4.2 million action sports fans in the country.* Avid viewers can enjoy global MMA content from UFC and Brave Combat Federation, as well as regional content from UAE warriors and Jiu Jitsu.

UFC content will include 12 numbered fights, 36 fight nights, as well as a wide range of UFC athletes like the Russian professional martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov and Irish MMA fighter and boxer Conor McGregor. The Abu Dhabi showdown week (ADSW), that usually hosts the biggest fights every year, will also be available.

eLife customers can subscribe to the Abu Dhabi Fight Channel for AED 30/month directly from their set top box by going to channel 705 and following the subscription process with a 3-month minimum commitment.

Technology and telecom play a major role in accelerating towards a digital economy powered by 5G, IoT and cloud positively impacting every aspect of the society by building an advanced infrastructure fostering an innovative ecosystem and encouraging collaboration, highlighted Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat International.

Bamatraf participated in a panel discussion organised by SAMENA Telecom Council titled ‘Accelerating a Sustainable Digital Economy’. His session focused on achieving consensus on modeling the digital economy for the next decade. The other key panelists in the discussion included other senior leaders from GSMA, World Economic Forum, Saudi Arabia and Africa.

“In the current pandemic all companies have accelerated their efforts to digital transformation by identifying gaps that need to be addressed touching all aspects of the business, network and technology infrastructure. As an industry, policy makers and regulators need to support this transition to the digital economy by implementing favourable ICT policies, fast-tracking infrastructure development and fostering digital inclusion. This will improve the socio-economics of the region by sustainably closing the digital divide, and Etisalat was among the first telcos to adopt digital transformation embodied in our strategy ‘driving the digital future to enable societies,” said Bamatraf.

The discussion also highlighted the importance of building the necessary ICT infrastructure, which requires updating existing systems and making policies, such as ‘Cloud First’, defining steps to achieve strategic coordination of multiple stakeholders, making digital economy measureable, integrating the region and create economies of scale for infrastructure investments.

Bocar A. BA, CEO and Board Member SAMENA Telecommunications Council, UAE said: “Today’s event was a success with virtual discussions and keynotes focusing on the acceleration of the digital economy gathering leaders and regulators from the telecom industry encouraging them to work collaboratively during today’s pandemic. I want to thank Etisalat for its support and participation in the panel discussion adding valuable insights and perspectives on such a relevant topic.”

  • Frontline professionals will have exclusive offers designed by Etisalat in collaboration with the Frontline Heroes Office
  • The exclusive offers aim to help frontline heroes stay connected

Etisalat today announced the launch of its special offers as a token of appreciation for the selflessness and dedication of the UAE’s frontline heroes during this unprecedented period.

The special offers have been curated in collaboration with the Frontline Heroes Office that is working with partners across the UAE to recognise and celebrate frontline professionals who sacrifice and put themselves at risk to protect the people of the UAE. Etisalat’s offers aim to keep frontline heroes connected, allowing them to experience convenience and flexibility as well as enjoy access to a variety of value propositions.

Frontline heroes supporting the UAE’s response to COVID-19 should check with their employers to confirm that they are registered with the Frontline Heroes Office. Alternatively, they can verify if they are eligible by dialing the USSD code #48#. Those registered may visit the nearest Etisalat business centre across the UAE to learn more about the special offers they can avail.

Since its inception, more than 80,000 professionals have been registered with the Frontline Heroes Office, including healthcare practitioners, police, essential service providers, crisis managers, security and emergency service providers, humanitarian agencies, sterilisation personnel and volunteers.

About Frontline Heroes Office
The Frontline Heroes Office, established in July 2020 by Presidential Decree under the Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces is dedicated to recognizing and caring for those working on the frontline.

The Office is mandated to listen and respond to the challenges and priorities of the UAE’s frontline professionals, implement short-term and long-term solutions to directly address those needs, as well as ensure those who sacrifice and put themselves at risk to protect the people of the UAE are nationally recognized and celebrated. The Frontline Heroes Office will deliver on its mandate through partnerships and collaborations with government entities, the private sector and the wider community across the Emirates through a wide range of initiatives and special programs that directly support frontline heroes.

The Frontline Heroes Office has established a comprehensive national Registry of over 80,000 frontline professionals and volunteers actively protecting the UAE and its residents in the fight against COVID-19. The new Registry is a significant milestone in an initiative to care for and champion those who put themselves on the frontline in service to the people of the UAE.

The Registry was created by the Frontline Heroes Office and collates data from people on the frontline provided directly by entities at the federal and emirate level involved in the pandemic response, including those entities under the umbrella of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), and licensed healthcare facilities in every emirate. It covers the full spectrum of UAE citizens and expatriates who have put themselves on the frontline in service to the country, including healthcare practitioners, police, essential service providers, crisis managers, security and emergency service providers, humanitarian agencies, sterilization personnel and volunteers.

For more information, please connect with us on:
Facebook: @frontlineheroesuae
Instagram: @frontlineheroesuae
Website: https://frontlineheroes.ae

Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC – Etisalat Group announces the appointment of its new Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Ms. Dena Ali Al Mansoori 

As Etisalat continues to strengthen its position as a leading world-class telco and ICT Company, we believe in our capabilities and strive to strengthen them further by injecting young, competent, and promising leadership. The appointment of Ms. Dena marks the hiring of the first woman in Etisalat’s C-suite, and surely not the last. This is a testament of our commitment to the principles of gender diversity.

With over 17 years of experience, Ms. Dena is a leading global human resource practitioner with vast experience in leveraging organisational behavior, people science, and AI Technologies, to help organisations make data driven decisions regarding how they attract, hire, promote, engage, and retain top talent. She joins Etisalat as the company steps-up its acceleration of its digitalisation efforts, on both the customer-facing side as well as in its internal processes.

Ms. Dena is the former Chief Human Resources Officer of the Central Bank of the UAE and as of earlier this year, Founder & CEO of her own HR Tech company. She has worked with leading companies across four continents in various industries, including retail, banking, finance, and oil and gas.

She holds an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and Finance from Boston University.

  • Leaders’ Summit powered by Etisalat’s fixed 5G network

Etisalat chiefs highlighted the importance of investing in the network with the telecom sector undergoing rapid changes globally and digital transformation taking precedence, where Etisalat has proved its leadership by remaining ahead of competition due to its continuous investments in building one of the most advanced networks in the world.

Etisalat, along with telecom leaders participated in Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, the event powered by Etisalat’s 5G fixed network, blending physical and virtual presence allowing participants to join seamlessly from anywhere in the world.

Hatem Dowidar, Acting CEO, Etisalat Group & CEO, Etisalat International, shared insights on Etisalat’s success story due to its continuous investments in the network achieving a major milestone this year of being ranked the fastest mobile network in the world. This was in line with Etisalat’s vision to ‘Drive the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ to provide innovative and leading digital services to its subscribers and business customers. Dowidar highlighted the importance of transitioning towards the new normal by adapting new business models, and focusing on digital transformation, enabling all sectors to be part of this transformation.

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Strategy & Corporate Governance Officer, Etisalat Group, participated in the summit focusing on how Etisalat is making a major impact with 5G technologies, and enriching the society and digital economy by adapting to new and revolutionary business models. Al Shamsi highlighted the importance of 5G network laying the foundation for the next generation of telecom services and solutions, and called for enhanced partnerships between the different sectors to explore new opportunities, and provide value added solutions to all segments of the society during the new normal.

The summit also saw the participation of Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat International, as one of the key speakers at a discussion on telcos making an impact with digital transformation. His session highlighted various issues such as how COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation; network transformation and management; digital transformation of customer experience; and data-driven decision making: capacity, investment, products

Dr Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Etisalat International, also highlighted the importance of ‘The Era of 5G: Spectrum Allocation’ among the other telecom leaders, and the importance of collaboration with regulatory authorities in a way to ensure providing innovative solutions that uplifts the economy in different countries.

The other senior leaders who participated were Khaled Hegazy, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Etisalat Misr, deliberating on ‘Regulating Data Privacy in a Virtually Connected World’ with other chief executives.

Toni Eid, CEO, Trace Media International highlighted the relevance of the 5G fixed network for the event: “The 14th edition of ‘The Leaders’ Summit’ is the first global blended event to be broadcasted and conducted on a fixed 5G network. I am thankful for Etisalat’s participation and support in making this possible giving all our speakers, panelists and attendees the opportunity to experience the most advanced network in the world. This is a true example of digital innovation and transformation in the network setting- a testimony for the world and positioning UAE on a global map.”

Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, SVP, Corporate Communications, Etisalat Group, said: “This is another great milestone for Etisalat to be able to power this entire event on the fixed 5G network. Etisalat is proud to participate in this prestigious summit that gathers leaders and experts from across markets delivering a platform to exchange expertise, learn on the latest trends in the industry and provide the participants such a unique enriching 5G experience.”

Leaders’ Summit focused on the theme ‘It’s all about Smart Networking’, bringing telecom experts and leaders together on one platform to debate and discuss about future developments in the regional and global telecom industry. The attendees included decision makers from the telecom industry covering all segments in the ecosystem.

  • Three winners win prizes worth AED 350,000 to help grow their business
  • Hello Business Pitch initiative is aligned with UAE’s strategy of bolstering the SMB segment

The Small and Medium Business (SMB) sector plays a key role in the UAE economy in driving innovation, job creation and disruptive business models. Given the importance of this segment, Etisalat has been working closely with businesses across all sectors to cater to their requirements, ensure a successful a digital journey and facilitate business continuity during these unprecedented times.

Etisalat’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’ is one of Etisalat’s strategic initiatives that aims at supporting entrepreneurs and start-up businesses by providing them with an opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of an expert panel of judges who will be assessing their business model through the strength of their pitch for a chance to win grand prizes that help in growing their business.

This platform, in its second year, has received an overwhelming response and is gaining popularity among aspiring entrepreneurs.

Hundreds of passionate start-up businesses applied since its launch in December 2019. After an intensive and comprehensive assessment of the applications based on the creativity of the business models, demonstrative scalability, and the ability to effectively portray their potential business growth in a clear and concise way, Etisalat shortlisted 52 candidates who progressed to the latter stages of the competition.

The shortlisted businesses were then invited to pitch their business model online. Twenty-five businesses were selected, who then got into a dedicated training session by Dr Petar Stojanov, Partner, Innovation & Future Strategy at Black, on how to perfect their pitch. Two more pitching sessions were conducted and the jury selected the top three winners, who were announced by Etisalat at a live awards ceremony viewed by the business industry around the globe.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, commented: “Small and medium businesses are a backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for 86 percent of the total private sector workforce and more than 60 percent of the country’s current GDP. This year’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’ has indeed succeeded in attracting high-potential start-ups and harnessing the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs who are bringing innovative ideas to the market. I have witnessed first-hand the thoroughness and the quality of the content of their pitches, and look forward to hearing about their entrepreneurial journey.”

YallaGive won first place for a brilliant pitch and will receive AED150,000. The second place winner Key2enable Assistive Technology will be awarded AED120,000, while App4Legal placed third in the competition and will walk away with AED80,000 for their respective creative pitches.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “It is my pleasure to congratulate the entrants, shortlisted candidates and winners of this year’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’. This competition showed the strength of the UAE’s future business leaders and their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Our initiative is in line with Etisalat’s continuous efforts to support SMBs and start-ups in the UAE and position Etisalat as the preferred business partner of choice for SMBs.”

  • Three winners win prizes worth AED 350,000 to help grow their business
  • Hello Business Pitch initiative is aligned with UAE’s strategy of bolstering the SMB segment

Etisalat announced the top three winners of the second ‘Hello Business Pitch’ competition at a live awards ceremony, giving out prizes worth AED 350,000 to aspiring entrepreneurs and providing a platform to bring their business ideas to reality.

Focusing on innovation, the competition’s second edition received an overwhelming response this year with 52 candidates shortlisted progressing to the latter stages of the competition.

YallaGive won first place for a brilliant business pitch and will receive AED150,000. The second place winner Key2enable Assistive Technology will be awarded AED120,000, while App4Legal placed third in the competition and will walk away with AED80,000 for their respective creative pitches.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, commented: “Small and medium businesses are a backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for 86 percent of the total private sector workforce and more than 60 percent of the country’s current GDP. This year’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’ has indeed succeeded in attracting high-potential start-ups and harnessing the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs who are bringing innovative ideas to the market. I have witnessed first-hand the thoroughness and the quality of the content of their pitches, and look forward to hearing about their entrepreneurial journey.”

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “It is my pleasure to congratulate the entrants, shortlisted candidates and winners of this year’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’. This competition showed the strength of the UAE’s future business leaders and their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Our initiative is in line with Etisalat’s continuous efforts to support SMBs and start-ups in the UAE and position Etisalat as the preferred business partner of choice for SMBs.”

The competition launched in December 2019 has gained popularity and got bigger every year. Hundreds of passionate start-up businesses applied, and 52 shortlisted businesses were invited to pitch their business online after an intensive and comprehensive assessment of the applications based on the creativity of the business models, demonstrative scalability, and the ability to effectively portray their potential business growth in a clear and concise way.

Twenty-five businesses were selected and then given a dedicated training session by Dr Petar Stojanov, Partner, Innovation & Future Strategy at Black, on how to perfect their pitch. Two more pitching sessions were conducted and the jury selected the top three winners, who were announced by Etisalat at a live awards ceremony viewed by the business industry around the globe.

October 2020

  • Efforts in building the most advanced network contributed to the country’s international recognition
  • UAE network ranked with the fastest mobile download speed worldwide in January, March and July 2020

Ookla, the global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis today recognised Etisalat for being the fastest mobile network operator worldwide in 2020 providing its subscribers the most superior experience with the fastest mobile speeds from anywhere in the world. This major achievement is a testimony of UAE’s leadership’s vision to transform the country to a digital first and knowledge based economy.

The ranking is based on analysis by Ookla of millions of tests actively initiated by customers across every network to check internet speeds using various applications on web and mobile platforms. The Speedtest Awards™ for top network providers are determined using a ‘Speed Score’ that incorporates a measure of each provider’s network speeds (download and upload) to rank network speed performance.

With a download speed of 115.89 mbps and an overall ranking in the ‘Speed Score’ at 98.78, Etisalat is the only operator globally to rank higher than 90 as per Ookla Speedtest data. Etisalat is also the winner of the Speedtest Awards for both fastest mobile network worldwide in Q1-Q2 and Q2-Q3 in 2020 and fastest fixed broadband network in Q3-Q4 2019.

Hatem Dowidar, Acting CEO, Etisalat Group, said: “This is a milestone achievement and a testament to our relentless efforts towards our strategy and vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’. Our corporate strategy has enabled us to consistently push boundaries, by responding swiftly to the global digital advancements and proactively deliver cutting-edge services and solutions to our customers. We will continue to focus on creating the world’s best and leading networks across our markets to deliver long-term value to all our stakeholders.

“Thanks to the vision of our wise leadership in the UAE in positioning the country among the most digitally advanced globally and inspiring us to realise our efforts by delivering world-class networks, infrastructure and innovative services. We are also grateful to the leaders for their continuous support and want to express our gratitude to all our loyal customers for their confidence in driving us to accomplish our goals of driving digital innovations for a better future.”

Doug Suttles, CEO and co-founder of Ookla said: “Today, I am honoured to recognise Etisalat UAE with the fastest mobile network in the world. This is a truly momentous accolade, and one that Etisalat absolutely deserves. Etisalat is at the top of the world in terms of network speed and is officially the world's fastest mobile network. In addition to being awarded as the fastest mobile operator, Etisalat is also recognised with the fastest fixed broadband network in the GCC and Arab region. This is a truly historic and proud moment for the country and Etisalat.

“With everything going digital and online the fast network will help transform the lives of Etisalat subscribers. This is another incredible achievement showcasing the company’s commitment to advancing the UAE and empowering its leadership with a strategic edge in taking one large step closer to realising the UAE Vision 2021 plan and national digital transformation strategy.”

The achievement is significant in current times when the pandemic caused global crisis highlighting the importance of a robust and up-to-date network. Etisalat’s individual efforts in building one of the most advanced networks greatly impacted the country’s overall performance — and as a result the UAE was ranked the fastest country in the world in January, March and July 2020 for average mobile download speed, as reported on the Speedtest Global Index™.

As per Ookla, global networks witnessed an exponential surge in network demand through the pandemic. During this period, it was essential to maintain network performance and quality to support business continuity and ensure consumers had access to essential services as well as continue to remotely work and study from home.

From the beginning Etisalat was always the first in the region to take a lead and launch previous generations of the network mainly 3G, 4G and 5G. As a previous winner of the Speedtest Award™ for fastest mobile network and fastest broadband network in the region for 2019 Etisalat amplified its efforts on improving the mobile network, supporting business continuity in a work-from-home environment, facilitating distance learning and providing entertainment to families at home.

  • Customers to experience device’s next-generation capabilities on Etisalat’s robust and reliable 5G network
  • With the exclusive ‘Upgrade Anytime’ programme, enjoy the freedom to upgrade your phone after 90 days

Etisalat today announced the availability of the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 in the UAE, introducing a powerful 5G experience, from 23rd October.

The devices will be available at Etisalat retail stores across the UAE. Purchases of the new iPhone devices could also be made via the website www.etisalat.ae or My UAE Etisalat app.

Customers may opt to purchase the new Apple devices through SmartPay and enjoy 12, 18 or 24 months flexible payments. Customers purchasing the new iPhone devices via SmartPay plans can now join the ‘Upgrade Anytime’ programme and enjoy the freedom to upgrade upon completion of 90 days of their subscription. Existing Upgrade anytime program customers who joined the program last year with iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, will be eligible to upgrade their devices to the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

This unique value proposition allows customers to return their devices and get a new one with the option to change the screen size, the color or storage size or installment scheme. Customers can also avail the AppleCare+ service in affordable monthly instalments.

Featuring the most 5G bands on any smartphone, iPhone 12 models offer the broadest 5G coverage worldwide. The newly designed iPhone 12 models feature expansive edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays for a brighter, more immersive viewing experience, and a new Ceramic Shield front cover, providing the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone. The new 5G-ready devices sport the A14 Bionic – the fastest chip in a smartphone - and a new dual-camera system, bringing an unparalleled camera experience that makes it easier than ever to intuitively capture the perfect photograph or video.

