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Thuraya Telecommunications Company announced the election of a new chairman, Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli.

Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli, who has served as chief executive officer of Etisalat UAE since 2012, joined Thuraya's Board of Directors at a Board meeting and was elected chairman.

The chief executive officer of Etisalat UAE, Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli is also the deputy chairman of the Board of Directors, chairman of the executive committee for Etisalat Misr, and a Board Member for Etisalat Services Holding Company. He was recently appointed as Etisalat's representative on the Mobily Board of Directors.

Eng. Al Abdooli said: "Thuraya has gone through a remarkable transformation over the last few years, and I look forward to being involved as it leads into a bright future. Thuraya has a deserved reputation for its innovative products and reliable network, and for the disruptive approach it takes."

Samer Halawi, chief executive officer of Thuraya, said: "We are delighted to welcome Eng. Al Abdooli to the Board of Directors as our new chairman. As we are now defining our plans for the future, his considerable experience and leadership will be of great value as we move into the next phase of our development."

Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli designed and launched the first 3G network in the Middle East and Africa, in December 2003. He has been associated with the Etisalat Group since 1992, where he has been pivotal in creating technological integration strategies as well as corporate and global expansion investments.

Eng. Saleh Al Abdooli has previously served as chairman of the Etisalat Group's technical committee, which oversees its international expansion. He also served as chairman of the committee responsible for preparing Etisalat's proposal to establish the second GSM network in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Al Abdooli holds a Master's Degree in Telecommunications Technology with Honours and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.