Etisalat will now be ‘e&’ as UAE telecom giant transforms into ‘global tech conglomerate’


Dubai: Etisalat, the UAE telecom giant, has launched the next stage of its evolution – and the first step in that is being branded as ‘e&’. It will mark the Group’s transformation into a full-scale “global technology and investment conglomerate”.

This was confirmed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

20220223 etisalat rebranding
Image Credit: Supplied

“The transformation of e& from a telecom company founded more than four decades ago in the UAE into a global influence in digitalisation highlights its role in upholding the UAE’s sustainable economic development and diversification plans,” Sheikh Mansour said in a statement. “We commend e& for being the national champion that steers its global digitalisation leadership through pioneering advanced technologies, advancing ICT infrastructures, and fuelling geographic expansions while unlocking value.”

Heavyweight on ADX

The announcement, which was made after trading hours, will place the company’s stock in the limelight tomorrow (February 24). It has a Dh291.34 billion market cap on ADX, and the stock currently trades at Dh33.5. Early last year, the Group allowed foreign shareholders to hold up to 49 per cent.20220223 e3

‘Capitalise’ on new opportunities

The intent is to be fit and ready to take on new prospects in a “fast-evolving business landscape”. Some of that is already being seen, with Etisalat – or e& – joining in the launch of a Dh2.3 billion digital bank – Wio – along with FAB, ADQ and Alpha Dhabi.

In the new avatar, The Group’s telecom operations will retain the previous branding identity. Simultaneously, it will be “upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the Group’s strong telecoms infrastructure and maximising value for its customer segments…”.

Etisalat has more than 155.4 million subscribers spread over 16 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

This is a milestone in the history of the Group, and a new era where we reaffirm our commitment to deliver outstanding customer experiences and maximise value for our shareholders. To ensure that the next chapter of our journey is a success, we made the decision to realign our business model so that we can stay agile and fit for the future

– Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman of e&

Other ‘pillars’

Apart from its core telecom services, the other key operational lines will be:

• e& life, which is focused on “enhancing customer delight by becoming an integral part of the lives of its customers”. The division has already designed plans for deliver next-generation technologies and digital experiences that will “bring the world to the customers’ fingertips through smart connectivity platforms in entertainment, retail and financial services”.

• e& enterprise will be the unit taking on the digital transformation of governments, corporates and enterprises. Through its solutions in cybersecurity, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI),, e& enterprise will “create real business value as it continues to leverage on its expertise as a digital managed company having the strength and reach of a global trusted partner”.

Then there is the e& capital, which will take the lead in driving new growth prospects for the Group, most likely through mergers and acquisitions. The grand plan is to invest in “ideas that make the future”.

Already, some of the reshaping at the telecom company was apparent. The Group started selling insurance products as part of a calculated move to expand into financial services solutions. The launch of a digital bank is also part of that grand strategy.

Solid foundations

“Our evolution is built on the solid foundations of several historical achievements, multiple milestones and robust financial performance, highlighting our global technological leadership and our confidence in leading change for growth,” said Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman of e&. “During this time, we have also worked tirelessly to ensure that our solutions positively impact people’s lives at every touchpoint. We are now ready to be the future-focussed nexus that will drive more positive change for our customers and shareholders through our robust expertise.”

The makeover to e& comes as the Group commits significant investments into expanding the 5G networks in the UAE. Market sources say that the two telecom providers in the UAE have been steadily clocking subscribers for the super-fast telecom and data services.

Etisalat is expected to announce its full-year 2021 results this week, and analysts are expecting a solid set of numbers. They will be particularly keen on the medium-term plans as well as planned capex forecasts.

“We will continue to identify new growth opportunities, take full advantage of strong partnerships and maintain our edge as the global technology investment conglomerate that makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO.

Our robust transformation plans will focus on running our business operations more efficiently, diversifying our revenue streams as well as helping our enterprise customers achieve their digital transformation goals adeptly.

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