A14 Bionic powers every experience on iPhone 12 Pro, and coupled with advanced camera systems, introduces meaningful new computational photography features. The reimagined pro camera systems include an expansive Ultra Wide camera, a Telephoto camera with an even longer focal length on iPhone 12 Pro Max, and new Wide cameras to capture beautiful professional-quality images and video in bright and low-light environments. iPhone 12 Pro models also introduce a new LiDAR Scanner for immersive augmented reality experiences and MagSafe, which offers high-powered wireless charging and an all-new ecosystem of accessories that easily attach to iPhone.

  • A Sudanese graphic designer from Ajman won AED250,000 in Etisalat’s Wasel Gifts ‘Mega Prize’ promotion after a draw conducted at Etisalat’s Abu Dhabi headquarters.

Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, today handed over the cheque to Karim Imad Eldin Abdallah Mohamed, 26, who was ecstatic and overwhelmed at winning the mega prize. His name was picked from thousands of prepaid customers who participated in the three-month promotion which commenced in July this year.

Etisalat’s Wasel Gifts ‘Mega Prize’ offered one lucky prepaid customer a chance to win AED 250,000 cash in addition to instant prizes for every recharge of AED30 and above.

New and existing Wasel and WaselGo subscribers were eligible to participate in the summer promotion. For every one dirham of AED30 recharge and above, one lucky winner picked through a draw stood a chance to win a AED250,000 mega prize. More recharges increased one’s chances of winning the life-changing prize. For instance, an AED30 recharge gave a customer 30 chances to win the mega prize.

Prepaid customers may want to stay tuned as more awesome and bigger Wasel Gifts prizes are on the way, including a life-changing cash prize.

Etisalat will offer the new iPhone 12 lineup, including iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 mini, introducing a powerful 5G experience.

With a beautiful all-new design, iPhone 12 models feature unparalleled new camera systems, edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR displays for a more immersive viewing experience, the biggest jump in durability with the Ceramic Shield front cover, and Apple-designed A14 Bionic chip, the fastest chip in a smartphone.

Customers will be able to order iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 beginning on 16th October with availability on 23rd October. Availability for iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini coming later. For complete pricing and availability details, please visit https://www.etisalat.ae/en/index.jsp.

  • Etisalat today announced it was recognised as ‘Best Regional Wholesale Carrier’ at the 2020 Telecoms World Middle East Awards virtual ceremony. It was shortlisted among top telecom companies for its success in the wholesale business. This marks a record 12th year that Etisalat has won this award.

Commenting on the award, Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are honoured to receive the ‘Best Regional Wholesale Carrier’ award for the 12th year, which highlights Etisalat’s core international network capabilities, reach and commitment to quality as well as the capabilities and success of our SmartHub, our new services, and the strategic partnerships we have formed over the years. This recognition is a testament to Etisalat’s resiliency and continuous and value-focused innovations – a key driver to our success in the wholesale business.”

Over the years, Etisalat has been expanding its global reach through strategic partnerships & investments. Etisalat continued to innovate in 2020 through introducing new services and creative collaborations. It expanded its SmartHub wholesale data centre through inaugurating a new facility in Fujairah in February 2020, while another SmartHub data centre in Dubai is also ready. This expansion makes Etisalat’s SmartHub one of the biggest and the most diversified carrier hotel in MENA.

Etisalat increased its LTE (4G) roaming footprint to around 515 networks, putting the telco in the leading position globally. It launched 5G roaming services with more than 30 operators in various countries.

Etisalat’s Smart Cloud Talk service was launched this year to address the growing demand for virtual interaction and communication capabilities in the enterprise segment based on the cloud.

The virtual awards ceremony, held on 13th October 2020, was part of a two-day Telecoms World Middle East virtual event in Dubai. The winners were chosen by an independent a panel of expert judges assembled by Terrapinn, the organisers of the annual Telecoms World Middle East conference and awards.

  • Transformation is key in the new normal with a focus on innovation by building new capabilities and tools that are digitally enabled and are sustainable, said Hatem Bamatraf, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat International, during the Telecoms World Middle East & Carriers World Middle East 2020.

“Etisalat has always thrived and continuously invested in building an advanced network and introducing new services to meet the growing requirements of customers especially in today’s new normal. We are the cusp of this metamorphosis where we are able to deliver uninterrupted services to our customers, provide solutions in an age of social distancing and remote working to enable faster decision making for businesses, minimise human interactions and increase the pace of automation. Thanks to the UAE vision in positioning the country as one of the most competitive nations globally despite the headwinds posed by today’s extraordinary times we continue to realise our digital goals to meet the distinctive needs of all customers,” said Bamatraf.

Bamatraf was a key panelist in the opening CEO keynote panel on ‘Embracing tech transformation in today’s new normal society’.

The two-day conference taking place virtually from 13th to 14th October is among the biggest and most influential telecom events in the region, focusing on the strategies, technologies and big ideas that will be essential for telecoms companies in 2020.

Etisalat chief executives participated in panel discussions and live interactive sessions moderated by global and regional experts in the region. Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, took part in an insightful panel discussion on ‘Opportunities await the Middle East: capitalising on the geographical advantage of the region and exploring the opportunities that lie ahead.

A multitude of topics were discussed such as exploring the barriers to connectivity; adapting digital mentality and utilising and benefiting from OTTs; improving connectivity and overcoming obstacles in the region; accessing emerging markets in the Middle East for global and regional carriers; and outlining the necessity to keep on top of technological innovation to compete in the region.

Shafika Houcine, Group Director – Digital Channels, Etisalat, participated in a panel on ‘Capitalising on AI: surviving the transition’.

On the event’s second day, Sidheeque Machingal, Senior Director of Carrier & Wholesale Planning, Etisalat, will take part in a fireside chat on ‘Global connectivity: the data race of subsea carriers and big internet giants’, focusing on how subsea cables are impacting the data centre and ecosystems. Topics of discussion include the expected opportunity of security services for carriers; industry collaboration and the next steps; preparing for denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, making carriers vulnerable for attack; and analysing physical security for critical assets.

Meanwhile, Jose L Lopez Villen, Director of Open Innovation and IoT Partnership Programs, will present ‘Corporate and Startups: Models to Collaborate in the Open Innovation System’.

September - 2020

  • Campaign seeks to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma in support of World Alzheimer’s Day
  • Etisalat’s Instagram posts ‘disappear’ to depict memory loss and help people remember this day

After setting social media abuzz with a completely blank Instagram page over the weekend, Etisalat today unveiled its campaign in support of a global effort to raise awareness and challenge stigma associated with dementia, in line with its brand direction ‘Together Matters’.

On 21st September each year, World Alzheimer's Day is celebrated across the world. In the lead up to this day, Etisalat archived all its Instagram posts to depict memory loss experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, more than 3,000 Instagram posts were not visible to the public since 18th September, piquing the interest of the media and Instagram followers alike.

Etisalat also released a short video clip to drive home a strong message about remembering those who cannot remember: “Memories disappear with Alzheimer’s. Let us remember this day and those affected by it.”

World Alzheimer’s Day is an international campaign to raise awareness, highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia, and demonstrate how we can overcome them to help people live well with dementia. From previous studies, two out of every three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries.

People living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 50 million, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. The total number of people with dementia is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 million in 2050, according to the World Health Organisation.

  • Revolutionary educational solution to create, maintain, share & verify academic credentials
  • Working with govt entities and universities to digitally attest and certify qualifications

Etisalat Digital announced today its partnership with Smartworld to exclusively bring Shahada, a tamper-proof digital certificate platform, to all educational institutions in the region.

This revolutionary solution will save time, effort and resources by enabling these institutions to securely issue credentials on blockchain, avoiding forgery of paper-based certificates and creating an educational passport where credentials are easily shared with third parties, who can verify their authenticity seamlessly.

Etisalat Digital is working closely with Smartworld to empower ‘Shahada’ with its market reach, advanced infrastructure in the country and operational capabilities and take it to all schools and universities. The platform was launched in February this year by Smartworld, the UAE’s leading system integrator, and Grape Technology, a UAE blockchain startup.

Shahada is in alignment with both the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021 and the 50-Year Charter launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to partner with Smartworld to bring Shahada, a secure platform that is a groundbreaking innovation for the educational sector. Etisalat Digital with its capabilities and expertise, utilises disruptive technologies to empower all sectors in UAE and the Middle East. Shahada reinforces our capabilities in blockchain after launching a nationwide platform in collaboration with eight major banks to digitise trade in the finance sector.”

Abdulqader Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Smartworld, said: “Significant synergies will be gained from our partnership with Etisalat Digital and we are excited about the opportunities moving forward. Our ecosystem solution will not only help students, government and educational institutions, but also employers who will experience ease of verification and a reduction of fraud.”

The Shahada platform brings together educational institutions, government entities and other stakeholders on a secure permissioned blockchain platform. It enables ministries to play a regulatory role on the blockchain records, digitally attest and certify credentials issued inside and outside the UAE.

Etisalat subscribers in UAE can now access super-fast speeds on 5G fixed networks from their homes enabling them to stream high bandwidth 4K videos, enjoy cloud based gaming and low latency to meet the accelerated need for immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality during the pandemic.

“The deployment of 5G FWA is another major 5G milestone for Etisalat, a result of our continuous efforts in bringing the best in technology and infrastructure for our subscribers in UAE. Today’s announcement is significant as it lays a foundation for 5G use cases to bringing futuristic technologies and solutions in a mature 5G ecosystem. This is only the beginning of the next evolution of fixed wireless technologies and the immense possibilities of innovation for UAE residents and businesses,” said Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat.

Etisalat 5G FWA CPE (customer premise equipment) will be installed at the subscriber’s residence to be connected wirelessly to the 5G towers broadcasting the wireless signal. The customer connects a WiFi router to the 5G CPE to provide broadband services in a similar way done over fibre.

Etisalat has led the telecom sector and in the region with the deployment of the 5G network setting a major benchmark in the industry by becoming the first telco in MENA in May 2018 to launch the commercial 5G network providing fixed wireless service in the UAE. This was followed by another major substantial breakthrough in its 5G journey by connecting and partnering with Expo 2020 as the first major commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to access 5G services.

In May 2019, Etisalat was the first telecom operator in MENA to enable its customers to experience the power of the 5G network and release the first 5G handset before many others. Etisalat also became the first telco in MENA to provide indoor 5G coverage in selected buildings in the country.

The UAE maintained its Arab and regional leadership in a number of ICT related indicators, according to the Global Innovation Index Report 2020, which included results related to Global Competitiveness indicators for ICT sector.

According to the report, the UAE ranked first on the Arab and regional level in information and communication technologies (ICTs) pillar, ICT access indicator, and ICT use indicator. The UAE also ranked first in the Arab region in Generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and in Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) (.ae). This reflects the UAE’s efforts in enforcing the digital transformation embodied by the government’s directions towards being one of the leading countries in the world.

Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is proud to contribute to the UAE ranking first in a number of ICT indicators in the Global Innovation Index 2020. Etisalat’s philosophy since its inception was to revolutionise the telecom sector while transitioning to the digital era and being well equipped for the future. Etisalat retained ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ in MENA for the third consecutive year by Brand Finance, while Ookla recognised Etisalat for being the fastest mobile network in MENA and broadband network in GCC, Africa and Arabian region.

“Digital transformation in Etisalat is at the centre of this strategy and leveraging technologies that can help accelerate this transition to the new era. Etisalat became first telco in MENA in May 2018 to launch the commercial 5G network providing fixed wireless service in the UAE, and the first telecom operator in MENA to enable its customers to experience the power of the 5G network and release the first 5G handset before many others.”

UAE is ranked number one for the highest FTTH penetration among all its global counterparts for three years in a row according to the leading industry body FTTH council. UAE also has the highest percentage of mobile internet subscribers, and the highest percentage of internet users per population.

According the Global Knowledge Index 2019, the UAE maintained the number one ranking for percentage of mobile coverage for inhabitants; number one for internet broadband subscriptions; and number one in the Arab world and region in smart government services as per United Nations’ E-government survey in July 2020.

UAE has the fastest mobile internet network in the world, reflecting the advancement witnessed in the ICT sector in the UAE, according to the latest report issued by Ookla on July 2020.

Global unified communication portfolio features best-in-class network reach, carrier grade quality and scalability

Etisalat Carrier & Wholesale announced the launch of ‘Etisalat Smart Cloud Talk’, its unified communications (UC) portfolio in collaboration with leading industry partners supported by its tier 1 global network infrastructure to deliver advanced connectivity and productivity.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to launch ‘Smart CloudTalk’, an agile, secure and cloud based solution beneficial to the carrier community providing them flexibility in managing their communication requirements. This is also in line with Etisalat’s overall commitment to supporting businesses in the country during today’s extraordinary times through solutions and services that facilitate business continuity and efficiency. Smart CloudTalk will enhance collaboration and ensure smooth functioning of the businesses with its remote working capabilities supported by our robust backend capability guaranteeing all our global customers a seamless experience.”

The launch of Etisalat Smart CloudTalk Unified Collaborative services portfolio brings together multiple technology platforms to enable ubiquitous applications and services to integrate with voice and video. This is delivered from the Etisalat cloud and accessible through a rich set of application programming interfaces (API) and software development kits. The work-from-anywhere cloud solution provides unified communications to Etisalat carrier partners and customers to enable remote communication and working.

The service is delivered over a carrier-grade cloud private branch exchange (PBX) replacing the legacy setups. The pay-as-you-go model gives customers the flexibility to work in multi-channel communication environments, minimising upfront investments and focusing on productivity rather than infrastructure.

Etisalat Smart CloudTalk gives users the ease of switching between various devices seamlessly in real-time from any location. The state-of-the-art features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and mobile app, among others, contribute to an elevated user experience leading to better productivity.

Etisalat experienced high demand during the pre-order promotion and is anticipating similar interest following the next-generation device’s official launch

Purchase Galaxy Note20 |20 Ultra (5G) devices with special 5G Smart Pay offer and enjoy the same Smart Pay of the (4G) models

Etisalat today announced that the all-new Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra are now available for all customers in the UAE.

Developed with the new normal in mind to meet the needs of consumers and complement their dynamic lifestyles, the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra are innovative devices that empower users to integrate all aspects related to work and play. Besides supporting users in their daily lives, the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities will optimize time and maximize efficiency on every occasion, bringing new value to smartphone interactions and experiences.

“At Samsung, we are driven by our vision to remain at the forefront of smartphone innovation and reimagine the connected world by combining technology and creativity based on a consumer-centric approach,” said Osman Albora, Head of Mobile Division, Samsung Gulf Electronics.

“Introducing meaningful innovations that provide convenience, make life easier, and deliver cutting-edge experiences is among our top priorities. The initial response we have witnessed across the country and wider region surrounding the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra has been very encouraging. We are delighted that consumers are finally able to experience the many capabilities of the device that is already an invaluable addition to the Galaxy ecosystem.”

Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is thrilled that the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra will be available for our customers in the UAE. Samsung’s latest flagship devices will be a game-changer in the industry and available for all Etisalat customers in the UAE. With Etisalat's Smart Pay options, we are making it affordable for all customer segments to get their hands on these two highly desired smartphones.”

Etisalat began taking pre-orders for the highly anticipated devices on 5th August. The standalone price of a Galaxy Note20 starts at AED3,549, while a Note20 Ultra begins at AED4,499, available at Etisalat stores and online on Etisalat’s website as well as on the My Etisalat UAE app. The Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra can be purchased with flexible Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, or 24-month contract starting from only AED154 and AED195, respectively. All prices are VAT inclusive. Etisalat customers may purchase Galaxy Note20 |20 Ultra (5G) devices with special 5G Smart Pay offer and enjoy the same Smart Pay of the (4G) models.

Etisalat customers purchasing the device with a new or existing prepaid account would be eligible to dial *056# and receive one of the following special deal of the day offers: 1GB for 3 months, 3GB for 2 months, or 10GB for 1 month.

Premium in design and elegant in appearance, the Galaxy Note20 has a 6.7 inch screen to offer enhanced immersion, with tremendous visibility indoors and outdoors through the brightest display available on a smartphone today. The device is available in Mystic color options and can fit perfectly in the hand of users as they enjoy their favorite videos and play games. With a fast processor, the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra can effortlessly facilitate speedy performance and smoother multitasking on every occasion and at any given time, effectively providing the perfect platform for newfound levels of productivity. Moreover, the greatest mobile gaming experiences are also set to be welcomed into a new chapter to ensure more enjoyable viewing and gaming than ever before.

Through Galaxy’s Microsoft partnership and Microsoft 365 integration, consumers will also have the power to work at all times and be more proactive. Users can connect to their PC, transfer and edit files across different devices, and even respond to phone notifications, while using the most advanced S Pen to date, which enables consumers to write with the precision of a real pen – straightening handwriting in the process to keep it neat and tidy. Furthermore, with power that works like that of a computer, enhanced digital experiences are guaranteed through a winning combination of multimedia assets and sleek visual content. The Note20 series' intelligent all-day battery plays an integral role; it will last the entire duration of any given day so consumers have the power they require at all times. But for those seeking peace of mind, 30 minutes worth of charge is sufficient to ensure work endeavors will never be hindered. For more details, please visit www.samsung.com

August 2020

Special invite to join the global virtual session on UAE’s readiness to counter pandemics

Etisalat today participated in World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum’s special session on UAE focusing on the country’s readiness and resilience for pandemics with its advanced telecom network and infrastructure ready to serve the ‘New Normal’ supporting all consumers and businesses to continue studying and working from home.

Rayyan Alhashmi, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Strategy and Governance, Etisalat joined this global virtual session of the WSIS Forum that represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. This forum being held since 22 June 2020 will continue until 10 September 2020 is co-organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS action line facilitators.

The focus of the forum is to foster digital transformation and global partnerships with WSIS action lines to achieve sustainable development goals. The event brought together multi-stakeholders, share best practices and develop public/private partnerships to advance these goals. The global event will provide structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementations.

