Yalla Group shines in the Gaming - Media & Entertainment category at Middle East Technology Excellence Awards 2021 | Asian Business Review

Yalla Group shines in the Gaming - Media & Entertainment category at Middle East Technology Excellence Awards 2021

The organisation has acclaimed the award for its casual board game, Yalla Ludo & Domino.

Yalla Group, The Social Networking and Entertainment Platform, has won the Middle East Technology Excellence Awards 2021 under the category Gaming - Media & Entertainment for its casual board game platform, Yalla Ludo & Domino.

This award marks another milestone in our ongoing remarkable success since the launch of our flagship app, Yalla Live.  

The platform features an online version of board games highly popular in the MENA region, as well as a real-time, built-in voice chat system that allows users to enjoy a real-life conversation experience. This provides users with a superior gaming experience and a rich variety of personalised expressions.

Moreover, the company’s flagship app features Yalla rooms, a mirrored online version of the majlis where people spend their leisure time in casual chats.

“Through close attention to detail and localised appeal that deeply resonates with users, Yalla's mobile applications deliver a seamless user experience that fosters a loyal sense of belonging, creating a highly devoted and engaged user community,” the company said.

Yalla Ludo has been commercially successful, bringing in strong numbers in both operational and financial metrics for its developers in the first quarter. This led to a 39.9% increase quarter-on-quarter in Yalla Group’s total revenue that reached US$67.6m. 

Its active users also rocketed to 11.5 million in the same period, with organic downloads reaching nearly five million. Yalla’s online games have also been consistently appearing in the app markets’ top featured apps.

“We believe enhancing product synergies is an essential part of our plan in growing a comprehensive Yalla ecosystem and attracting new users. In addition, strong product synergies will drive efficiencies in user acquisition, encourage new product adoption, and build strong platform affinity amongst our user base,” Yalla Chairman Yang Tao said.

The group also became the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first tech unicorn listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praising this achievement. 

The official tweeted “From Dubai Internet City, the social networking platform, Yalla Group, is the first unicorn UAE-based technology company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Our digital economy is growing and will remain an integral part of our exports globally,”

This was directly followed by a tweet from Omar Sultan AlOlama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications.

“Today, we see incredible companies reach unicorn status from the region, and the common factor is choosing the UAE as a hub. The UAE is the home of talent and creativity,” he said.

Yalla announced its listing in the American market in 2020, with the hopes of raising nearly $140m by offering 18.6 million American depositary shares at $7.50 each. Proceeds will be used to finance product development, marketing, and general corporate purposes.

During the launch of the initial public offering, Yalla Group President Saifi Ismail shared how proud they are to be the first company based in the UAE to be listed on the American stock exchange. 

“It is an initial step on the path of growth that the company achieves at various levels, pointing out that choosing Dubai as a main centre for the company supports plans to expand digital investment because of its many advantages at all levels,” Ismail said.

The tech startup was established in 2016 and is backed by Chinese investment group Orchid Asia Group Management and global quantitative trading firm SIG China. It provides voice-centric social networking and entertainment platforms in the MENA region.

In 2019, it became MENA’s largest voice-centric social networking and entertainment platform.

Yalla Group has operating bases in the UAE and China. It houses sales, marketing, and other functions, whilst product development and technology work is done in Hangzhou, China.

The Asian Business Review’s Middle East Technology Excellence Awards 2021 recognises outstanding companies with successful groundbreaking projects, digital services, reimagined strategies, and technological initiatives.

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