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In an exclusive Telecom Review interview, Karim Benkirane, chief commercial officer at du, shed light on the telco’s journey to becoming the third strongest brand overall in the UAE and the third strongest telecom brand in the Middle East. This fruitful discussion also outlines the telco’s digital transformation and other key milestones.

What has led du to solidify its position among the top 5 brands in the UAE?

We are very pleased to see that du has been ranked as the United Arab Emirates' third strongest brand, receiving an 81.2 out of 100 point score and a AAA- rating as a result. This result is a translation of our commitment to providing our customers with the best-in-class value and a superior customer experience — an experience that goes beyond the role of simply providing connected solutions. du is the “network that gets you” because we understand the requirements, preferences, and interests of our customers. Thanks to du's focus on expanding core strengths and leveraging existing strengths in connectivity, the brand has been able to increase its BSI score by +1.8 points, moving up two spots while simultaneously maintaining its position as the 8th most valuable brand in the UAE.

How has du’s brand value increased in 2023?

In addition to du's stellar performance in the BSI, the company's brand value rose to $2.2 billion. The enhancement of our brand's reputation was responsible for more than half of our increase in brand value, which was also helped along by an increase in both the short-term growth rate and the long-term growth rate of our company.

Our partners and team members have played a significant role in the success of our journey to becoming a fully integrated customer service-oriented company that leverages technology to provide the highest quality services for customers, and as du continues its transformation to exceed customer expectations, this success is due in large part to the contributions they have made to our journey.

What technologies are driving du’s next chapter of growth?

As a digital telco, we recognize the importance of embracing the disruptive technologies of the future to generate additional opportunities for growth. Our primary focus is on hastening the development of cities in the new digital world that are prepared for the future in accordance with the innovation roadmap developed by the UAE government.

Our investment in CVM technology has allowed us to increase customer engagement and loyalty by providing customized services and tailoring our communication channels. This has resulted in increased customer retention and an improved overall brand reputation.

du will continue to be a pioneer in 5G and network solutions, as well as delivering best-in-class network infrastructure. As part of our 5G rollout, we will expand coverage within the UAE. Additionally, we are investigating new use cases to enable a digital transformation that will be to the various economic and social sectors in the UAE's benefit. This transformation will be enabled by digital technology.

What do you see as the main opportunities for du in the near future?

du is dedicated to fostering economic expansion and opportunity in the UAE, as well as providing its customers with the means to meet their business requirements by capitalizing on technology and our 5G network and thriving in the new digital world.

We are designing and innovating 5G use cases that take advantage of this technology to transform client organizations by leveraging our 5G capabilities and designing and innovating new use cases. We have investments committed to build a 5G network, improve its performance and efficiency, and guarantee that our customers have access to the very best communication services.

We intend to complement and diversify our portfolio of advanced and fundamental ICT solutions by focusing on data centers, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence (AI). The strength of the du brand fuels differentiation, trust, customer loyalty, and brand recognition, which accelerates our overall growth.

When it comes to Industry 4.0, du is hastening the adoption of industrial internet of things (IIoT) technology in the UAE's manufacturing sector as well as other industries. We are also putting a strong emphasis on developing strategic partnerships with organizations based in the UAE and around the world to bring economic and social benefits to the UAE.

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