Two special sessions focused on UAE highlighting projects from various eGovernment projects of various government entities in the country and its readiness to counter pandemics.

Alhashmi shared insights on how the country and the telecom infrastructure are ready to face the ‘New Normal’ with one of the most advanced networks in the world. “During the pandemic, UAE’s government’s leadership and vision showcased the country’s resilience and readiness in dealing with this global crisis. Etisalat supported the government by enabling solutions and services that allowed consumers and businesses to study and work from home in the most efficient manner. This was possible due to our continuous focus on innovation as part of the strategy ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ embedded within our DNA manifested across the business.”

During the pandemic, Etisalat’s main focus was to support the entire community including business and individuals ensuring its network and services enable business and learning continuity. During the period May-Feb 2020, Etisalat’s network witnessed an increase in traffic of more than 300 percent in communication and collaboration solutions where as in Internet gaming it touched 500 percent. With work and study from home becoming a norm there was a surge in traffic of more than 90 percent in video streaming and social media.

Etisalat worked closely with the Ministry of Education to provide zero rate access to educational URLs and free mobile data for students. There was also free access to the Madrasa platform on eLife and remote learning apps. For the healthcare sector there was a telemedicine platform made available to support hospitals and clinics in providing remote healthcare services. IoT/AI platforms were used for disease containment, AI video analytics including thermal cameras and wearable IoT solutions were among the other advance solutions used for the sector.

Etisalat today announced the launch of a dedicated microsite featuring women’s notable achievements pinned on an interactive virtual UAE map in celebration of Emirati Women’s Day.

Etisalat's emiratiya.ae marks all the locations significant to the pioneering women of the UAE’s past and present, each with a special pin detailing inspiring stories behind their accomplishments.

The founder of ‘Emirati Women's Day’ Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the nation and a champion for gender equality in UAE chose this date each year to coincide with the birth of the General Women’s Union on August 28, 1975. The theme this year focuses on ‘Preparing for the next 50 years; Women are the support of the nation’ in line with the UAE Golden Jubilee coming up next year to celebrate the achievements and milestones of women in the country highlighting the key role they will play in writing the next chapter of the future of UAE.

To celebrate this special occasion and as a tribute to all the Emirati women achievers, Etisalat is inviting citizens and residents to visit emiratiya.ae to place a pin celebrating their global achievements. Nominations can be made with a brief description of their accomplishments and a special pin detailing their rich individual stories. 

They can also browse through the photo and video gallery for interesting information of Emirati women’s accomplishments and share these stories on their social media platforms.

The microsite features interesting facts about Emirati women who have shown inspiring courage and wisdom. Etisalat wants to make sure that each one of them is recognised with a special tab provided to submit stories of Emiratiya achievers right from enterprising entrepreneurs to hometown heroines, with many of them having a chance to appear with their own pin.

  • Grow your business with an attractive and engaging website
  • Transform your business online via the e-Store free for life from Etisalat Business Edge

Etisalat today announced the launch of e-Store, a free website builder from Etisalat Business Edge enabling Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers to transform their businesses online with no contract obligations – from displaying products online, allowing customers to place orders online to providing customer insights and analytics.

Built with small businesses in mind, e-Store free for life gets their business website up and running through three simple steps: create, design and sell. New and existing customers subscribed to Business Edge and other selected products will avail the service free for life.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “The SMB market is emerging as a sizeable and growing market in the UAE. At Etisalat, we work closely with SMBs and startups by enabling them with the right tools and services to boost their productivity and profitability.

“The successful launch of our e-Store is yet another testament of our efforts to empower small businesses with scalable and tailored advanced solutions to grow their business in line with the UAE government’s commitment to fuel growth in the SMB sector.”

Etisalat’s e-Store is designed to deliver a first-class website experience for SMBs that suit their business needs. They can create a professional-looking website without hiring a web designer as it is packed with 1,000+ free readymade template designs covering more than 80 SMB verticals. Its drag-and-drop interface comes with a photo editor, video clips, free stock images, Google Maps, among other features.

As a fully integrated store, e-Store enables SMBs to sell their products online, manage payments via secured Etisalat payment gateways and other major gateways in the region for seamless payments. Businesses can upload all their products and publish their website within a few minutes, integrate their store setup, categorise their products, secure their payments, set up and manage their store on mobile.

e-Store is also giving our business customers the option to do their own integration with shipping companies for efficient delivery of products and services to their clients. It eliminates operational costs and commission rates, ensuring increased profitability for SMBs. It is user-friendly and works with most devices: computer, iPhone, iPad and most Android phones and tablets.

To find out more about Etisalat’s e-Store for SMBs, please visit etisalat.ae/estore.

  • Up to 80% discount on devices and accessories with SmartPay options, up to AED100 cashback for purchases via eWallet
  • Get a chance to win AED250,000 and guaranteed prizes every time you recharge AED30 and above

With the 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) in full swing, Etisalat is celebrating the festival with various discounts on devices, instant Wasel Gifts prizes, a chance to win AED250,000 on prepaid recharges, and amazing cashback rewards.

As a strategic partner, Etisalat is offering up to 80% discount on smartphones, TVs, accessories and gadgets of various brands such as Huawei, Samsung and DJI with Smartpay options of up to 24 months and free delivery for online orders. Purchases of these devices could be made via the website www.etisalat.ae, My UAE Etisalat app, eWallet app, and Etisalat retail stores across the UAE from 9 July to 29 August 2020. Customers get up to AED100 cashback for purchases using the eWallet app.

New and existing Wasel and WaselGo subscribers are eligible for the Wasel Gifts ‘Mega Prize’ promotion, offering one lucky prepaid customer a chance to win AED 250,000 cash in addition to instant prizes for every recharge of AED30 and above.

Prepaid customers who top up AED 30 and above will enjoy instant prizes in the form of data, local or international minutes, bonus credit, Smiles points or others.

The ‘Mega Prize’ promotion does not require any opt-in. The minimum recharge amount is AED 30. Any type of recharge is allowed, except for mobile credit transfer. Subscribers can opt-out by dialing *101*30*2#.

The 23rd edition Dubai Summer Surprises runs from 9 July to 29 August 2020, delivering a diverse and exciting seven weeks of events, sales, deals, and promotions, unlimited entertainment and food and beverage offers.

  • Keeping employees safe, connected with customers and moving work forward
  • Key priority to support SMBs in their digital transformation journey
  • Focused on virtual meetings, secure cloud solutions and flexibility

Today the SMB sector plays an important role in the UAE economy, accounting for 86 percent of the total private sector workforce and more than 60 percent of the country’s current GDP.

Etisalat serves close to 300,000 SMB customers in the country, working closely with them in their digital transformation journey. The relevance of digital innovation and capabilities have gained significance in today’s unprecedented times. As businesses navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic, Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small and Medium Business, Etisalat shares his insights on the unique challenges faced by small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the UAE and what the telco is doing to continuously support them and facilitate business continuity during these unprecedented times.

“Today’s rapidly evolving situation poses unique challenges for everyone, and we understand that businesses are doing everything to ensure the safety of their employees while managing business continuity,” says Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small and Medium Businesses at Etisalat.

“At Etisalat, it is our constant endeavor to ensure we support our SMB customers with their business needs and make every effort to simplify their lives even during these difficult times.”

These initiatives, he adds, are in line with the UAE’s efforts to ensure public health and safety and are based on SMB requirements for virtual meetings, cloud video surveillance and analytics, data, monthly usage of voice minutes, device purchases, and postpaid plans.

Keeping business establishments safe

“With the gradual opening of businesses, safety measures, thermal scanners and social distancing procedures should be in place,” Esam Mahmoud says. “In line with government regulations, Etisalat launched a temperature screening solution with multiple product types and a wide range of applications that would make temperature measurement and screening effortless during these challenging times.”

The thermal camera solution is designed to detect skin-surface temperatures to achieve rapid and safe preliminary screening in public areas with high efficiency in a multitude of scenarios. Thermal technology has been applied widely in temperature screening scenarios as it offers more flexibility and efficiency in preliminary screening of elevated skin-surface temperatures. AI technology ensures thermographic cameras only detect human skin-surface temperature to reduce false alarms of other heat sources.

Etisalat’s proposition comes with five options, four different cameras and installment plans of up to 36 months.

State-of-the-art onsite video surveillance technology

“Etisalat’s mantra ‘together matters’ reflects our commitment to the country’s SMB sector,” Esam Mahmoud stresses. “Our Video Surveillance as a Service (VSAAS) offers enhanced security and enables them to benefit from the power of video and video analytics.”

Customers can choose from four Etisalat Video Surveillance (VSAAS) packages, and a one-time installation will be waived off. VSAAS, a comprehensive security surveillance service with a business analytics solution, offers customers end-to-end managed services, security surveillance with analytics, business intelligence, upgradeable cloud storage, as well as web and mobile access, on a monthly subscription model.

VSAAS offers heat maps, people-counting, a security system and queue management. It covers all CCTV requirements, ranging from supply to installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance. It provides cameras, network video recorders with local storage, cloud video management with analytics, web access, a mobile app, and basic seven-day cloud backup as default for continuous streaming.

Connectivity is key

As a provider of vital infrastructure, Etisalat is committed to keeping its valuable customers, employees and society fully connected now more than ever before.

“To support the unprecedented demand for connectivity and help businesses stay connected, we have come up with a wide range of device bundles along with access to Etisalat's unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting,” he says.

Etisalat’s Business First Plus postpaid plan enables business customers to carryforward their unused minutes to the next month and enjoy the unused minutes with three months validity. Plans start from AED110 with carryforward and the Business Xtreme plan with unlimited local calling and double data offer provides 54GB data every month for 12 months starting at only AED 325.

Transforming businesses online

“We have been laser-focused on providing tools and features to support SMBs confronted with a very challenging retail environment where clients tend to restrict their movements and minimise face-to-face interactions,” Esam Mahmoud explains.

Etisalat is providing an E-shop service bundled with a managed web solution for new and existing subscribers to transform businesses online and enable them to engage with their clients via Google My Business and Google Maps listing, website listing, website pages and E-shop starting from AED 160 per month.

Enabling SMBs and their employees to stay connected and productive

With some organisations beginning to reopen and others remaining fully remote, small and medium sized businesses face a unique set of challenges of keeping employees safe, connecting with customers, and moving work forward.

Etisalat provides SMB customers access to a Microsoft 365 Business Basic package, as low as AED 19 a month. The package allows up to 300 users and includes Online Office apps, a 50GB mailbox, a 1TB OneDrive storage, and Microsoft Teams, helps businesses accomplish more and faster with simple file-sharing, real-time co-authoring, and online meetings – all accessible anywhere. Teams can collaborate in real-time with professional e-mail, persistent chat, online storage and video conferencing tools that are always up to date and keep their data safe. In addition, there will be live support from experts during the contract period.

  • Etisalat’s readiness and resilience enabled business and learning continuity
  • Advanced network witnessed surge in traffic of more than 300 percent across platforms

Etisalat is ready to serve the ‘New Normal’ pushing the fast forward button on digital transformation by focusing on partnerships, collaborations and investments with digital adoption being key for new digital services, said Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat Group.

Bin Ali participated on behalf of Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Strategy and Corporate Governance, Etisalat Group at the ‘The Telecommunications Sector and its impact on Future Foresight Post COVID 19’, a virtual future foresight forum organised by UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) and UAE International Investors Council. The event brought together all relevant strategic stake holders from the telecom and technology industry including senior executives from TRA, Ministry of Interior, Smart Dubai, Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Future Foundation, Khalifa University, University of Dubai, Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Microsoft and Noon.

He highlighted the readiness and resilience of Etisalat during the pandemic, the main focus was to support the entire community including business and individuals ensuring its network and services enable business and learning continuity. During the period May-Feb 2020, Etisalat’s network witnessed an increase in traffic of more than 300 percent in communication and collaboration solutions where as in Internet gaming it touched 500 percent. With work and study from home becoming a norm there was a surge in traffic of more than 90 percent in video streaming and social media.

“Thanks to the UAE vision and Etisalat's strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to enable societies’, our network joined one of the most robust and digitally equipped to address the unique requirements during this period making it possible for businesses to work remotely, millions of students to enjoy distance learning and all citizens having access to vital services. Through our networks and dedicated teams we were geared to fully support and serve the community showcasing infrastructure preparedness and our ability to adapt and implement during today's extraordinary times,” said Bin Ali.

The country’s long term vision and strategy focused on digitalisation put it ahead of other global markets in dealing with the pandemic situation. This was backed by global leadership in infrastructure, governance and business environment accompanied with a diversification of the economy and investments. The country has also led in the adoption of technology with the highest mobile broadband subscriptions globally crossing 250 percent and internet usage at an individual level reaching 98.5 percent (5th globally). This was all-possible due to the robust and advanced infrastructure in the country with the highest fiber penetration worldwide and among the first globally and regionally to launch advanced networks with 5G technology.

Etisalat worked closely with the Ministry of Education during the pandemic to provide zero rate access to educational URLs and free mobile data for students. There was also free access to the madrasa platform on eLife and remote learning apps. For the healthcare sector there was a telemedicine platform made available to support hospitals and clinics in providing remote healthcare services. IoT/AI platforms were used for disease containment, AI video analytics including thermal cameras and wearable IoT solutions were among the other advance solutions used for the sector.

The way forward will be about the acceleration of the ‘Hyper Connected Consumer’ with digital life and home gaining significance. Etisalat conducted a survey recently with its business customers to get an insight on their upcoming priorities. The key learning was that acceleration of digital transformation is the most significant and common among all customers. This can be achieved by filling gaps in digital readiness, encouraging the adoption of new digital solutions, adapting to key industry changes, a cloud-first mindset and focus on cybersecurity to ensure business continuity.

Industries and governments will redesign to scale up agility, efficiency and digital ways of working. 5G technology and network will also gain prominence especially with advanced technologies requiring increased bandwidth, connections density and low latency. 5G will enable new experiences and use cases based on futuristic technologies like AR, VR and robotics that are critical for the new digital normal, for both consumers and businesses.

July 2020

  • Customers can also recharge their prepaid account, make charity payments, purchase game and music vouchers via the eWallet app
  • Convenient contactless bill payments
  • Avail AED5 cashback on each eligible transaction

Digital Financial Services, a joint venture between Etisalat and Noor Bank, today announced the launch of eWallet's utility bill payment services, giving customers peace of mind and savings while paying their bills.

eWallet has been instrumental during this unprecedented time to provide contactless payments. Customers will now also be able to make mobile recharges and charity payments as well as purchase game and music vouchers through the app. Every time customers make an eligible transaction of AED50, they will receive a AED5 cashback. Maximum cashback is capped at AED50 per customer.

Ahmed Al Awadi, Chairman of eWallet, said: “eWallet continues to be an innovative solution that uplifts the way UAE residents conduct financial transactions today. Given the current scenario, the adoption of digital payment solutions is increasing at a rapid pace. We at eWallet are constantly enhancing the platform by introducing new services such as utility bill payment services, international money transfers and providing access to more bill payment platforms.”

Customers using eWallet can now pay a wide range of services on the app without visiting other vendor platforms. These include Etisalat top-up and bill payments, Nol, Salik, Ajman Sewerage, FEWA, National Bonds, Xbox 360, Awqaf Sharjah, Beit Al Khair, Sharjah International Charity and Zakat Fund, and many other services to be included in the coming months.

Eligible billers for the AED5 cashback are Etisalat top-up and bill payments, Nol, Salik, Ajman Sewerage, FEWA, National Bonds and Xbox 360.

Regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, eWallet is a revolutionary digital payment service aimed at empowering the UAE residents with safe, convenient and flexible payment solutions through an easy-to-use mobile app.

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no minimum balance needed, no hidden fees, and no need for a bank account, credit or debit card to conduct digital payments. Customers only need a valid Emirates ID and a working UAE mobile number to register for eWallet account. Once registered, users can instantly top-up their wallet balance and start sending and receiving money between mobile phones, transfer to own or third-party bank accounts, and do merchant payments, bill payments, and mobile recharges. Users can deposit and withdraw cash from their wallets by visiting the nearest location as guided in their app.

For more details, please visit www.eWallet.ae

  • Board approval of interim dividend for the Q2 2020 of 15 fils per share bringing interim dividend for H1 2020 to 40 fils per share

Etisalat Group today announced its consolidated financial results for H1 ending 30th June 2020.

  H1 2020 Financial Highlights and Key Developments

  • Etisalat Group subscriber base reached 146 million Subscriber.
  • Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 25.6 billion and consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 4.6 billion representing a year over year increase of 3% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.
  • Consolidated EBITDA totaled AED 13.2 billion resulting in EBITDA margin of 52%.
  • Etisalat named ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ and ‘The Most Valuable Telecom Brand’ in MEA region
  • Credit Rating Agencies Standards & Poor's and Moody's affirmed Etisalat Group's high credit rating at AA-/Aa3 with stable outlook
  • Etisalat partnered with Department of Health, the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi to launch the ‘Digital Healthcare’ Centre
  • Etisalat launched first-of-it-kind telehealth service in the private sector as a continuation of its mission to provide clinical excellence to patients in need.
  • Etisalat partnered with Alef Education to enable a series of digital initiatives to empower the region’s education sector
  • Etisalat unveiled the 5G-enabled smart patrol for Dubai Police, a first in the Middle East and North Africa region
  • Etisalat in partnership with Ministry of Interior signs an MoU with Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme to provide villas with the smart fire alarm solution ‘Hassantuk’
  • Etisalat launched multiple initiatives to support ‘Stay at Home’ directive including but not limited to:
    • Free internet to families to facilitate access to distance learning services
    • More than 10 million Etisalat mobile subscribers enjoyed free browsing to over 800 websites related to education, health and safety
    • Free access to apps and platforms for distance learning and for government services.
    • Introducing new innovative applications and services to ensure seamless business continuity during work from home period.
    • Launched enhanced offers for customers to upgrade their home and mobile plans at no extra charge
    • Etisalat introduced a wide range of device bundles and free access to Etisalat's unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting to help businesses stay connected
    • Etisalat deployed a dedicated task force to ensure business continuity, monitor the performance of basic applications and ensue smooth access to data locally and internationally
    • Establishing command centres equipped with advanced tools to monitor the performance of services provided to government departments, businesses and customers 24/7 
    • Allocating extra network resources and services to the health sector
    • Providing connectivity to quarantined and other critical areas in the health sector
    • Conducted Stay-At-Home awareness campaign across multiple channels
  • Etisalat partnered with Microsoft to enhance its public cloud first strategy infused with automation and AI
  • Digital Financial Services, a joint venture of Etisalat and Noor Bank, partnered with MoneyGram to offer international remittance services in the UAE
  • Etisalat completed the acquisition of Help AG, a privately held regional company specialising in the delivery of cyber security solutions and services.
  • Etisalat expands ‘SmartHub’ presence with a Tier 3 data centre facility at two new locations in UAE
  • Etisalat successfully launched open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN), becoming the first operator in MENA to achieve this technological feat
  • Etisalat launched ‘Business Edge’, a new comprehensive platform offering a wide range of services and solutions that cater to Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers
  • Etisalat launched ‘Easy Prepaid’ enabling business customers to enjoy prepaid features on existing postpaid plans

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Etisalat Group

“Etisalat Group has delivered a good performance in the first half of 2020 considering the circumstances; the world is voyaging through unchartered waters and COVID-19 has affected all industries including the telecom sector. Etisalat managed to adapt, respond and demonstrate resilience as we ensured the delivery of uninterrupted services to our customers and had the privilege of supporting our society through various initiatives.

