Microsoft appoints new head for Middle East and Africa

Samer Abu Ltaif, the regional general manager for the GCC, will take on the new role



Global tech company Microsoft has appointed its Gulf head as its new president for Middle East and Africa, it announced on Tuesday.

Samer Abu Ltaif, who joined Microsoft in 2004, will take over from Microsoft corporate vice president, Ali Faramawy, who headed the MEA region for 13 years.

Faramawy has now taken on a newly announced global role as the head of the Emerging Markets Digital Transformation Organisation, which has been established within Microsoft, a statement said.

As the regional general manager of Microsoft Gulf, Abu Ltaif played a key role in growing Microsoft’s presence in the Gulf and developing the company’s ecosystem of over 1,400 channel partners.

“MEA has tremendous potential. The rich diversity across the region, combined with the fast-growing youth population and innovative spirit, opens up enormous opportunity,” he said.

A key part of his role will be to drive the digital transformation agenda of the region across governments, enterprises, developers and small and medium businesses, the statement added.

Abu Ltaif will continue to be based in Dubai, which serves as one of the major hubs for Microsoft in the region.

Microsoft, which set up an office in Dubai more than 15 years ago during the launch of Dubai Internet City, has substantially grown its presence in the regional market.

The company’s CEO Satya Nadella also visited Dubai in January 2016 when he met with the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The two discussed Dubai’s smart city agenda and ways to collaborate.

Read more here: Dubai’s ruler meets Microsoft CEO Nadella, discusses smart city plans

During Gitex last year, the company also confirmed that Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) was one of the first 10 companies worldwide that has been using its augmented reality device, HoloLens. DEWA is using the device to detect problems in its facilities as well as to carry out preventive maintenance.

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