Connecting with customers and partners from across the region, Huawei—a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider—is celebrating this week its 15 year anniversary of operations in the Middle East. The company will be hosting a number of commemorative activities in the build up to GITEX Technology Week which starts on 18 October in Dubai, UAE.
Driven by a desire to build a better connected world, today Huawei Middle East is a strategic partner to leading telecom operators, governments and enterprises in enabling the Middle East’s digital society.
“For 15 years the Middle East has been a significant market for our company,” says Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East. “We have been privileged to help push the boundaries of technology innovation and to support government visions for constructing more intelligent and connected national infrastructure. We are thankful for all our loyal customers and partners, and remain dedicated to empowering the Middle East’s digital transformation.”
Over the last 15 years Huawei Middle East has established an end-to-end portfolio of ICT solutions to provide value to its growing partner base. It has also been a commercially successful geography for Huawei. The wider Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region accounted for 35 percent of Huawei’s total global revenue in 2014 with the region’s revenues up approximately 20 percent year on year.
Part of Huawei’s expansion has been a result of a long-term commitment to research & development. Huawei now has about 76,000 employees focusing on R&D—more than 45 percent of its total workforce worldwide—with several Joint Innovation Centers operating in the Middle East as well as a dedicated Middle East IT Competency Center, a Middle East Smart Cities Center of Excellence, and three Middle East training centers. Helping organizations to capitalize on new technologies such as 5G, cloud IT, and Internet of Things applications, Huawei annually invests an average of more than 10 percent of its total global revenue into R&D, reaching approximately US$ 6.6 billion in 2014.
In recent years the company has made clear its continued investments in local talent to help bridge the region’s digital divide. Most recently that has included a string of regional training programs at the university level up to advanced professional courses—encompassed under Huawei’s Seeds for the Future program.
“Fifteen years ago Huawei’s corporate structure looked considerably different than it does today. Nevertheless, our values have largely remained the same. We exist to serve our customers and local communities,” adds Yang. “Huawei has done this by delivering exceptional before and after-service support to our partners, respecting local cultures and striving to learn and grow together with our partners.”
The company’s 15 year anniversary in the Middle East comes at a time when Huawei has already celebrated a number of regional milestones this year. These have included the tenth anniversary of its Hajj services partnership together with STC, more than a decade since launch of the first 3G network in the Arab world with Etisalat, and being honored with titles such as ‘Middle East Vendor of the Year’ and ‘IT and Technology Company of the Year’ by prestigious business & industry associations.
Exploring new frontiers, this year has also seen Huawei launch several firsts, including its original muchTV video streaming service and its first Middle East Customer Service Center for users of Huawei consumer devices. The company has further customized solutions for the Middle East region with specific offerings in industries such as oil & gas, transport, education, and others.
“Looking ahead, we are constantly expanding and improving our business operations in the Middle East to set new milestones in the ICT sector and to apply fresh, original thinking to our work,” concludes Yang.
Today the company’s Middle East headquarters is located in Bahrain with offices across 10 countries and around 5,000 employees—of whom over 66 percent are local hires. Founded in 1987, Huawei globally has grown from a US$ 5,680 small company to a truly international enterprise with an annual revenue volume of over US$ 46.5 billion and a business presence in over 170 countries.