 

“We are witnessing an opportunity to fast track digital transformation. The unconventional conditions have spurred the adoption of digital services, bridging a divide by changing customers’ behaviour towards digital channels. Etisalat’s innovative solutions have catered for the social distancing era, it has enabled remote working and education, it minimised human interactions and increased the pace of automation. Our infrastructure has accommodated the surge in requirements and is ready for more acceleration in digital adoption.

 

“I would like to thank the UAE leadership for positioning the country as one of the most competitive nations globally. Despite the headwinds posed by today’s extraordinary times we continue to pursue our digital goals to meet the distinctive needs of all customers. I would also like to extend appreciation to our shareholders and loyal customers for their sustained confidence during this period.”

Hatem Dowidar, Acting CEO, Etisalat Group & CEO, Etisalat International

“As we conclude the first half of the year, we pride ourselves with our ability to sustain shareholder value while ensuring the safety of our employees , the welfare of our customers, and the continues support to the community. The group’s financial performance is a testimony of the strong foundations Etisalat was built on and a reflection of a robust network playing a pivotal role in harnessing solutions and services enabling governments, industries and communities to accelerate digital transformation.

“Today the digital revolution is in full force with businesses looking at every window of opportunity to transform their services and solutions. At Etisalat our focus to realise the vision and  strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ supported customers during these unprecedented times by providing them a plethora of new innovative services and emerging technologies backed with resilient connectivity to mitigate the exponential spikes in the network.

“Despite the global economic pressure, Etisalat is confidently moving forward and progressing positively in enabling societies across its operations. We will continue to focus on capitalising opportunities and enhancing overall customer experience while delivering long-term value for all our shareholders.”

Subscribers

  • In the UAE the subscriber base reached 11.8 million subscribers in H1 of 2020, while Aggregate subscriber base reached 146 million, representing a year over year increase of 2%

 Revenue & Net Profit

  • Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 25.6 billion and consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 4.6 billion representing a year over year increase of 3% and resulting in a net profit margin of 18%.

EBITDA:

  • Consolidated EBITDA totaled AED 13.2 billion, resulting in EBITDA margin of 52%.
  • Get a chance to win AED250,000 and guaranteed prizes every time you recharge AED30 and above

Etisalat today announced the launch of its Wasel Gifts ‘Mega Prize’ promotion, offering one lucky prepaid customer a chance to win AED 250,000 cash in addition to instant prizes for every recharge of AED30 and above.

New and existing Wasel and WaselGo subscribers are eligible for this special three-month promotion. For every one dirham of AED30 recharge and above, an AED250,000 mega prize awaits one lucky winner chosen via a draw scheduled to be held on 10th October 2020. More recharges will boost one’s chances of winning a life-changing prize. For instance, an AED30 recharge gives a customer 30 chances to win the mega prize.

Prepaid customers who top up AED 30 and above will continue to enjoy instant prizes in the form of data, local or international minutes, bonus credit, Smiles points or others.

The ‘Mega Prize’ promotion does not require any opt-in. The minimum recharge amount is AED 30. Any type of recharge is allowed, except for mobile credit transfer. Subscribers can opt-out by dialing *101*30*2#.

  • Partnership enables global cross-border peer-to-peer payments
  • eWallet enables customers to instantly remit to 200 countries & territories worldwide

Digital Financial Services LLC, a joint venture of Etisalat and Noor Bank, acquired earlier this year by Dubai Islamic Bank, has partnered with MoneyGram, a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, to offer international remittance services in the UAE.

With this partnership, eWallet customers can make international money transfers in real-time to friends and family in over 200 countries and territories worldwide through an expansive network of mobile wallet operators, bank account deposit services, and over 350,000 walk-in locations.

Regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, eWallet is a revolutionary digital payment service aimed at empowering the UAE residents with safe, convenient and flexible payment solutions through an easy-to-use eWallet mobile app.

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no need to have a bank account, credit or debit card to do digital payments. Customers need a valid Emirates ID and a UAE mobile number to open an eWallet account. Once registered, users can instantly top-up their wallet balance and start sending and receiving money between mobile phones, transfer to own or third-party bank accounts, and do merchant payments, bill payments, and mobile recharges. In addition to sending money globally through MoneyGram, users can also withdraw cash from their wallets by visiting the nearest MoneyGram agent location.

Commenting on the partnership, Ahmed Al Awadi, Chairman of Digital Payment Services, said: “eWallet continues to be an innovative solution that uplifts the way UAE residents conduct financial transactions today. Our partnership with MoneyGram will further enrich our consumers with the state-of-the-art customer service experience which MoneyGram is renowned for and will boost our future expansion plans.”

“Etisalat has digitally transformed its business to adopt to the increasingly tech-savvy lifestyles of its customers, which is an extremely diverse population as the UAE is home to over 200 different nationalities that comprise one of the world's highest percentage of immigrants,” said Grant Lines, Chief Revenue Officer at MoneyGram. “We're excited about how this partnership will help accelerate digital growth as we bring our leading customer-centric capabilities to reach more people in the third biggest outward remittance country in the world."

Etisalat and Noor Bank have brought their key strengths in technology, banking, marketing, distribution networks, and superior digital experience to launch this new service in the UAE. The partnership is in line with the UAE Vision 2021 of creating smart knowledge economies that will enable a shift to a cashless economy.

For more details, please visit www.eWallet.ae.

June 2020

  • SmartHub-FUJ 2 provides new space and enables global players to expand presence in the region
  • SmartHub-DXB 1 to add business diversity to carrier business

Etisalat today announced the expansion of its SmartHub in UAE with a state-of-the-art Tier 3 data centre facility at two new locations growing its presence in the region enabling global partners to bring digitalisation, implement cloud transformation initiatives, accelerate connectivity and capacity reach across Europe, US, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

The opening of the new facilities in Fujairah and Dubai is in line with UAE’s vision to become an ICT and data hub for the region addressing the diverse requirements of global data centres and technology companies. With the launch of the new facilities Etisalat’s Carrier & Wholesale Services (C&WS) have set a benchmark in the region and is also a testimony to the company’s strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier & Wholesale Officer, Etisalat said: “During this unprecedented period that has challenged both health and economy, global markets are looking at enhancing interconnectivity and adding new capacities for businesses and the entire community. As the biggest neutral carrier hotels, Etisalat’s SmartHub data centres will be an ICT bridge between continents always supporting business critical activities of global customers.

“Thanks to the UAE vision and Etisalat's goal of enabling digital transformation, our network has always been one of the most robust and digitally equipped to address the unique requirements during this period making it possible for businesses to work remotely, millions of students to enjoy distance learning and all citizens having access to vital services.

“The launch and expansion of infrastructure, power and space of our data centres in such a short time frame is a testimony to our efforts to meet the growing demand from existing global customers. We are committed to making ‘SmartHub’ a preferred location for carriers, cloud service providers, Internet exchanges and companies looking for carrier grade data centres.”

The addition of the space and high power capacity in Fujairah and Dubai will bring the overall power capacity to more than 10MW with diversified power grid supply complemented with backup systems (N+N power redundancy).

SmartHub, a trusted digital partner is strategically located for global customers across industry verticals such as financial services and gaming. In the financial services industry, SmartHub’s secure digital capabilities support interconnected clouds and low latency environments directly connected to global networks and ecosystems. The gaming industry is estimated at 2.3 billion active gamers globally with more than half of them located in the Asia-Pacific region, in this scenario SmartHub’s location presents a massive opportunity for gaming platforms.

SmartHub supports several route independent carriers offering direct access to multiple independent subsea cable systems interconnecting Europe, US, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Currently, SmartHub has the potential to offer diversified and low latency route connectivity to more than 2 billion people with 30 milliseconds latency. SmartHub currently hosts more than 60 providers including major carriers, content providers, mobile and satellite services and industry sectors like financial services and digital cloud platforms.

May 2020

Etisalat Group announced today in a statement that Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli, has submitted his resignation as the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, for personal reasons. The Board of Directors accepted his resignation and appointed Eng. Hatem Dowidar as Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Group. Dowidar is currently the CEO International of Etisalat.

His Excellency Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Etisalat Group, and the members of the board directors thanked Al Abdooli for the efforts he made and the accomplishments achieved for Etisalat Group during his tenure as Group CEO and his 28 years of service to the company.

  • Etisalat subscribers get free access to Dubai Police’s website and app
  • Initiative stems from Dubai Police’s continuous efforts to make the emirate the safest city in the world

Dubai Police today announced that it has partnered with Etisalat to launch an initiative providing Etisalat customers in the UAE with free access to Dubai Police’s website and mobile application without consuming internet data.

In addition to Dubai Police’s website and mobile app, Etisalat customers can access other online services available for individuals, establishments and visitors, upload or download data, without consuming their internet data. The three-month initiative began on 15th April 2020.

The initiative reflects Dubai Police efforts in maintaining the security and safety during the current circumstances, allowing the public to utilise Dubai Police’s online services. This collaboration supports ‘Police Eye, a programme launched recently by Dubai Police which provides the public with a secure and confidential online platform to report crimes and suspicious activities in the city.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) at Dubai Police said that maintaining safety and security is a mutual commitment and a national obligation that all parties must participate.

“Based on our confidence in the public’s cooperation with the police which establishes safety and stability, we have facilitated the public with the ability to report any violations or disturbing crimes through a new service called ‘Police Eye’. This programme enables individuals to easily report various security violations such as suspicious gatherings, suspicious vehicles, begging, massage cards, and other illegal practices,” said Brig Al Jalaf.

“‘Police Eye’ also allows reporting violations related to precautionary measures taken to combat Covid-19such as failure to wear face masks and not keeping a safe distance etc. In view of this partnership, Etisalat subscribers can upload pictures and videos of any misbehaviour or violation and report to the police without consuming their own internet packages.”

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, Director of the General Department of Artificial Intelligence at Dubai Police welcomed this partnership with Etisalat, he stated: “This initiative clearly indicates the collaboration of various government and private entities to fulfill consumers’ needs and ensure their safety especially under the current circumstances. ‘Police Eye’ is among the many services offered to the public through smart application and website, such as emergency response service, reporting of e-crimes, reporting bounced cheques, and applying for a police clearance certificate. We encourage the public to take advantage of this initiative and conduct their transactions using the smart services from the comfort of their houses to maintain their safety and the welfare of the community.”

Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat said: “During these difficult times, Etisalat is committed to support all sectors in the UAE and to participate - with its technical teams and digital capabilities – in government initiatives that gives them an opportunity to serve the community. We at Etisalat are proud to collaborate with Dubai Police by deploying our extensive network to contribute in the security and safety of the community in line with the Dubai government’s objective of making the city the safest in the world.”

Dubai Police’s mobile application is available for download on Android and iOS app stores and supports seven international languages, namely English, French, Chinese, German, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.

  • For the first time in UAE, customers can easily switch between prepaid and postpaid benefits using the same number

Etisalat today announced the launch of ‘Easy Prepaid,’ enabling business customers to enjoy a prepaid feature on their existing postpaid mobile plan.

With this new hybrid capability, customers can now switch between prepaid and postpaid features without the need to change their existing number. They can also recharge their credit, make out-of-bundle calls and subscribe to add-ons using standard prepaid tariff rates.

‘Easy Prepaid’ allows employees to make personal calls at their own expense. For instance, an employee can use a prepaid account – with the same number – when he or she reaches the maximum allowance given by the company. The unique feature also caters to customers who have company restrictions to make international calls using their existing business mobile plans. The new hybrid capability empowers all employees who are on postpaid plans not to only make personal local and international calls, but also to pay for m-parking and other value added services using their prepaid credit.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, Small and Medium Business, Etisalat, said: “The launch of ‘Easy Prepaid’ reinforces our commitment to deliver flexible value propositions that address our customers’ needs amidst the current global phenomenon. For the first time in the UAE, our valued business postpaid customers can now enjoy a unique offering that empowers them with additional freedom and convenience to use the same line for their personal communication needs.”

Customers can easily recharge their credit using any existing Wasel recharge option, Etisalat Business Mobile app or through online banking apps.

Once the account gets recharged customer can switch from postpaid to Easy Prepaid by dialing *124# and start making calls, send SMS, use data and subscribe to other add-ons. More information on ‘Easy Prepaid’ is available at https://www.etisalat.ae/en/smb/mobile/easy-prepaid.jsp.

April 2020

  • Over 109 TV channels and 13,000 VOD hours to be available on Etisalat TV app

E-Vision, a subsidiary of Etisalat Group, announced its strategic partnership with Etisalat Misr to launch ‘Etisalat TV’, a state-of-the-art app enabling viewers to enjoy both English and Arabic movies, series and Ramadan productions across smart devices anywhere and anytime.

This partnership comes in line with E-Vision’s efforts to provide its customers, mainly telecom providers with comprehensive TV services and top-notch Video-On-Demand (VOD) content while supporting them to achieve their strategic objectives in providing the best in content and world-class entertainment from across the globe.

This state-of-the-art app allows Etisalat Misr’s customers to watch English and Arabic movies while enjoying English movies with Arabic subtitles. In addition, a wide range of series, programs and Ramadan productions will be made available on the app to attract audiences across genres with top-notch entertainment and unmatched TV experience. The app can be accessed anywhere and anytime on across Android and Apple smart devices, platforms, Etisalat TV’s website and will also soon be made available on all smart TVs.

Humaid Sahoo Al Suwaidi, CEO, E-Vision said: “We are glad to be part of this strategic project showcasing our commitment to digital innovation and collaboration to bring the best in class content and entertainment to regional viewers across media platforms. This partnership reiterates E-vision’s commitment to provide high quality content allowing prepaid VOD operators to introduce special TV services and packages to their customers enabling operators to focus on their core business.

“The launch of ‘Etisalat TV’ will give Etisalat Misr’s customers a unique experience enabling them to enjoy high quality content anytime anywhere on their smart devices.  This collaboration will allow E-vision to provide comprehensive solutions enabling Etisalat Misr to provide advanced solutions and features to all its customers. Etisalat Misr will now have access to prepaid TV service with over 109 TV channels and 13,000 VOD hours. Our partnership with Starz Play, MBC, Rotana, Fox, ART, Good News 4 ME and other leading service providers will give them a competitive edge in the Egyptian market.”

E-Vision provides its services based entirely on advanced cloud computing giving Etisalat Misr flexibility in adopting cutting-edge technologies and services.

E-Vision currently operates in the UAE, KSA, Egypt and Pakistan. Over the years, E-Vision has developed superior solutions and capabilities to meet requirements of business partners in TV channels licensing, video-on-demand acquisition, content strategy, video OTT solutions, 4K, hospitality and advertising.

For more than two decades, E-Vision has partnered with the biggest names in the industry worldwide and secured content partnerships for multiple Pay TV and OTT services from major Hollywood Studios, Bollywood and the latest Arabic productions as well as leading TV channel providers from around the globe.

In addition, E-Vision operates original and exclusive award-winning channels like e-Junior, the most watched kids channel in the UAE, and e-Masala, a 24 hours non-stop South Asian movie channel.

  • As part of its support and commitment towards the community and its shareholders, Etisalat board of Directors approves interim dividend payout of 25 fils per share
  • Representing a 1% increase YOY

 Financial Highlights and Key Developments of Q1

As Part of its support and commitment towards the community and its shareholders, Etisalat board of Directors approves interim dividend payout of 25 fils per share

Aggregate subscriber base reached 150 million, representing a year over year increase of 5%.

Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 13.1 billion representing a year over year increase of 1% while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.2 billion and resulting in a net profit margin of 17%.

Consolidated EBITDA totaled AED 6.7 billion, representing an increase of 1.5% year over year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.

Etisalat launched initiatives to support “Stay at Home” directive offering free mobile internet for families without home internet to facilitate their access to distance learning services, free applications to support work from home for businesses and government entities.

Etisalat named ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ and ‘The Most Valuable Telecom Brand’ in MEA region.

Etisalat completed the acquisition of Help AG, a privately held regional company specialising in the delivery of cyber security solutions and services.

