Virgin Mobile eyes UAE launch, Arab expansion

Virgin looks to launch mobile services across the region

Tags: QatarQtel International InvestmentUnited Arab EmiratesVirgin GroupVirgin Mobile Qatar (www.virginmobile.com.qa)
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Virgin Mobile eyes UAE launch, Arab expansion Branson said he was hopeful of rolling out the service first launched in Qatar earlier this year with Qatar Telecom.
By  Anil Bhoyrul Published  November 23, 2010

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson is planning to expand his Virgin Mobile brand across the Arab world, with the UAE being targeted for new services.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Branson said he was hopeful of rolling out the service first launched in Qatar earlier in May with Qatar Telecom (Qtel).

"We're looking at other places including the UAE. The take up has been very good, and it's been a good way to get our brand across to more people, so we're trying to see how we can do it in more places across the region," he said.

Virgin Mobile Qatar is the eighth Virgin Mobile branded operation in the world, following on from launches in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, France, South Africa, and India. Virgin Mobile Qatar is wholly owned by Qtel.

"It's something that we have always tried to do, a simple structure that costs less and everyone understands how to use," Branson said, adding: "This part of the world has been very good for our brand, with radio, the shops and telecoms, so we're looking at many other things we could do."

Abu Dhabi's state-backed Aabar Investments has a 32% stake in Virgin Galactic.

Branson said the suggestions for one day building a space port in the UAE "are being considered but some time away."

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