Thuraya Hosts Space Pioneer Event in Abu Dhabi

Thuraya honors former U.S. astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the moon, for his contribution to space innovation and exploration

DUBAI, UAE, April 1, 2014 - Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) operator hosted its Space Pioneer event in Abu Dhabi last Thursday. Held at the Emirates Palace, the event was under the patronage of Her Excellency, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Development, and was attended by the industry’s top executives, government officials and dignitaries in an evening of networking and education.

The event was a celebration of the UAE’s burgeoning satellite and space industry as well as Thuraya’s milestone achievements in innovating mobile satellite solutions. The event also honored space pioneer and former American astronaut, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, who was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing in history. As the second man to set foot on the moon, Dr. Aldrin is a symbol of bold innovation in space exploration. He shared his thoughts with the distinguished attendees on the past and future of space exploration, with a challenge to the UAE to actively support future visionary missions.

Thuraya’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Etisalat Group, Ahmed Julfar concurs, “Over the last two years, Thuraya has demonstrated resilience and the ability to stay relevant and deliver fantastic results despite challenging market conditions in the satellite sector. Thuraya’s turnaround has been as a result of its focus on innovation. This has enabled the Company to distinguish itself from its competitors while bringing a vital communications service to its customers. To nurture local talent, Thuraya recently launched its Young Innovative Internship Program that aims to develop the potential of young UAE nationals in the pursuit of a career in satellite communications.”

Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya said, “We are proud to be part of the UAE’s flourishing satellite industry, which is home to three homegrown satellite operators, Dubai-sat, YahSat and Thuraya. The support and commitment of the UAE government has been tremendous in driving this nation’s space ambitions forward. Thuraya is enjoying a significant turnaround since 2011 and we are proud to have just reported our second consecutive year of double digit revenue growth, even as our MSS competitors are reporting flat or declining results. Pioneering innovation is at the heart of what we do in Thuraya the launch of the Thuraya SatSleeve, a satellite adaptor for smartphones, has received strong positive feedback from our customers and industry. We look to drive this innovation strategy forward by nurturing young talent through our Young Innovative Internship Program to develop groundbreaking ideas.”

Dr. Buzz Aldrin remarked, “I believe that the UAE plays an important role in the commercial development of space. The UAE is already home to three satellite leading operators who are boldly taking the next step in revolutionizing the industry. The next step is to ensure that young talent is developed and nurtured to drive the industry forward. The areas of potential development which the UAE can support are lunar resource exploitation and the commercialization of space passenger travel including missions to Mars. ”

Thuraya’s robust satellite network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two-thirds of the world via satellite and across the globe through its unique GSM roaming agreements with over 360 mobile operators. Thuraya’s customers consist of blue-chip companies in the energy, maritime, media, and the humanitarian NGO sectors as well as over 30 government entities around the world.

About Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Thuraya Telecommunications Company is an industry leading MSS operator and a global telecommunication provider offering innovative communications solutions to a variety of sectors including energy, broadcast media, maritime, military and humanitarian NGO. Thuraya’s superior network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two thirds of the globe by satellite and across the whole planet through its unique GSM roaming capabilities. The company’s diverse range of technologically superior and highly reliable mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency. Thuraya remains committed to serving humanity through delivering the essential tools for optimal connectivity, never leaving anyone out of reach. Visit:

For further information please contact:
Shereen Hanafi
Director of Communications, Thuraya
Tel: + 971-4-4488-888, Email:

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