Etisalat successfully launched open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN), becoming the first operator in MENA to achieve this technological feat

Etisalat unveiled the 5G-enabled smart patrol for Dubai Police, a first in the Middle East and North Africa region

Etisalat partnered with Microsoft to enhance its public cloud first strategy infused with automation and AI

Etisalat introduced 'Cloudtalk', first-of-a-kind cloud-based platform enabling  business unified communication and collaboration service for small and medium businesses (SMB) and enterprise customers in the UAE

Etisalat launched ‘Business Edge’, a new comprehensive platform offering a wide range of services and solutions that cater to Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers

Etisalat partnered with Alef Education, to enable both entities to collaborate on a series of digital initiatives to empower the region’s education sector

Etisalat launched first-of-it-kind telehealth service in the private sector as a continuation of its mission to provide clinical excellence to patients in need

Etisalat partnered with Department of Health, the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi to launch the ‘Digital Healthcare’ Centre

Chairman Message:

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman, Etisalat Group said: “Today as we navigate through these challenging times, Etisalat has showed resilience and remained committed towards the communities it serves, ensuring business continuity and readiness, minimising impact on our operations and uninterrupted services to our customers. Etisalat's performance in the first quarter reflects our agility in dealing with unprecedented market challenges and pressures facing the telecom sector globally.

“We are also thankful to the vision of our wise leadership in the UAE in positioning the country among the most digitally advanced globally and inspiring us to realise our efforts in ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ by delivering world-class networks, infrastructure and innovative services. This has empowered Etisalat to address the current challenges and meet digital requirements facilitating businesses to work remotely and over a million students enjoying distance learning across the UAE. Through our dedicated teams, we were geared to fully support and serve the community showcasing infrastructure preparedness to deliver access to vital telecom services during today’s extraordinary times.

“Moving ahead, we remain optimistic about the future as there are immense opportunities in the midst of the challenges and pressures faced by the telecom sector globally. With digital enablement and innovation making an impact on every sector, the world is moving in full force towards achieving digital transformation. 5G network is more important than ever as it will be a key enabler of remote business, education, entertainment and has the capability of addressing customer current and future needs. Etisalat’s pioneering position in 5G will bring these futuristic solutions to governments, businesses and consumers alike reiterating our efforts in digital innovation and also our leadership as a telecom brand regionally and internationally.

"Etisalat is grateful to the leaders of the UAE for their continuous support and also want to express our gratitude to all our loyal customers and shareholders for their confidence in driving us to accomplish our goals of driving digital innovations for a better future.”

Subscribers

In the UAE the subscriber base grew to 12.7 million subscribers in Q1 of 2020, while aggregate subscriber base reached 150 million, representing a year over year increase of 5%.

 Revenue & Net Profit

Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 13.1 billion representing a year over year increase of 1%  while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.2 billion and resulting in a net profit margin of 17%.

EBITDA:

Group Consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter of 2020 increased by 1.5% to AED 6.7 billion while EBITDA margin remained stable year on year at 51%.

  • 3-month free access since launch with now up to 50 participants in a single online meeting with a moderator
  • Advanced and secure collaboration platform is hosted locally

Etisalat’s platform, CloudTalk Meeting, is witnessing a demand among government entities and businesses across the UAE. With its advanced and secure features, the platform enables users to streamline their collaboration and communication when conducting virtual meetings from the comfort of their homes.

This follows a recent announcement for government departments and businesses to get a three-month free access starting 9th March 2020 to its CloudTalk Meeting platform as a way to maintain business continuity. Participants can use this secure platform from any device, location and network in the UAE.

Due to a high volume of requests and demand for the service, Etisalat expanded the features of CloudTalk Meeting by enabling 50 concurrent participants to join an online meeting and discussion, with an added feature of a moderator to personalise and manage the meetings.

CloudTalk Meeting deploys Etisalat’s developed capabilities and extensive network to provide a reliable solution in response to changing requirements in the workplace.

CloudTalk is securely hosted in the country presenting robust capabilities that enable government departments and organisations to work remotely, maintain business continuity, and ensure smooth functioning of their businesses. Participants can join online meetings and discussions, and communicate using advanced features such as HD quality video and voice conference, instant messaging, group chats, draw schemas, and use the whiteboard, and much more.

Free access to Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting is valid until 10th June 2020, and business customers can subscribe to the platform on https://www.etisalat.ae/en/smb/connectivity-talk/CloudTalk-meeting-offer.jsp.

Etisalat today announced the launch of its Business First Plus postpaid plan, enabling business customers to roll over unused minutes to the next month and enjoy the benefit of any unused allowance.

With the “carryforward” feature, Business First Plus customers can avail an affordable postpaid plan, and will not lose their unused minutes as it will be rolled over to the next months. The “carry forwarded” minutes have a three-month validity.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “Current times demand that businesses are able to adapt to dynamic business conditions. Business First Plus provides additional flexibility to our customers in these challenging times, allowing them to carry forward their unused voice minutes and optimise how they use mobile services. The launch reinforces Etisalat’s commitment in empowering businesses by offering new products and plans that cater to their varying needs and requirements.”

To find out more about the plans, please visit Etisalat.ae/mobileplans.

  • Over 12,000 students benefit from free mobile data to access e-learning applications
  • More than 10 million mobile subscribers get free data while browsing over 800 websites on education, health & safety
  • Etisalat provides access to 9 apps & platforms for distance learning, allowing visual & audio communications

Etisalat today announced that it enabled at least one million students in the UAE to access distance learning websites and platforms using its advanced network, with more than 10 million mobile subscribers enjoying free browsing to over 800 websites related to education, health and safety.

To support and enable distance learning, free mobile data was made available - in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) - to over 12,000 students whose families do not have Internet at home. Etisalat also provided access to 9 apps and platforms, allowing visual and audio communications: Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard, Zoom, Skype for Business, Cisco Webex, Avaya Spaces, BlueJeans and Slack on Its fixed and mobile network in collaboration with the TRA. These are part of a bundle of Initiatives to support the education sector, ensuring a smooth functioning of remote learning processes.

These initiatives stem from Etisalat's corporate social responsibility strategy to utilise its resources and capabilities, empower the educational sector with state-of-the-art technology, and ensure seamless and effective connectivity across all learning platforms.

Keeping in line with its strategy 'Driving the digital future to empower societies', Etisalat is committed to support distance learning initiatives in the UAE following the ministry's decision to extend distance learning until the end of the current academic year.

Etisalat will continue to offer all the connectivity tools and services students and teachers need, including the fastest fixed broadband and mobile network In the region, to ensure seamless continuity of the country’s education curriculum.

  • Free international money transfers with competitive rates
  • Safe, convenient, flexible and easy-to-use
  • Exclusively features digital onboarding from home to allow contactless payments including instant money transfers to any mobile number in the UAE, bill payments & mobile recharges

Digital Financial Services, a joint venture between Etisalat and Noor Bank, today announced the launch of eWallet's international remittance services to 200 countries and territories worldwide in partnership with MoneyGram International.

eWallet customers can now make international money transfers in real-time at the most competitive rates free of charge from the safety of their homes, avoiding queuesor visiting a public place. Money transfers can now be digitally made to over 350,000 locations consisting of banks, over the counter agents, and international mobile wallet operators in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. The offer is for a limited period only.

An eWallet customer, depending on the destination, will have the option to send funds either directly to a recipient’s bank account or to a mobile wallet.

Ahmed Al Awadi, Chairman of eWallet, said: “eWallet continues to be an innovative solution that uplifts the way UAE residents conduct financial transactions today. We understand that in light of the current global situation, people are increasingly choosing to send money digitally from the comfort and safety of their homes. As people work to support their family and loved ones across the globe, we aim to enable them to safely and instantly remit money to over 200 countries and territories worldwide.”

Regulated and licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, eWallet is a revolutionary digital payment service aimed at empowering the UAE residents with safe, convenient and flexible payment solutions through an easy-to-use mobile app.

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no need to have a bank account, credit or debit card to do digital payments. Customers only need a valid Emirates ID and a working UAE mobile number to register for eWallet account. Once registered, users can instantly top-up their wallet balance and start sending and receiving money between mobile phones, transfer to own or third-party bank accounts, and do merchant payments, bill payments, and mobile recharges. Users can deposit and withdraw cash from their wallets by visiting the nearest location as guided in their app.

For more details, please visit www.eWallet.ae.

March 2020

Online secure communication and collaboration platform witnesses high demand among businesses across the UAE

Etisalat today announced it is expanding its CloudTalk Meeting by enabling 50 concurrent participants to join an online meeting and discussion, in response to the high volume of requests and growing demand for the service.

The three months’ free access to Etisalat’s unified communication and collaboration platform CloudTalk Meeting launched recently was well-received by the market, with  numerous businesses and government entities coming on board to use the service and streamline their operations while they work remotely.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat said, “Etisalat is fully committed to supporting businesses in the country during this unprecedented period through solutions and services to ensure that there is no business impact on their operations. CloudTalk Meeting will enable organisations to remotely work, maintain business continuity, collaborate, and ensure smooth functioning of their businesses.”

“With a robust backend capability that is hosted in the country, the reliable solution guarantees that businesses and all our customers have a seamless experience. The increased capacity of users per session will facilitate more team members, customers, and remote work forces to use the secure platform to meet all their business requirements.”

Etisalat’s CloudTalk Meeting will now allow up to 50 concurrent participants to join meetings and discussions simultaneously, with an added feature of a moderator to personalise and manage the meetings. With this scale-up, a greater number of users will be able to communicate using advanced features such as HD quality video and voice conference, instant messaging, group chats, draw schemas, and use the whiteboard, and much more.

The free access to Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting is valid until 10th June 2020 and customers can subscribe to the platform on visit https://www.etisalat.ae/en/smb/connectivity-talk/CloudTalk-meeting-offer.jsp.

Measures taken to facilitate distance learning, ensure business continuity and entertain families at home

Keeping in line with the government directives to encourage citizens to stay at home and be safe in the current scenario, Etisalat’s bundle of initiatives for consumers and businesses will make it easier to study, work, entertain and remain connected with family and friends from the comfort of their homes. 

During this unprecedented period that has challenged both health and economy, Etisalat has taken many steps to ensure that its network, services and teams are well equipped to support all its customers. Etisalat teams are working non-stop to make sure that all its customers, including government departments, large enterprises, SMBs and subscribers across the country, stay connected. With overall data traffic on the telco’s network expected to surge exponentially, Etisalat’s advanced network is resilient, reliable and secure and has sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing consumer and business demands.  Etisalat offers all the connectivity tools and services people need to continue to communicate and conduct business including the fastest fixed broadband and mobile network in the region.

Etisalat recently increased its local network capacity while also boosting its international data capacity to enable all customers with the best possible experience while they, learn, work and get entertained from home.

A wide range of products and services are being offered to customers, including access to remote working apps, remote collaboration tools, zero-rating and whitelisting of educational websites,  free on-demand movies and premium content on eLife, StarzPlay, OSN and Switch TV, free eLife upgrades, and ‘Freedom’ postpaid mobile data promotions, among others. These are designed to provide entertainment to families at home, facilitate uninterrupted distance e-learning, boost employee productivity and ensure seamless business continuity.

For Consumers Entertainment

With more people staying at home, Etisalat’s special promotions will entertain as well as help customers enjoy higher speeds on their home network.

Existing elife TV and internet bundle (triple play) customers who chose to move to a new eLife unlimited Plan will receive the upgraded benefits at no extra charge for three months. The eLife Unlimited plans offer speeds from an incredible 250Mbps more than enough to work-from home and keep everyone streaming their favourite content. Subscribers also have the option to downgrade back to their old plan if they wish for no penalty during this time. 

eLife viewers will be kept entertained with free on demand movies each week for the next six weeks as well as enjoy free StarzPlay for three months with the latest Arabic, Western TV series and movies simply by subscribing on-screen. For customers who want more premium add-on packs “Arabia, Western, Asian or Pinoy” they can also subscribe for free for the first three months. Customers will also receive an entire month of OSN’s El Farq package containing some of the biggest names in entertainment with channels being opened for free viewing for all eLife TV customers.

With Etisalat’s recent launch of a brand-new OTT video service SwitchTV, subscribers can enjoy free premium content such as movies, live TV and on demand movies. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, Google Play or the new Huawei App Gallery and is available to all UAE residents regardless of provider.

For Staying Connected with family and friends

Etisalat has also launched special promotions for postpaid customers to stay in touch with family and friends. Existing ‘Freedom’ postpaid customers on 200GB and unlimited data activated in March 2019 will benefit from an extended double data promotion on their plans.

For Students and Schools

Etisalat is working closely with the Ministry of Education and TRA to enable free mobile data for students whose families do not have internet services at home. This is to support distance learning, giving them access to specific applications identified by the ministry. The ministry has prepared a list of eligible students that was shared with Etisalat to provide them with mobile data packages.

In support of the ministry’s initiatives, Etisalat has granted zero-rate access to selected educational URLs, allowing students to have free access on their mobile phones without consuming any data. In addition, all eLife customers can avail free educational content (‘Madrasa’) on their TV screens.

Etisalat has also provided access to remote learning applications (Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and Zoom) on the fixed network and Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and Zoom on the mobile network.

For Remote Working

For a period of three months, businesses can also access for free its online collaboration platform - Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting – to help maintain business continuity by providing a secure platform to collaborate from any device, location, and network in the UAE.

Business operations can remain uninterrupted with Cloudtalk’s unlimited video conferencing and online collaboration sessions without any additional fee for this service. The platform provides state-of-the-art features for meetings and collaborations that help in boosting business productivity and contributes to an elevated user experience.

Remote customer care

Etisalat is encouraging consumers and business customers to also utilise mobile and online services including ‘My Etisalat UAE’ app, Etisalat business mobile apps and business portals.

With the ‘My Etisalat UAE’ app, customers have a 24/7 access to make payments in a safe and secure manner connecting instantly using live chat. The app enables access to bills and payments, share credit and data, check usage and shop.

  • Aggregate subscriber base reached 149 million, representing YoY increase of 6%
  • Twelve month consolidated revenues reached to AED 52.2 billion, while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 8.7 billion an increase of 1% compared to same period last year
  • Consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.4 billion, representing an increase of 2% YoY resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%
  • Credit Ratings by agencies S & P Global and Moodys affirmed Etisalat Group’s high credit rating at AA-/Aa3
  • Etisalat AGM approves full-year 2019 dividend of 80 fils per share
  • Etisalat named ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ and ‘The Most Valuable Telecom Brand’ in MEA region in 2019 by Brand Finance

At Etisalat’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the company’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, shareholders have backed the board’s recommendation to pay full-year 2019 dividends of 80 fils per share. Etisalat Group consolidated revenues reached AED 52.2 billion while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty reached AED 8.7 billion an increase of 1% compared to the same period last year.

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman, Etisalat Group said: “As we begin our journey into the next decade, 2019 was a testimony to Etisalat Group leadership locally and internationally. Etisalat continued reinforcing its core business, explore new growth opportunities, while transitioning to the digital era and being well geared for the future.

“Etisalat Group has led the digital transformation by proactively responding to technological advancements and bringing the latest global innovations to nurture creativity. Digital transformation is becoming present in more areas of life, and we have striven to be at the forefront leading it. Our current success is a result of understanding the need our customers have to rely on Etisalat to deliver.

“Etisalat Group continued to achieve strong financial performance and maintained its high credit rating (AA-/Aa3) reflecting a proven long-term performance and efforts to provide value to shareholders, which was the drive behind proposing a final dividend of AED 0.8 representing a dividend yield of 5% and dividends payout ratio of 80%.

“For more than four decades, Etisalat has been able to meet the needs and expectations of millions of customers across our footprint. Enhancing customer experience remains at the core of our strategy enabling us to launch innovative services and solutions making a positive impact on their daily lives.

“This was only possible due to a decade of continuous support and vision of the UAE leadership, the loyalty of our customers and the trust of our shareholders. A special thanks to Etisalat management team for their commitment and dedicated work towards the realisation of Etisalat’s vision and strategic goals.”

Eng. Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, GCEO, Etisalat Group said”: “I am proud to announce another great year for Etisalat Group. Our results are driven by an ambitious vision, a focused strategy, and sheer determination. This also affirmed our technological leadership in a rapidly evolving ecosystem, and ensured value creation for our customers and shareholders.

“With the acquisition of Tigo Chad, Etisalat Group is now operating in 16 markets while enriching the lives of over 149 million subscribers. Investing for growth, sustaining a superior infrastructure, possessing differentiated assets, platforms and capabilities were integral to building a network for a better future across our markets. Etisalat today is recognised as the most valuable consumer and telecom brand in the MEA region for the third and fourth consecutive year respectively, an illustration of our long-standing efforts and testament to building a successful telecom brand in the region”.

He underlined: “In 2019, Etisalat Group has delivered a balanced performance across its different aspects, along with solid financial results despite the challenging economical scene at global and regional scales.. Company consolidated revenues stood at AED 52.2 billion, while consolidated net profits growth to AED 8.7 billion. We managed to confine the negative impact of various challenges with successful initiatives that aimed at maximising synergy at group level, enhancing efficiency, and rationalising costs.

“5G is a game changer with Etisalat taking the lead in the launch of the network which will amplify the use of futuristic services, target new opportunities and implement 5G use cases across verticals. This has also set the roadmap for services based on emerging technologies such as IoT, cloud, big data, AI, robotics, autonomous, AR/VR, becoming a trusted partner that supports transformation in a digitally disrupted and fully connected world. Our continuous investments in the network also led Etisalat to be recognised as MENA’s fastest mobile network and GCC, Africa, Arabian region’s fastest fixed broadband network”.

“While we continue to deploy innovative 5G networks, Etisalat has also set global benchmarks in Fiber to the Home (FTTH) by maintaining the UAE’s position as a global leader for the third consecutive year.

“At the end, I am confident that Etisalat Group will deliver the ambitions and aspirations of our customers and continue to support the communities we serve and add value to the markets where we operate. We are thankful to the wise leadership of the UAE and our shareholders for their steady support in this journey, our customers for their continued confidence and trust.” .

  • New suite of services and solutions to securely connect SMBs with their customers

Etisalat today announced the launch of ‘Business Edge’, a comprehensive platform offering a wide range of services and solutions that cater to Small and Medium Business (SMB) customers.

Collaboration and communication from Business Edge enables SMBs to connect to customers in a secure and scalable way, allowing employees and customers to talk, video-conference and share documents, using Etisalat’s ultramodern, cloud-based unified communications service.

Business Edge not only provides smart internet connectivity but also secures a customer’s office environment by offering next generation cloud firewall, advanced endpoint security for PCs and Android devices and cloud based video surveillance.

