“My main, long-term goal is to be number one in the world. To be that you should be number one in your home market first, then grow slowly,” he tells Gulf News.

YaHalla, based in the UAE, has had initial success in Africa, but is now targeting the UAE, offering its line of smartphones and tablets online and in select local stores. Tayeb says he was inspired to start the company by the smart city initiative of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. YaHalla began operations in 2015.

 My main, long-term goal is to be number one in the world. To be that you should be number one in your home market first, then grow slowly.”

 Bader Samir Tayeb, CEO and Founder of YaHalla

“I always liked technology,” he said, describing why he chose to start the company, adding that he wanted to be one of the first major tech companies in the UAE. “I wanted to be the first, it’s as simple as that.”

Tayeb said he went to companies like Foxconn, the company that makes the Apple iPhone, to learn how to source and build his line of devices. Tayeb said his strategy in designing his phones, which are made in China, is to try to provide the best components for the lowest cost.

“I want to build the [best] thing I can but at the cheapest cost,” he said.

Battery life

The company is currently selling three different devices. It has the Alif, a smartphone running the Android Marshmallow OS with a 5.5-inch screen and a 64-bit Octa core, which the company currently sells for Dh999. Tayeb also focuses on the battery life of the phone, which he says lasts 2-3 days, even when connected to a 4G network.

The company’s second phone is the Baa, with runs Android’s Nougat OS and includes a Deca (10) core CPU for Dh1,099. The company also offers a tablet, named the Alpha, with a Quad-core processor and a built-in projector for Dh999.

Its next phone will be launched in March. It will be an entry level phone for under Dh500.

The phones are currently available on the company’s website, souq.com and shops around Dubai.