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UAE, ABU DHABI - Telecoms & IT

Ali Al Hashemi

Group CEO, Yahsat


Ali Al Hashemi was appointed Group CEO of Yahsat in 2021, having previously served in concurrent roles as the General Manager of Yahsat Government Solutions and CEO of Thuraya. He also sits on the boards of a range of entities, including as chairman of the aerospace and military aircraft MRO services provider GAL-AMMROC. He has over 20 years of experience and a proven management track record of driving sales growth in the satellite industry.

"Yahsat has strategically invested in infrastructure assets across the space and ground segments. This allows us to enjoy a strong and rare position when it comes to satellite services sectors across the globe."
Yahsat is expanding its satellite coverage and increasing its customer base and competitive advantages on a global scale.
Yahsat is the first publicly listed entity in the MENA region to provide a multi-purpose satellite solution. How do key differentiators such as a diverse portfolio give the company an advantage over its competitors?

Yahsat has strategically invested in infrastructure assets across the space and ground segments. This allows us to enjoy a strong and rare position when it comes to satellite services sectors across the globe. Our modern infrastructure that spans the fixed satellite services (FSS) and mobile satellite services (MSS) space and our strong distribution presence and partnerships on the ground across a large geographic footprint means we can simultaneously offer both high data rates and mobile satellite services to our end customers. This is a unique competitive advantage for Yahsat. This unique position gives the company strength to offer services worldwide. Today, Yahsat’s fleet of five satellites provide coverage of 80% of the world’s population in 150 countries across the globe. We cover five continents, with around 1 billion people when it comes to FSS and over 7 billion due to our ownership of MSS. In 2022, we undertook a strategic exercise that allowed us to review emerging market segments, such as IoT and Direct-to-Devices (D2D), along with identifying new growth opportunities. This has meant that Yashat is well positioned for excellent growth as we become an increasingly vital “spacetech” player. We are able to offer the latest trends for high data rate services, remote sensing, and the further development of earth observation (EO) capabilities. With our new potential constellation for Al Yah 4 and Al Yah 5, we will be able to further solidify our competitive edge in the market as higher data services will be available. We are very proud of our position; we have all the strategic assets that enable us to go ahead with our growth strategy and preserve both Yahsat and Thuraya’s worldwide competitive edge.

In 2022, Yahsat’s revenue rose by 11% to AED1.2 billion, alongside double-digit percentage growth in EBITDA. What were the main reasons behind such success?

A key driving force behind our success and robust performance is our rapid expansion across various core businesses that allow us to continuously offer unique services especially to the UAE government. Last year, against a backdrop of global economic turbulence and rising inflation, we were able to deliver a set of exceptional results, exceeding our own expectations. The group’s largest segment remained infrastructure, which generated revenues of USD238 million compared to USD236 million in 2021, accounting for 55% of the group’s consolidated revenues. The revenues from this segment are set to increase significantly following the anticipated launch of the Thuraya-4 NGS satellite, currently under construction and expected to be launched in 2024 and be operational in 2025, commencing a 15-year agreement with the UAE government that will contribute over USD50 million in additional revenue starting in 2025. Apart from mobility solutions, which accounted for 19% of the group’s revenues last year, a main reason behind our success is centered around managed solutions. When we talk about managed solutions, it is now about the next generation of solutions that we can build and implement. It goes beyond simply owning satellite infrastructure; it is about creating engineering capabilities that enable us to build new solutions and integrate them together to offer seamless communication services to the UAE government. The managed solutions sector will continue to grow, and it is currently the group’s second-largest segment, accounting for 21% of consolidated revenues. In 2022, it grew by around 40% to about USD91million, which was significantly above 2021 levels of USD64 million. The substantial growth is due to the dynamic digital movement of the UAE government and the award of a new five-year managed services mandate by it in February 2022, valued at USD247.5 million. It is important to note that Yahsat is perfectly positioned to capture and capitalize on new market growth with next -generation connectivity, which relies heavily on satellites to provide direct phone connections, due to the group’s space assets and spectrum. Therefore, the use of AI and IoT technology will become even more important. As a result, the industry will witness a stronger integration of non-traditional telecoms, where Yahsat is well positioned, with a terrestrial network. Another reason for our success is that Yahsat is constantly looking for new avenues and streams that will contribute to our growth. This is evident via our expansion horizontally to other space applications that will be taken forward through our cooperation with Bayanat and ICEYE to offer earth observation services through a constellation of five LEO SAR satellites with the first satellite scheduled for launch in 1Q2024.



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