This new platform gives access to a comprehensive set of solutions they need to do business digitally, from helping them promote their business online to providing software applications to run their business underpinned by customer insights and analytics.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “Current times demand that businesses are ready to securely work and collaborate remotely. It also requires the ability to adapt to dynamic business conditions. With Business Edge’s SMBs are able to minimise upfront investments while accessing top services to manage their business according to their needs and utilisation, in a ‘pay as you grow model’.”

To find out more about Etisalat’s new business platform for SMBs, please visit etisalat.ae/businessedge.

  • Etisalat prepaid customers win instant prizes every time they recharge AED30 and above

Etisalat announced the launch of ‘Wasel Gifts’ campaign, offering prepaid customers instant prizes every time they recharge. This is in line with Etisalat’s commitment to constantly show appreciation to customers and seek new ways to enhance their experience.

New and existing subscribers of Wasel and WaselGo are eligible for this benefit. The instant prize – in the form of data, local or international minutes, bonus credit or Smiles points, etc. - is instantly received when a customer recharges AED30 and above.

The campaign makes every recharge fun and exciting; customers simply recharge their prepaid account and instantly win a prize.

The minimum recharge amount is AED30. Any type of recharge is allowed, except for mobile credit transfer. Subscribers can opt-out by dialing *101*30*2#.

  • Online secure business platform collaborates from any device, location and network in UAE

Etisalat today announced that it will provide free access for three months to businesses for using its online collaboration platform - Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting - to help companies maintain business continuity by providing a secure platform to collaborate from any device, location, and network in the country.

Business operations can remain uninterrupted with Cloudtalk’s unlimited video conferencing and online collaboration sessions without any additional fee for this service. The platform provides state-of-the-art features for meetings and collaborations that help in boosting business productivity and contributes to an elevated user experience.

Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting participants can use any computer with a browser, mobile phone, and tablet, or simply dial a toll-free number from any phone to join the conference. Users will be able to collaborate and communicate using advanced features like video chat, instant messaging, group chats, draw schemas, use the whiteboard, and much more with Etisalat CloudTalk Meeting.

Companies can avail additional information on Etisalat’s CloudTalk by calling toll free number 8002888.

Etisalat announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Arabtec to provide fully digitalised solutions in a bid to accelerate its digital transformation journey.

Etisalat will be digitalising Arabtec’s workforce, migrating its datacentre to the Microsoft cloud, all the way to automating its existing process with Etisalat’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) journey. RPA is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) tools to automate high-volume and repetitive manual tasks that previously required human input.

Under the partnership, Etisalat will enable Arabtec to drive into the modern workplace by migrating its workforce to Office 365 and move its digital infrastructure to the Azure cloud.

Utilising Etisalat’s IoT workforce management solution, Arabtec will digitalise time and labor processes, simplify absence management and enable strategic business insights at construction site. Etisalat will also digitalise Arabtec’s existing process by introducing robotics to the workplace, resulting in improved efficiency, higher productivity and greater project completion rates.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to offer a wide range of digital solutions to Arabtec, one of the leading construction companies in the UAE, and set a benchmark in the construction sector. Through this strategic partnership, we, at Etisalat, look forward to empowering Arabtec with the latest digital technologies and smart solutions aimed at increasing operational efficiency, brand reputation and recognition.”

Peter Pollard, Group CEO, Arabtec, said: “We are excited to announce our strategic partnership with Etisalat. A partnership intended to drive forward our digital transformation journey by digitising Arabtec’s workflows and processes, introducing along the way Artificial Intelligence tools and smart solutions to further improve our productivity, efficiency, and project delivery. This partnership aligns with Arabtec’s core strategy in many fronts, accelerating our digital transformation, creating great experiences, and unlocking productivity.”

“With an ever-increasing requirement of cloud adoption, our very first Middle East datacentres launched in the UAE promises intelligent cloud technology to soar across industries and leverage a range of ground-breaking innovations which help in better customer engagement, empower employees, optimise operations and transform products and services,” said Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft UAE. “Microsoft and Etisalat shares a vision of enabling organisations like Arabtec to accelerate their digital endeavors and empowering them to be agile, lower service latency and ensure better performance.”

Etisalat’s ultramodern Open Innovation Centre welcomed students from UAE universities, as well as a French graduate business school, as part of its activities to mark the UAE Innovation Month.

The UAE Innovation Month was celebrated in February under the theme "The UAE Innovates in Preparation for the Next 50 Years". Etisalat Digital’s team led the tour of the Innovation Centre, a first of its kind in the region showcasing digital innovation, its capabilities and how digitalisation can come to life for Etisalat customers and partners.

Students from Zayed University, American University of Ras Al Khaimah and Grenoble Ecole de Management learned about the value proposition of Etisalat Digital and an overview of its portfolio. Other interesting topics of discussion included Artificial Intelligence implementation and creation; the importance of infrastructure, cyber security attacks, the Big Data platform, a predictive analysis in Internet of Things (IoT); and the role of Augmented Reality in businesses.

Etisalat is committed to supporting educational institutions and fostering innovation among students. This initiative is part of Etisalat’s ongoing efforts to support and develop the education sector in the UAE, and is aligned with the UAE Vision 2021, where the national innovation strategy has identified digital technology as one of the top seven primary national sectors.

Prof. Hany Al Kadi, Dean of Technological Innovation College of Zayed University, said: “We, at Zayed University, focus on teaching our students the highest standards of applied practices in their fields by allowing them to learn from innovative experiences inside and outside the campus. This visit to Etisalat Innovation Centre enables them to look at the use of the latest technologies such as IoT and cloud solutions. They get to realistically experience how what they study is being applied and clarify their expectations of the work environment.”

Dr. Abdul-Halim Jallad, Director and Assistant Professor of American University of Ras Al Khaimah’s Center of Information, Communication and Networking Education and Innovation, said: “We are delighted to have students and faculty from the School of Engineering at AURAK visit the Etisalat innovation centre. Students were able to see and experience real-life demonstrations of modern technologies they study and read about such as Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and cloud-based systems. We look forward to continue the collaboration and communications between AURAK and Etisalat and even expanding it over various other venues.”

The Open Innovation Centre, which opened in December 2017, highlights all the key digital technologies that will give businesses the capability to drive the digital future. Etisalat's corporate strategy is focused on 'Driving the digital future to empower the society' across our customers and enabling them with solutions on this digital journey.

  • Both entities will work towards empowering K-12 education institutions with a series of digital initiatives

Etisalat Digital and Alef Education, a global K-12 education technology company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will enable both entities to collaborate on a series of digital initiatives to empower the region’s education sector.

The announcement was made during Global Education Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Exhibition in Dubai, a leading education exhibition in the Middle East. The partnership between Etisalat and Alef Education will focus on combining both companies strengths in the digital space and vast regional networks to drive rapid digital transformation across not only the UAE but in joint regional markets that are a focus for both organisations.

Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Alef Education to empower the UAE’s and regions’ education sector in line with our overall strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’. This programme will enable K-12 education institutions to have access to Etisalat Digital portfolio, including our IoT platform, cloud technologies, and managed services, to accelerate future learning with technology, connectivity and digital services.”

Geoffrey Alphonso, Chief Executive Officer of Alef Education said: “We are excited to partner with Etisalat Digital to expand our partner ecosystem with organisations that have a clear focus on digital innovation. Our growth aspirations are synergistic, and with Etisalat’s commitment and focus on service excellence and digital innovation, we believe that this partnership is the start of something very exciting. We will immediately explore mutual ways to support each other’s business where Alef’s AI-powered learning platform can be made accessible through more expansive networks, with Etisalat Digital providing the underlying infrastructure and services to drive our regional and global aspirations.”

Within the MOU framework, both companies will join efforts to accelerate digital transformation in the education sector both in the UAE and other key geographies including KSA. Etisalat Digital through its advanced managed services will aim to support Alef Education in their existing deployment as well as explore synergies in markets where Etisalat Digital can bring the infrastructure, connectivity and services to power the Alef program in the K-12 education sector.

Additionally, Etisalat Digital and Alef Education will identify opportunities to get access to leading-edge platforms including IoT, Cloud technologies and 5G networks to improve service offering at schools.

February 2020

  • The deal creates the region’s strongest cyber security company and firmly positions Etisalat as a key enabler of secure and effective digital transformation for MEA businesses

Etisalat announced that it has completed the acquisition of Help AG, a privately held regional company specialising in the delivery of cyber security solutions and services.

Prompted by a clear synergy, this acquisition sees the integration of the cyber security capabilities of both companies to create the region’s strongest cyber security unit augmenting Etisalat Digital’s portfolio of digital security services.

This development enables Etisalat Digital established lines of business - comprising the Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics - to become more robust and resilient against modern day cyber threats. With its business and technological leadership and flexible business models, the company is uniquely positioned to create added value for its customers and business partners.

Commenting on the acquisition, Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer at Etisalat said: “Help AG has established itself as the region’s trusted security advisor. With cyber security playing a fundamental role in all aspects of digital business today, this acquisition fits perfectly into our strategy of being a key enabler of secure, seamless and effective digital transformation for our customers. We have full trust and confidence that Help AG’s leadership will effectively add value to our security portfolio and amplify the cyber security capabilities of our clients.”

Abu Dhabi, February 18 2020: Etisalat Group announced today its consolidated financial statements for the 12 months ending December 31 2019.

2019 Financial Highlights and Key Developments

 

  • Aggregate subscriber base reached 149 million, representing Year over Year increase of 6%.
  • Twelve month consolidated revenues reached to AED 52.2 billion, while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty for the twelve month amounted to AED 8.7 billion an increase of 1% compared to same period last year.
  • Consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.4 billion, representing an increase of 2% year over year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.
  • Proposed dividend payout of 40 fils per share for the second half of 2019, representing a total dividend payout of 80 fils for the full year and a dividend payout ratio of 80%
  • Credit Ratings by agencies S & P Global and Moodys affirmed Etisalat Group’s high credit rating at AA-/Aa3
  • Etisalat named ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ and ‘The Most Valuable Telecom Brand’ in MEA region in 2019 by Brand Finance
  • Etisalat network ranked as the fastest mobile network in MENA and  fastest fixed broadband network in GCC, Africa and Arabian region
  • UAE ranked as no. 1 in Fiber Optic Network deployment for the third year in a row
  • UAE ranked 2nd globally in mobile broadband speed in December ‘19
  • Maroc Telecom completes the acquisition of Tigo Chad
  • Commercial launch of 4G in Burkina Faso and 3G network in Central African Republic
  • Etisalat announces the First End-to-End 5G Stand-Alone Technology implementation in MENA Region
  • Etisalat sets global milestone with over 3.1Gbps download throughput over its 5G Stand Alone network
  • Etisalat introduces Multi-Access Edge Computing architecture delivering best-in-class video streaming performance for 5G networks
  • Etisalat deploys 5G network at the tallest building in the world ‘Burj Khalifa',  Abu Dhabi’s new international airport and  ‘Etisalat Metro Station’
  • Etisalat Digital and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) partner to transform Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) enabling the roll out of smart devices, services and platforms to drive efficiencies across public amenities, energy consumption, asset and building management.
  • Etisalat partners with Microsoft to provide public/private entities, large, small and medium enterprises with state of the art digital transformative solutions
  • Etisalat launches e-Wallet, the new mobile digital payment service in collaboration with Noor Bank
  • Etisalat Digital teams up with Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) to launch Scale AD (Abu Dhabi) innovation programme
  • Etisalat launches UAE’s first cloud gaming service
  • Etisalat opens ‘Smiles UAE’ application to all residents and visitors in the UAE
  • Etisalat unveiled Robotic Centre of Excellence to deliver automated solutions for greater customer satisfaction

 

 

Chairman’s Statement:

H.E. Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman, Etisalat Group, said: “As we begin our journey into the next decade, 2019 was a testimony to Etisalat Group leadership locally, regionally and internationally. Etisalat continued reinforcing its core business, explore new growth opportunities, while transitioning to the digital era and being well geared for the future.

Etisalat Group has led the digital transformation by proactively responding to technological advancements and bringing the latest global innovations to nurture creativity.  It has become clear that the paradigm shift in the telecom industry is now in full force. Digital transformation is becoming present in more areas of life, and we have striven to be at the forefront leading it. 

“Etisalat’s performance in the past year is a reflection of the company’s capabilities and agility to transform and lead in the digital space driven by our robust vision and strategy. 5G today will give an opportunity to spur innovation across many industries while enabling emergent technologies to become an integral part of UAE economy and lifestyle.

“This was only possible due to a decade of continuous support and vision of the UAE leadership, the loyalty of our customers and the trust of our shareholders. A special thanks to Etisalat management team for their commitment and dedicated work towards the realisation of Etisalat’s vision and strategic goals.”

GCEO’s Statement:

Engineer Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, said: “Our successful journey in 2019 was driven by realising our goals of digital innovation and transformation in a rapidly evolving industry across the societies and markets we serve.

 “Investing for growth, sustaining a superior infrastructure, possessing differentiated assets, platforms and capabilities were integral to building a network for a better future across our markets. Etisalat today is recognised as the most valuable consumer and telecom brand in the MEA region for the third and fourth consecutive year respectively, an illustration of our long-standing efforts and testament to building a successful telecom brand in the region.

“5G is a game changer with Etisalat taking the lead in the launch of the network which will amplify the use of futuristic services, target new opportunities and implement 5G use cases across verticals. This has also set the roadmap for services based on emerging technologies such as IoT, cloud, big data, AI, robotics, autonomous, AR/VR, becoming a trusted partner that supports transformation in a digitally disrupted and fully connected world. Our continuous investments in the network also led Etisalat to be recognised as MENA’s fastest mobile network and GCC, Africa, Arabian region’s fastest fixed broadband network.

 “I am confident that Etisalat Group will deliver the ambitions and aspirations of our customers and continue to support the communities we serve and add value to the markets where we operate. We are thankful to the wise leadership of the UAE and our shareholders for their steady support in this journey, our customers for their continued confidence and trust.”

Subscribers

In the UAE, the subscriber base reached to 12.6 million subscribers, while Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers reached 149 million subscribers representing a year on year increase of 6%.

FY2019 Revenue and Net Profit

Twelve month consolidated revenues reached to AED 52.2 billion, while consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty for the twelve month amounted to AED 8.7 billion an increase of 1% compared to same period last year.

EBITDA

Consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.4 billion, representing an increase of 2% year over year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.

  • The ‘Medicine Drop Box’ initiative, now on its third year, is aimed at providing medicine to help poor and low-income patients

Etisalat today announced that it has once again teamed up with Al Ihsan Charity Association for the ‘Medicine Drop Box’ initiative to facilitate the donation of unused medicines by all its employees.

The donated medicines will go towards supporting Al Ihsan Medical Complex, one of the main projects being managed by Al Ihsan Charity Association in Ajman. This is a charitable pharmacy that donates free unused medicines to people in need.

Now on its third year, the ‘Medicine Drop Box’ initiative builds on the success of 2017 and 2018 when Etisalat collected AED163,385 worth of unused medicines from across its offices in the UAE through this worthy cause.

Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is pleased to collaborate once again with Al Ihsan Charitable Society in Ajman for the third year to provide patients in need with unused medication through our ‘Medicine Drop Box’ initiative. Our CSR team has worked very closely with the charity as we realised that millions of people worldwide do not have access to basic medication and facilities.

“In the UAE, our employees would be delighted to contribute to a worthy cause especially that many of us are in possession of unused medicines that just go to waste most of the time. The unused medications can go a long way in helping poor and underprivileged patients with chronic diseases who are in need for treatment throughout the year.”

Sheikh Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ali bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Al Ihsan Charity Association, said: “We at Al Ihsan value the role of Etisalat for its collaboration again in the ‘Medicine Drop Box’ initiative, which stems from its corporate social responsibility and participation in extending a helping hand to needy and underprivileged patients. Etisalat also contributes to promoting awareness of safe disposal methods, in addition to this humanitarian initiative having a positive impact on society and protecting the environment from pollution by preventing the disposal of surplus medicines.

“These medications are delivered to the Al Ihsan Medical Complex for sorting and classification by pharmacists and specialists in the compound, so they can dispense them to the needy patients who are unable to purchase the medicines, especially for chronic diseases, and secure the needs of patients and clients in the medical complex.”

Dr Hakki Ismail, Executive Director of Al Ihsan Medical Complex, praised Etisalat’s continuous efforts to launch this initiative. The complex has received a wide variety of medications, ointments, and nursing equipment collected from Etisalat’s previous initiatives, and raised awareness on the safe disposal of medicines to protect members of the society from the risk of unsafe disposal methods.

Established in 1990, Al Ihsan Charity Association in Ajman has been a non-profit organisation helping the needy all over the world. It was officially launched in its second phase in 1998 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman. The charity has medical complex to provide medical care and treatment for all society segments of the poor, needy, orphans, widows, and thousands of families.

Etisalat distributed specifically designed pouches among its employees to collect unused medicines. A large Eticare box in the shape of a medicine box has been placed in the foyer of Etisalat’s buildings across the UAE for employees to drop off their medicines from 16th to 20th February 2020.

Medication must not have expired and should be valid for at least six months, and syrups and ointments donated must not be open and do not require to be refrigerated.

  • Special mobile package for Captains goes live today

Hala, the joint venture between the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem that offers an innovative way to get around Dubai by enabling customers to book a Dubai Taxi on the Careem app, has partnered with Etisalat, the leading telecom operator in the UAE, to offer its Captains (taxi drivers) a generous data bundle and international minutes package, making it easier for them to be connected with their families.

Around 25,000 taxi drivers in Dubai will now benefit from the year-long postpaid package that can be activated on any existing or new Etisalat UAE mobile number. The offer commenced on the 10th of February and is one of several initiatives by Hala to improve the lives of Captains through partnerships under the guidance of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). (Watch promotional video here.)

Clemence Dutertre, CEO of Hala, said: “Connecting people, and bringing them together is a core principle of what we do at Hala, and of course our Captains are integral to this mission and our front-facing pillar. They work tirelessly everyday to keep the city moving, delivering the best service to our commuters. In return, we are committed to supporting them however we can, including ensuring they remain connected with their families, many of whom live overseas. In partnership with Etisalat, we are therefore pleased to announce the launch of ‘Further Together’, giving them access to data packages and international minutes, enabling them to speak to their loved ones and bridge the distance through technology. Bringing them closer together.”

