Du owner to bring Virgin Mobile brand to UAE

The United Arab Emirates’ second largest telecom company, DU, has acquired the license to operate Virgin Mobile-branded services in the country. The brand belongs to the British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s powerful Virgin Group.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co (EITC), the holding company of operator DU, will launch services using the Virgin Mobile brand in the UAE “within weeks,” EITC’s chief executive Osman Sultan said on Tuesday.

The license is being issued for five years, providing the UAE company with all rights of ownership, Management and Operation of the Virgin brand in UAE. Virgin Mobile will operate using EITC’s network and infrastructure in the same way that du does, but be run by a separate business unit. It will be the only foreign-branded telecom service operating in the UAE.

The UAE is the third Middle East country to adopt the Virgin Mobile brand after Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The UAE Virgin Mobile brand and du will not compete head-to-head. Du is the UAE’s second largest telecoms network operator after ending rival Etisalat’s domestic monopoly in 2007.