In 2019 it become the first Middle East group to break the $10bn barrier in terms of wider portfolio value, winning the “most valuable portfolio brand” title from brand consultancy Brand Finance. Etisalat’s global portfolio including brands Etisalat Misr, Mobily, Ufone, Maroc Telecom, PTCL and Etisalat Afghanistan, has seen eight percent growth in the last year.
In the same year, it announced its net profit after federal royalty increased by 2 percent to $1.8bn for the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same period last year. Its subscriber base also reached 12.5 million subscribers. In the same month, it announced a partnership with Sage Middle East to offer Sage accounting solutions that are fully compliant with value-added taxes to small and medium businesses (SMBs). In the same month, it announced it is working on the world’s first driverless grocery delivering vegetables and fruits, which it could possibly launch in Dubai during Expo 2020.
The Silicon Valley startup Robomart was founded last year by two former Dubai entrepreneurs, Ali Ahmed and Emad Rahim, and autonomous car expert Tigran Shahverdyan. While it is currently being tested in the US for commercial runs, its founders are in talks to launch it in the Gulf city, with Etisalat as a potential partner. Moreover, it joined forces with Tappy Technologies, the wearable payment enabler, to offer payment and access enabled wearables in the UAE. The wearables were first showcased at GITEX Technology Week 2018. While the firm has been criticised for blocking voice over internet protocol providers (VOIPs) such as Skype, it unveiled three services to customers including HiU Messenger and BOTIM, which allow voice and video calls.