Six key people leading the development of the UAE telecommunications industry: Mohammed Omran, Osman Sultan, Mohamed al-Ghanim, Jassem Mohamed al-Zaabi, Yousuf al-Sayed and Jorg Erlemeier
Position Chairman, Emirates Telecommunications Company (Etisalat)
Biography Mohammed Omran has been an employee at Etisalat for more than 30 years. Omran joined Etisalat in 1977, one year after the company was set up, after completing an engineering degree at Egypt’s Cairo University. His first senior management role came in 1982 when he was appointed area manager of Ras al-Khaimah. Two years later, Omran was promoted deputy general manager and began his march up the executive ladder. He was promoted to his current position in 2004. Since becoming chairman, Omran has overseen Etisalat’s transformation from modest local provider to one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. Etisalat’s revenues have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 24 per cent since 2005. In 2009, revenues stood at $8.38m. Profits have also increased by 20 per cent since 2005 and the company made $2.4bn in 2009.
Contact tel: (+971) 2 618 2091
Position Chief executive officer (CEO), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du)
Biography Osman Sultan joined the UAE’s second largest telecoms company as CEO in 2006. He has been involved in the telecoms industry for more than 25 years. Sultan began his career with France Telecom in 1983. He held a number of senior management roles at the firm and worked at the company until 1997. Sultan left France Telecom to become CEO of Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), a firm he helped start-up in 1998 to bid for Egypt’s mobile licence. Since becoming CEO of Du, Sultan and his team have increased the customer base to just under 3.5 million. The company now employs 2,000 people. In 2009, Du posted revenues of $1.44bn and a profit of $143.76m. Sultan is also chairman of the Arab Working Group for the Private Sector in the International Telecommunications Union.
Contact tel: (+971) 4 360 0000
Position Director general, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)
Biography Mohamed al-Ghanim was entrusted with establishing the UAE’s regulatory body in 2004. He has about 10 years of experience in the UAE’s telecommunications industry, both as an engineer and manager. Al-Ghanim began his career with Etisalat after graduating from the Etisalat College of Engineering in 1994 with a degree in telecommunications engineering. In 1997, he moved to the UAE’s Thuraya Satellite Communications Company, where he rose through the ranks to become senior manager of product development. In his current role, Al-Ghanim is responsible for implementing the regulatory framework for the UAE’s telecoms sector. The TRA oversees interconnection agreements, pricing policies and licences in the country. The TRA ended Etisalat’s 30-year monopoly in the UAE in 2006 by awarding a licence to Du.
Contact tel: (+971) 2 626 9999
Jassem Mohamed al-Zaabi
Position CEO, Al-Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat)
Biography Yahsat was formed in 2007 and earlier this year became the third telecoms company to be granted a licence to operate in the UAE. As CEO of the state-owned firm, Jassem Mohamed al-Zaabi has had a busy 2010 as his company tries to establish itself as a provider of satellite services. Clients include governments, banking and financial institutions, broadcasters, manufacturers, mobile service providers, satellite service providers and internet service providers across Middle East, Africa, southern Europe and south west Asia. Al-Zaabi graduated from the Ajman University of Science and Technology in the UAE. He began his career with Thuraya as a business development area manager for the GCC and Egypt. Al-Zaabi is also a board member of the UAE-based companies Du, TwoFour54, Abu Dhabi Ship Building and Advanced Technology Investment Company.
Contact tel: (+971)2 406 1111
Position CEO, Thuraya Satellite Communications Company (Thuraya)
Biography Yousuf al-Sayed has been CEO of Thuraya since it began operations in 1997. In his current role, Al-Sayed leads negotiations with major satellite manufacturers and also manages key technical and regulatory aspects of projects undertaken. Thuraya offers businesses a number of solutions that require satellite communication systems. The firm’s customers are involved in the aviation and shipping sectors, to oil and gas and defence industries. Thuraya sells a range of branded handsets, airtime and data packages, and offers coverage in 140 countries across Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. Al-Sayad is a graduate in electrical engineering and started his career in the telecoms sector in 1985. He joined Etisalat in 1988 and held a number of positions, most notably chief engineer for transmission and chief engineer for the satellite network.
Contact tel: (+971) 2 642 2222
Position Head of Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Nokia Siemens Networks
Biography Jorg Erlemeier was appointed to lead Nokia Siemens Networks’ business in the Middle East and Africa in 2009. Erlemeier is responsible for ensuring the Finnish/German equipment and network provider develops a key growth market in the region out of its Dubai base. He joined Nokia in 1994 and held several senior management positions in the firm in various locations. Prior to his current role, Erlemeier was head of the Asia-Pacific region and oversaw the entire services business of the company in the region. In MEA, Nokia Siemens Networks has around 150 customers, including mobile and fixed operators, governments and internet service providers. Erlemeier has a degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering from Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany. Prior to joining Nokia, Erlemeier worked in the engineering industry.
Contact tel: (+971) 4 361 6565