The strongest telecom companies in the Middle East for 2021

Forbes announced the annual Global 2000 list, which includes the 2000 most powerful companies in the world, based on 4 main criteria: revenue, profits, asset size, and market value.

Group (STC)

STC, the Saudi Telecom Company, topped the list of the best telecommunications companies in the region according to the classification of Forbes magazine, as it ranked first as the strongest telecommunications company in the Middle East, with profits for the current year amounting to 3 billion dollars, and sales amounted to 15.7 STC is ranked among the top 44 digital companies in the world.

Etisalat Group

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Etisalat. It was established more than 40 years ago as the first telecom service provider in the UAE. Today, it has 156 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa as of March 2021. Whereas, Hatem Dowidar became the CEO of Etisalat Group, in December 2020, and was previously the CEO of International Operations since March / March 2016, and before that, he was Chief Operating Officer when he joined the company in September 2015.

  • Sales $14.1 billion
  • Profit $ 2.8 billion

Zain Group 

Zain operates in 7 countries in the Middle East and Africa, has approximately 48.5 million active customers, and employs more than 7,500 people. In 2020, the company launched commercial 5G services in Bahrain and completed the sale and leaseback of its 1,620 towers for $130 million. While the Kuwait Investment Authority is a major shareholder in the group, owning 24.22% of the company as of March 2021. The Vice-Chairman and CEO of the group are Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Stock Exchange, and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

  • Sales: $5.4 billion
  • Profits: $692.5 million

Group (Ooredoo)

Founded in 1949, Ooredoo Group is the largest telecommunications company in Qatar and established the first telephone exchange in Doha. Today it is an international telecommunications company with a customer base of more than 100 million customers in 12 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. Whereas, Ooredoo has established more than 70 live 5G sites in Qatar, and started deploying 5G networks in Kuwait and Oman. Aziz Al Othman Fakhro became the Managing Director of Ooredoo Group in 2020. He is also the Deputy Undersecretary of Finance for Financial Affairs in Qatar.

  • Sales: $7.9 billion
  • Profits: $391 million

Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily)

In 2004, Mobily became the second mobile operator to be launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As for the main shareholders, they are Etisalat Emirates Group and the General Organization for Social Insurance, with shares of 27.9% and 6.9%, respectively. In 2020, the company reported profits of $208.9 million, compared to $8.3 million in 2019. In January 2021, Mobily teamed up with Nokia to pilot 4G and 5G fixed wireless access on its live commercial network.

  • Sales: $3.7 billion
  • Profits: $209 million

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