Abdulla Ebrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Etisalat, said: “Today’s partnership with Hala to launch the ‘Further Together’ initiative is in line with our brand direction ‘Together Matters’ that highlights togetherness among its customers in today’s world of connectivity. At Etisalat, we always strive to offer the best value to our customers by forging the right partnerships to provide innovative services. The mobile package being offered to Dubai Taxi Captains will enable them to stay in touch with their customers and families back home.”

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO, Public Transport Agency, said: “Initiatives like these make significant differences to the psychology of the drivers (captains). We are glad that taxi drivers can now avail of discounted bundle from Etisalat, which will help them connect with their families back home much more frequently thus giving them peace of mind and eventually greater customer service. RTA always seeks and supports various initiatives that boost the morale of drivers as well as raises the standards of service.”

Hala is helping its Captains adapt to the new digital economy by providing advanced mapping and journey planning tools to deliver the best ride possible. Captains have access to a wider customer base and their time is used in the best way possible, getting them quicker to their next customer in the shortest time thanks to the innovative in-car technology. As a result, they are now able to get more bookings, which have a direct impact on their daily income. In fact Hala conducted a survey in the pilot phase, which showed that 71% of captains said that their earnings had increased, and 80% were happy with the introduction of Hala and the opportunities that Hala is providing them

For more information on Hala, visit www.halaride.com, or follow Hala on social media: Facebook - @halaride; Twitter - @hala_ride; Instagram - @hala_ride.

  • Video captures adrenaline-pumping freefall by Red Bull skydiver Dani Roman
  • 4GB game effortlessly downloaded within 30 seconds on Etisalat’s 5G network in time for skydiver to open the parachute

Etisalat has demonstrated yet again its 5G technological prowess, this time through an adrenaline-pumping freefall from 15,000 feet.

Red Bull skydiver Dani Roman jumps off a plane on a mission: Can 5G download 4GB in time to open a parachute?

“Will Etisalat 5G be able to complete a 4GB download in time to open my parachute?” asks the Spanish professional skydiver in the video, who has been traveling and touring the skies of the world since 2016.

There’s only one way to find out, he says. Etisalat tests whether it can download a 4GB game for Mohammed Al Kaabi, an Emirati YouTuber with a channel called UAE Skills, just in time for Dani to open his parachute.

It begins as a skydive like any other, with Dani jumping out of the plane. Excitement builds as Mohammed and Etisalat’s monitoring team excitedly wait for the game to finish downloading in 30 seconds, and for Dani to pick up the cue to deploy his parachute.

With download completed, Dani deploys his parachute. Etisalat effortlessly downloads the 4GB game on its 5G network in less than the set time. In contrast, 4G could only download 0.75GB for the same duration of 30 seconds.

The video of this epic stunt can be viewed here.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports, today presented a token of appreciation to Etisalat for its strong support and participation as the official telecom partner of the third AccessAbilities Expo held in November last year.

Abdullah Salem Al Mana, General Manager, Etisalat, Dubai Region, who received the appreciation award on behalf of Etisalat, at an honouring ceremony in Dubai, said: “We are pleased to be recognised as one of the strategic partners of AccessAbilities Expo, which is in line with Etisalat’s overall strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ to get the best in technologies and services to improve their lives, integrate them in the society and enable them to overcome their daily challenges. The event is aligned with our corporate social responsibility strategy to support people of determination and facilitate their integration in communities.”

AccessAbilities Expo, a global platform that reflects the aspirations of over 50 million people of determination across the Middle East, was held on 5-7 November 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Etisalat’s continuous support of the People of Determination falls in line with its long-established Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy of extending its reach, offers and services across the community. With its numerous efforts and partnerships Etisalat has always supported ‘People of Determination’ by helping them integrate into society and increase their role in the community.

Etisalat has harnessed the power of its advanced IT and communications technologies to provide discounted offers and special packages and services to people of determination. This has been clearly demonstrated in the advanced technologies Etisalat showcased at its stand during last year’s GITEX Technology Week.

WheeM-i (Wheelchairs Mobility Interface), a “wheel-on,” semi-autonomous electric vehicle that makes traveling around cities easier for people with lightweight manual wheelchairs, made its world premiere at Etisalat’s stand at last year’s GITEX. BrightSign, created by Saudi tech innovator and inventor Hadeel Ayoub, uses assistive technology to facilitate communication for individuals with speech disability.

In previous editions of GITEX, Etisalat demonstrated the innovative Mind rockets, an assistive technology that targets the hearing-impaired providing instant translation in different sign languages for websites, mobile apps, YouTube videos, etc. Virtual bionics focused on patients having missing limbs taking them to a virtual world where they can see actual hands giving their physicians better opportunities to assess their situation for better therapy.

Etisalat showcased the world’s first mass-producible, micro-braille smartwatch and smart glass for the blind. The DOT Braille Smart Watch is lightweight and offers flexibility in manufacturing and design.

Etisalat launched special Plans for People of Determination that include a 50% discount on monthly package rental for eLife Family Value Pack of TV, internet and telephone; a 50% discount on monthly package rental for home telephone; on monthly Home Internet package rental; a 50% discount on prepaid and postpaid mobile data packs; and free subscription to Internet Calling Plan on mobile and eLife while using HiU-Messenger, C’Me, BOTIM, and Voico UAE.

Etisalat marked International Day of Sign Languages last year across its 36 business centres and retail stores across the UAE. Sign language will be a permanent feature across selected business centres and retail stores in line with Etisalat’s efforts to support the UAE’s strategic objectives to integrate people of determination with various disabilities into the community.

It is a key element of Etisalat’s CSR strategy to provide equal opportunities to all, particularly that sport is a right and must be accessible to all throughout the society. Etisalat has been the main partner of various regional and international sport events for people of determination. It was the official telecom partner of both Special Olympics IX MENA Games Abu Dhabi 2018 and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

As part of the partnership with Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Etisalat joined the world in March last year to celebrate the Special Olympics 50th anniversary to work together to create a new future for people of determination. In celebration of ‘Light Up for Inclusion’ - a global demonstration of tolerance, respect, and celebration of difference - Etisalat’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Al Kifaf buildings lit up in red. Etisalat also hosted the last leg of the Special Olympics ‘Flame of Hope’ journey at its Abu Dhabi headquarters.

In 2012 in London, Etisalat was a platinum partner for people of determination in sports for men and women from UAE, and then became the official partner of the UAE Special Olympics team for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. Etisalat was the official partner of the UAE Paralympic Committee in 2016 at the Special Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and supported the UAE Paralympic Team at the Paralympic Asian Games held in Jakarta in 2018.

Etisalat Information Services, an Etisalat subsidiary, facilitated the digital sponsorship of the Unity Run through its platform connect.ae. The Unity Run is a community event celebrating the diversity of the UAE and raising awareness of people of determination.

Etisalat invited a group of physically impaired children to the Disney Show at Dubai World Trade Centre, in coordination with various humanitarian entities, bringing joy and happiness to the determined kids. It also supported a mass wedding ceremony for special needs people, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The initiative was aimed at sending a message that people of determination are an important part of society and have equal rights.

In line with the UAE’s vision to make the country disabled-friendly, Etisalat launched the ‘Talking Bill’ service to support people of determination by enabling visually-challenged customers to access bill summary details of their account free of charge.

  • Partnership enables 5G powered by AI, public cloud and edge computing
  • Facilitates delivery of next generation networks to regional customers empowering business and consumers

In a multi-year partnership, Etisalat has announced that it has teamed up with Microsoft to drive public cloud first strategy through a digital transformation program that enables Etisalat to build a digital platform infused with automation and AI providing a simplified network architecture and operations empowering Etisalat subscribers and improving customer experience.

“Today, Etisalat and Microsoft embark together on a bold new digital transformation journey that will allow us to leverage our industry expertise to deliver the next generation of networks,” said Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Networks, Etisalat. “Keeping in line with our overall strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies, we at Etisalat are committed to nothing less than the total transformation of the consumer and business customer experiences. Etisalat today has transitioned to a digital service provider – the provider of choice for digital services among enterprises and SMB customers, supporting them to monetise services to generate new revenue streams. Together with Microsoft, we are building the communications network of the future.”

Microsoft Azure will power the infusion of AI capabilities into Etisalat’s network by expanding Microsoft Azure solutions into the network, and for Etisalat’s new technologies like Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Edge Computing (NEC). These will significantly speed up computing at the edge, which combined with 5G, will enable new types of applications related to smart cities, autonomous systems, gaming, AR/VR, IoT, and vision computing solutions.

“Our partnership with Etisalat is further demonstration of the trust regional enterprises place in the intelligent Microsoft Cloud,” said Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft UAE. “Our mission is to empower every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more. Etisalat’s digital transformation journey centres on a public-cloud-first strategy including network workloads. Its partnership with Microsoft is designed to merge its telecommunications capabilities with our intelligent cloud solutions, including artificial intelligence and self-healing networks.”

January 2020

  • First private hospital in the UAE to launch the service
  • Etisalat Digital to provide a specialised telemedicine software platform

American Hospital, part of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group and one of the leading pioneers of private healthcare in the Middle East, today announced that it has partnered with Etisalat Digital to launch the first-of-its-kind telehealth service in the private sector as a continuation of its mission to provide clinical excellence to patients in need.

This strategic partnership was revealed during the ongoing Arab Health 2020, the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region.

The new service is in line with the Fifty-Year Charter launched earlier in 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The telehealth service will enable UAE residents to request and avail remote medical consultations with the doctors of American Hospital by utilising the Etisalat communication platform service for advanced voice, video conferencing, and collaboration technologies via a mobile app or web browser. By delivering these technologies in scalable, flexible, and operational, commercial models, Etisalat Digital is addressing some of the primary barriers to adoption of new technologies.”

Patients utilising this service through American Hospital gain access to high-quality healthcare services and connect face to face with a medical doctor who will take the patient’s history and symptoms and perform an exam. Moreover, telemedicine doctors can treat different types of diseases including cold and flu, urinary tract infections, allergies, headaches, sprains and skin conditions. As a result, telemedicine can reduce the geographical distance and enhance the efficiency of health resources

Sherif Beshara, Chief Executive Officer of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group, said: “Medical well-being is integral for the progress of our nation and its people, and we are consistently seeking Artificial Intelligence methods to reach as many patients as possible and in the fastest time. As a result, our partnership with Etisalat Digital comprises a giant step forward for our consultation services and further consolidates American Hospital’s position as a beacon of medical service and expertise in the region and beyond.”

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer Etisalat, said: “We are pleased to partner with American Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in the region that applies advanced technologies to improve quality of care. This project reinforces Etisalat’s approach in redefining healthcare through innovative technologies like telemedicine consequently enhancing patient experience for smart and efficient delivery of healthcare in the United Arab Emirates.”

  • Increases in brand value to $8.5bn as the most valuable consumer brand in MEA
  • Portfolio of brands now touching $11bn
  • Most valuable telecom brand in MEA for 4th consecutive year
  • The only telecom brand in MEA to retain AAA brand rating

Etisalat today set another milestone by coming out on top again as ‘The Most Valuable Consumer Brand’ and ‘The Most Valuable Telecom Brand’ in Middle East and Africa (MEA) by Brand Finance as a recognition for the success and growth of the brand spurred by digital customer service driven strategy and engaging with consumers across markets with innovative global branding initiatives.

Based on the report from Brand Finance, world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, Etisalat boasts of an impressive portfolio of brands touching $11bn including Etisalat Misr, Mobily, Ufone, Maroc Telecom and PTCL. The brand has also demonstrated consistent performance over the years retaining its title as the most valuable telecom brand for the fourth year in a row.

The brand value increased to $8.5 bn as the most valuable consumer brand in MEA for a third consecutive year on a standalone basis. Etisalat is also the only telecom brand to retain AAA brand rating.

David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance said: “Etisalat is the most consistent performer in the Middle East & Africa and the winner of the most valuable consumer brand title in our Global 500 for a 3rd year running. It is amongst the most innovative players globally with its portfolio of brands approaching a brand value of $11 billion. Etisalat has a whole new set of digital solutions coming through which are presented during GITEX every year and its fast roll out of 5G, set to become the backbone of the Expo 2020 showcase when it kicks off in October.”

Eng. Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO, Etisalat Group said: “Reaching the top is hard but maintaining a leadership position is harder. With the regional leadership of Etisalat as a brand it is a testimony to our continuous efforts in digital transformation amplifying our efforts in the societies we serve by investing in new digital platforms, 5G technologies and global brand building initiatives.

“Inspired by our ambitious and digitally fueled vision ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ Etisalat has taken the lead in the launch of 5G in MENA opening a world of opportunities and spurring innovation in the government and industries providing a platform to enable future technologies to become an integral part of our economy and lifestyle. This achievement also reinforces the synergy of operating companies across our footprint, creating brand loyalty and enhanced engagement with our customers. Thanks to the UAE leadership’s support, vision and encouragement that helped Etisalat achieve this significant milestone surpassing some of the top renowned regional brands.”

Etisalat as a brand has played a growing role in fulfilling the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and its dominant influence in shaping the region’s digital future are behind its continued success. Operating in 16 countries with 148 million subscribers across Asia, Middle East and Africa, Etisalat’s success can also be attributed to its continued efforts in developing its customer loyalty programmes, sports sponsorship commitments and in driving the digital future to empower societies.

Etisalat pioneering 5G efforts in the region and delivering one of the fastest, smartest and best-connected places on earth during the global mega Expo 2020 Dubai has attributed to its success as a brand in the region. As the premier digital services and telecommunications partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Etisalat is prepared to deliver the event’s visitors and delegates 5G connectivity that brings the Expo themes to life for the 25 million expected visitors.

Several factors have attributed to the success and growth of Etisalat’s brand value mainly driven by an innovative customer service strategy, adapting well to a digital savvy marketplace, leading the 5G revolution and the successful launch of global brand building initiatives. Etisalat has also led digital innovation in the country by working on several digital initiatives in infrastructure, entertainment and smart cities.

Etisalat has reached out and engaged with its consumers across markets with global branding initiatives by sponsoring global football teams and clubs aligning with the brand’s priorities of being at the forefront of major sporting events. Etisalat also launched the new positioning campaign ‘Together Matters’ to highlight togetherness among its subscribers in today’s world of connectivity.

Brand Finance, is the world’s leading independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy, and is the organisation behind the Global 500 Brands and Telecom 300 league table of the world’s biggest brands ranked by their brand value, assesses the dollar value of the reputation, image and intellectual property of the brand.

  • Dr Bin Ali highlights the adoption of smart technologies for the media industry
  • 5G to boost the quality of the media’s interaction with its audiences
  • Ultra-latency and speeds to support reporters in the field specifically for breaking news and multi-location interviews for the TV industry
  • New sources of revenues from advertising and content and wider outreach
  • Hologram reporters to become a reality in the future

The media plays an increasingly significant role in our lives as a trusted source for news and information, and beyond that also a source for entertainment. It is also a powerful communications platform for the society with the ability to influence people’s opinions and perceptions therefore making a significant social impact at all levels, highlighted Dr Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat.

His presentation was part of Etisalat’s participation in the meeting of the Secretariat General of the Arab League - the 15th meeting of the Arab Digital Media Committee – from 12th -13th January held at the Dubai Press Club headquarters organised by Watani Al Emarat Foundation.

Dr Bin Ali said the media industry has undergone drastic transformation in recent years, and mainly due to the major technology advancements the world has witnessed.

He went on to highlight the advances in technology and how it has facilitated the growth of the media sector. The investments in 5G networks will play a significant role making a positive impact on media and journalism. 5G has superior capabilities with high speeds and ultra-low latency. Live feed news coverage for reporters in the field specifically for breaking news and multi-location interviews for the TV industry were cited as examples for the future of media on the 5G network.

The high data download/upload speeds will benefit all journalists, particularly investigative reporters. These advanced capabilities will also be of immense benefit in media coverage of major popular events, especially large-scale ones such as the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020.

This will enhance the broadcasting capabilities for external coverage mobile media hubs, create futuristic media platforms, and augment the services of content providers. High speeds and low latencies would also boost the quality of the media’s interaction with its audiences.

5G technology will make hologram reporters a reality; people in the future would go beyond than virtual reality being able to experience the news event through advanced immersive experiences technology.

Currently globally there are 5 billion smart phone users with the number projected to surpass 7.2 billion within the coming 5 years or less. 5G data usage will comprise of 25 percent of the total global data transfer share.

Video and immersive experiences will form the core of future 5G network capabilities giving users near life-like experiences with maximised levels of 2-way interactions.

5G networks will have a significant and positive outcome for the media and entertainment industry. There will be a transformation for fixed networks, elevating financial returns, create new revenue streams from advertising and content and have a wider outreach.

He concluded his talk by pointing out that it is imperative that we have media entities ready and willing to adopt these new technologies in order to ensure its leading regional and global status.

Etisalat announced the launch of a first-of-a-kind cloud-based business unified communication and collaboration service for small and medium businesses (SMB) and enterprise customers in the UAE.

Etisalat has partnered with Ribbon Communications to provide customers with a secure, scalable, and cloud-native business communication and collaboration solution. Etisalat’s CloudTalk offers customers an integrated communication solution for their internal and external communication and collaboration needs.

The service is delivered over a carrier-grade cloud private branch exchange (PBX) replacing the legacy setups. Transformation is rapid and performance is optimum with minimal time needed for deployment. The pay-as-you-grow model gives customers the flexibility to work in multi-channel communication environments, minimising upfront investments and focusing on productivity rather than infrastructure.

The hassle-free solution gives users the ease of switching between various devices seamlessly in real-time from any location. The state-of-the-art features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and mobile app, among others, contribute to an elevated user experience leading to better productivity.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “We are delighted to launch CloudTalk along with our partner Ribbon Communications. The agile, secure, and cloud-based solution will be beneficial for businesses looking to simplify their complex communication infrastructure. The launch of this unique platform enables Etisalat to be a single provider for cloud telephony, offering comprehensive tools at a viable price. We at Etisalat are committed to delivering innovative technology blended with superior service levels that help businesses embark on their digital journey.”

Patrick Joggerst, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Business Development of Ribbon Communications, said: “Our cloud-native solutions help enable the intelligent and secure real-time communications solutions today’s businesses are embracing. We are proud to support this ambitious new undertaking as Etisalat continues to showcase its leadership position in digital transformation.”

Etisalat today announced the successful launch of open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN), becoming the first operator in MENA to achieve this technological feat. By supporting Open architecture, Open vRAN technology accelerates the delivery of mobile networks. The technology is the foundation of next-generation wireless infrastructure driven by innovation and open standards.

Today’s announcement demonstrates Etisalat’s strong commitment to sustaining its technological leadership, by bringing in such technological advances. Etisalat has become one of the first operators worldwide to launch this technology.

The success of this deployment by Etisalat was possible with the collaboration of Etisalat partners Altiostar, NEC, Cisco and other leading vRAN technology vendors. The solution combines scalability enhancement and virtual networks achieved by integrating equipment from various vendors. Using commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware from third parties, Etisalat is transforming the hardware network to a software-based one.

The vRAN architecture approach decouples the programmable RAN software elements from the hardware, allowing generally available hardware (generic pre-processer) and server platforms to process the RAN software. This results in deployment flexibility, scalability, agility, energy efficient networks through reducing hardware elements on the network. Open vRAN approach reduces time to market, as it is quicker to deploy mobile networks than traditional deployment methods. Additionally, network capacity augmentation and optimisation is enhanced by the simplification of nodes and enabling new automated methods and AI algorithms.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network at Etisalat, said: “Keeping in line with Etisalat’s strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’, deploying the Open vRAN is vital in enabling digital transformation aimed at increasing efficiencies and the utilisation of AI. Today’s announcement is aligned with UAE’s objectives of achieving digital transformation with the deployment of best-in-class technologies. Etisalat now plans to roll out Open vRAN across the UAE to take full advantage of all the benefits that this new technology offers.”

December 2019

  • Initiative is part of Etisalat’s ongoing commitment to support the health needs of the UAE community

Etisalat conducted a successful blood donation campaign across its offices across the UAE in collaboration with Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre and Abu Dhabi Blood Bank.

Etisalat employees turned up in large numbers at Etisalat’s headquarters, offices and business centres in the UAE to donate blood and demonstrate their support for the cause with their selfless volunteering, in line with Etisalat’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and commitment to contribute to the local community.

Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat, said: “The blood donation campaign is part of our efforts to consolidate the values of corporate social responsibility. This initiative embodies the spirit of volunteerism, generosity and giving that Etisalat strives to instill among our employees. Giving blood should be a continuous process; it is important that we provide our employees with opportunities to participate in giving back to society.”

Dr. Fatma Sajwani, Medical Director of Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre, said: “Voluntary blood donation is encouraged to assure safe blood supply to patients who need blood transfusion. Blood donation is beneficial to the donor’s health and not only to the recipient of the blood. We work in collaboration with all who support this generous act and support them fully with the facilities and services that can be provided.”

“Blood donation is a valuable act of giving that one can easily do without harming their health. A single unit of blood can help in the treatment of three patients. Blood donation is a humanitarian act that is beyond comparison. This voluntary act of giving serves an important need in the community,” said Dr. Naima Oumeziane, Medical Director of Abu Dhabi Blood Bank.

  • First operator in MENA region to introduce MEC and its importance in delivering innovative 5G services
  • MEC architecture achieves performance gains of as much as 90% in video streaming, validating how ultra-low-latency applications will be delivered over 4G and 5G networks

Etisalat today announced the successful deployment of a Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) implementation that will pave the way for Etisalat to roll out new 5G-styled services, beginning with its Content Delivery Network (CDN).

MEC is a network architecture that brings real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to radio network information, allowing operators to open their networks to a new ecosystem and value chain. The deployment of MEC architectures will be critical for 4G/5G service providers, as it allows them to significantly reduce latency, which is essential for delivering the new breed of revenue-generating services such as virtual reality gaming, autonomous driving, augmented reality, IoT, and many others.

MEC is ideal for hosting high-bandwidth, low-latency applications in next-generation digital mobile networks. By moving the most demanding applications, such as video, closer to the network edge, operators can ensure the best performance and experience for consumer and enterprise customers.

Khalid Al Suwaidi, Vice President, Mobile and Fixed Core Networks, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat has led in bringing the latest in innovation and modern technology to the network. We strongly believe that pioneering the next-generation networks will enable Etisalat to cement its industry-leading position. We are now the first operator in the MENA region to introduce MEC and its importance in delivering innovative 5G services.”

To demonstrate the benefits of this architecture, Etisalat closely measured the performance of its MEC-based CDN across a few key areas, including latency, “time to first byte”, and total load time. The results showed improvement gains of as much as 90% across these areas when compared to hosting the video content on the core network or elsewhere on the Internet.

With today’s announcement, Etisalat confirms that it has validated the MEC architecture and eliminated the hurdles to its adoption; demonstrated that virtualised architecture is capable of providing carrier-grade performance at the edge of the network; and enabled the adoption of low-latency, high-bandwidth applications using MEC architecture for both 4G and 5G networks.

  • Initiative is aligned with UAE’s strategy to support and grow Small & Medium Businesses
  • Startups to compete and pitch their business plans for a chance to win prizes worth AED 350,000

Etisalat today announced the launch of the second edition of Hello Business Pitch competition, designed to encourage entrepreneurs and homegrown Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) to build and grow their business.

Following the successful response to the competition in 2018, Etisalat has renewed its commitment towards empowering entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into real business ventures. Etisalat’s ‘Hello Business Pitch’ provides an opportunity for start-ups to pitch their business ideas in front of an expert panel of judges who will be assessing their business model through the strength of their pitch.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: “The SMB sector plays an important role in the UAE economy, accounting for 86 percent of the total private sector workforce and more than 60 percent of the country’s current GDP. Today’s announcement is in line with Etisalat’s continuous efforts to support SMBs and start-ups in the UAE and position Etisalat as the preferred business partner of choice.”

“Hello Business Pitch competition, now on its second year, aims to bring growth and innovation in the entrepreneurship and SMB sector. At Etisalat, we are driven by our service mantra ‘Your Business Grows with Us.”

A panel of judges, subject matter experts and partners will join hands to review all submissions and shortlist the top three winners who will be awarded prizes worth AED 350,000 to help grow their business. To be eligible, startup businesses need to be up to 3 years old.

For further details on the eligibility criteria, submission requirements and the competition timelines, please visit etisalat.ae/hellobusinesspitch.

  • First 5G-enabled metro in MENA

Etisalat today announced that it is enabling 5G connectivity at the Etisalat Metro Station, becoming the first 5G-enabled metro in the Middle East and North Africa.

Etisalat Metro Station is the eastern terminus of Dubai Metro’s Green Line, which opened to the public in September 2011. Etisalat aims to provide metro users with a unique 5G experience riding on blazing speeds of more than 1Gbps and faster response time with latency less than 1 millisecond. At 20 times faster than 4G and with ultra-low latency, 5G technology allows users to stream live 4k resolution videos, with virtually no lag, and they will enjoy AR/VR services, cloud gaming from anywhere in UAE, robotics, and instant wearable technologies connectivity.

The 5G-enabled Etisalat Metro Station announcement follows Etisalat’s major global milestones achieved in 5G network. Etisalat embarked on its 5G journey in 2014 when it started constructing its network with a dedicated team of engineers and specialists dedicated to build advanced infrastructure supporting future technology requirements in the region.

The major milestone for Etisalat and the telecom industry was the launch of the first ‎‎commercial 5G wireless network on 14th May 2018 in the UAE becoming the first telecom operator in the MENA region to achieve this technological breakthrough and set an industry benchmark.‎ Expo 2020 was also the first major commercial customer in MEASA to partner with Etisalat on 5G in July 2018 delivering a unique and memorable experience for the millions of visitors.‎

In yet another global breakthrough in the 5G journey, Etisalat announced this month that it achieved over 3.1Gbps download throughput over its 5G Stand Alone (SA) network. Ookla, the global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis, recognised Etisalat for being the fastest mobile network in MENA and broadband network in GCC, Africa and Arabian region in 2019 due to its continuous efforts to invest and build one of the world’s most advanced networks.

In November this year, Etisalat partnered with Yas Marina Circuit to enable 5G connectivity at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019, making it the first 5G powered international racing track in the MENA region. Etisalat Digital partnered with DMCC in October to transform Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) into an innovative smart and sustainable district, powered by the 5G network. Smart solutions will be installed across JLT, home to over 16,000 companies and 100,000 people who live, work and visit the area. In August, Etisalat announced the availability of 5G coverage in the world’s tallest and iconic tower ‘Burj Khalifa’ showcasing readiness of the state-of-the-art 5G network and compatibility with industry leading 5G smartphones.

Etisalat announced in June that it has become the first mobile operator in MENA to provide 5G coverage inside an international airport. Through its network rollout and the pioneering launch of the first 5G handset in the MENA, Etisalat managed to provide UAE customers with an opportunity to experience the power of 5G technology.

Etisalat’s senior executives highlighted key 5G achievements, digital transformation initiatives and next generation technologies at the prestigious Leaders’ Summit in Dubai.

The 13th edition of the summit focused on the theme ‘It’s all about Smart Networking’. The summit brings telecom experts and leaders together on one platform to debate and discuss about future developments in the regional and global telecom industry. The attendees included decision makers from the telecom industry covering all segments in the ecosystem.

Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Etisalat International, participated in a debate on the topic 5G serving societies. Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Etisalat International, participated in the panel focusing on The Year of 5G deployments: from Planning to Reality. Key discussion topics were 5G economics and use cases, including lessons learned from initial 5G deployments, 5G serving the next wave of traffic growth, importance of fiber backbone in 5G deployments; and the gaps and solutions for a complete commercial deployment.

Ali Amiri, Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat, took part in the panel on Capacity Planning in the 5G Data Era, which highlighted various issues such as managing the huge amounts of data generated in the 5G era, aligning capacity planning withy 5G digital services plans, and the role of satellites in guaranteeing the transfer of data.

Meanwhile, Fatima Mohamed Saleh, Vice President, Fixed Access Network was one of the key speakers of the panel focused on Infrastructure Planning in Smart Cities. The panel outlined the role of FTTH in smart cities, pillars of smart cities, infrastructure-related requirements for establishing smart cities, and the role of AI and blockchain in building smart cities.

Hazem Metwally, CEO, Etisalat Misr, joined chief executives in The Leader’ Panel: The Game Has Changed, while Jose Luis Lopez Villen, Director, Open Innovation and IoT Partnerships Programme, Etisalat; participated in the panel titled The Future Tech Landscape and Digital Transformation. Antonio Ricciardi, Senior Vice President, Consumer Intelligence and Engagement, Etisalat, delivered a presentation on Smiles UAE: Success with Smart Partnerships.

  • For the first time in the UAE, enjoy unlimited calls with ‘Business Infinite’
  • Make calls without limits to local as well as international destinations

Etisalat today announced the launch of ‘Unlimited Calling’ for business executives and professionals-for the first time in UAE-unlimited local and international calls on select plans.

This follows the recent success of the launch of the new ‘Freedom Unlimited’ plans, offering postpaid customer’s unlimited local and international calls.

Now businesses can make unlimited local calls across UAE on the ‘Business Infinite’ postpaid plan priced at AED 350 and enjoy both unlimited local and international calls on the AED 600 plan.

Free roaming minutes, GBs of data (local and roaming), and a free gold VIP number await businesses opting for higher rental plans. They can enjoy 500 incoming and 100 outgoing roaming minutes as well as 100GB of national data and 1GB of roaming data on the AED 900 plan. Meanwhile, those selecting the AED 1,200 plan get to enjoy 1,000 incoming and 200 outgoing roaming minutes as well as 125GB national data and 2GB roaming data.

Salvador Anglada, Group Chief Business Officer, Etisalat, said: “Today’s announcement will enable businesses to seamlessly connect as well as save on their local and international calls. This brings in flexibility in the business as well as increases productivity. The launch is in line with our overall objective to remain committed to the varying needs and requirements of the Business sector.”

Etisalat business customers can make unlimited calls to mobile, or fixed numbers in the UAE, or majority of international destinations – enabling them to talk non-stop with their business associates and freely connect with their counterparts outside UAE.

To find out more about the plans, please visit www.etisalat.ae/infinite.

  • FTTH has reached 95.7 percent of homes across the UAE, maintaining country’s position as global leader in FTTH
  • Abu Dhabi first capital city in the world to be completely connected to the fiber optic network
  • UAE is ranked number one globally, surpassing Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan

UAE today leads globally as the country with the highest Fiber to the Home (FTTH) penetration for a third year in a row making it a digital hub for innovation with an advanced network that has helped transform and bring innovative future technologies to all its subscribers.

FTTH has reached 95.7 percent of homes across the UAE, maintaining the country’s position as a global leader in FTTH, according to the latest international report from the FTTH council.

The council publishes its annual report that showcases the countries with the highest fiber optic network penetration globally. The report highlighted UAE as the number one country globally with its fiber network coverage surpassing Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

Juan Colina, President, FTTH Council MENA, said: “Fiber connectivity is integral as it becomes a platform for the future of the network especially today with the launch of 5G making it easier to bring futuristic technologies to all subscribers. Etisalat has played a critical role in positioning UAE on this global scale by driving infrastructure investments in building one of the most advanced networks in the region and maintaining consistent leadership for the third year in a row.”

With Etisalat’s strategy focused on ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ the network forms a significant component of this digital transformation journey. Etisalat has continuously focused on investing in innovation and on next generation technologies and services to expand and enhance the network.

This achievement was only possible due to the continuous support and vision of the leadership of UAE in the development and modernisation of the infrastructure.

In today’s connected world, with the greater need for computing and connectivity capabilities such an advanced network also enables the implementation of futuristic technologies like augmented reality, robotics and artificial intelligence. Consumers are able to experience high performance and capabilities required in advanced gaming, streaming, applications and entertainment with a high-speed network.

For enterprises, digital transformation will play a pivotal role in enabling the support of advanced use cases, applications and technologies. This will be key to bring success and next level of development leading Etisalat to play a greater role in digital lives of consumers and enterprises. This forms the backbone of a robust and one of the most advanced and fastest network in the region.

  • First operator globally to be ranked by Ookla® on a regional level

Ookla, the global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analysis, recognised Etisalat for being the fastest mobile network in MENA and broadband network in GCC, Africa and Arabian region in 2019 due to its continuous efforts to invest and build one of the world’s most advanced networks.

The ranking is based on analysis by Ookla of millions of tests actively initiated by customers across every network to check internet speeds using various applications on web and mobile platforms. The Speedtest awards™ for top network providers are determined using a ‘Speed Score’ that incorporates a measure of each provider’s network speeds (download and upload) to rank network speed performance. The Etisalat network was recognised as the fastest network in mobile and broadband speeds in the UAE as well as across the MENA and GCC, Africa and Arabian region respectively.

Etisalat received the recognition at a ceremony attended by Doug Suttles, CEO and co-founder, Ookla and Khalifa Al Shamsi, Group Chief Corporate Strategy and Governance Officer, Etisalat, along with other senior management from both companies.

Doug Suttles, CEO and co-founder, Ookla, said: “Today’s announcement signifies Etisalat long standing commitment and leadership in the telecom industry. This recognition is significant as tests are actively initiated by consumers across every network. The latest Ookla results highlights Etisalat’s achievements in both mobile and fixed networks in MENA and the GCC, Africa and Arabian region, respectively. This has positioned UAE among the top five fastest countries in the world for mobile according to the Speedtest Global Index in October this year. Additionally, Etisalat was also ranked on a global level among the top 10 most improved fixed broadband networks comparing Q3 2018 to Q3 2019.”

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Group Chief Corporate Strategy and Governance Officer, Etisalat, said: “The telecom network is the backbone of an economy and plays a significant role in bringing digital transformation and innovation in the country. We are proud to receive this global recognition from Ookla as the region’s fastest network, which is in line with UAE’s goals of becoming a smart nation and enabling a digital economy. This is also a testament to Etisalat’s leadership and readiness to address the future requirements of the network.

“The recognition is a result of the company’s long-term vision and strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ with Etisalat continually investing in innovation, next-generation technologies and services to enhance the network.”

Etisalat was the first in the region to take a lead and launch previous generations of the network mainly 3G, 4G and 5G.

In 5G, Etisalat set major benchmarks for the industry, by becoming among the first few operators globally to start testing 5G in February 2014.

Etisalat became the first telco in MENA in May 2018 to launch a commercial 5G network providing fixed wireless service in the UAE. This was followed by another major substantial breakthrough in our 5G journey by connecting and partnering with Expo 2020 as the first major commercial customer in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region to access 5G services. Etisalat connected Expo 2020 Dubai to its network, leading it to be the world’s smartest and most connected location in the world.

In May 2019, Etisalat also became the first telecom operator in MENA to enable its customers to experience the power of the 5G network and release the first 5G handset before many others in the market.

  • 5G speeds achieved over 3.1Gbps download throughput

In yet another global breakthrough in the 5G journey, Etisalat achieved over 3.1Gbps download throughput over its 5G Stand Alone (SA) network. In October 2019, Etisalat successfully completed the first end-to-end 5G SA call in the UAE, becoming the first operator globally to achieve this milestone.

The new throughput record is a result of a gradual progression of Etisalat’s 5G rollout, as it develops the technology across the 5G ecosystem towards the full vision of an autonomous 5G network. In this test, 200MHz spectrum was used with a mobile smartphone capable of 5G SA operation.

Commenting on this latest achievement, Saeed Alzarouni, SVP of Mobile Network, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat continuously endeavours to achieve a network capable of delivering beyond customer expectations. Today’s landmark announcement sets a new benchmark in the telecom industry, a testimony to our continuous efforts in building a network that will enable innovation and accelerate digital transformation.