"GBI being a key network asset for the region will not only improve our customers' experience and reach, but would also enable GBI's customers to experience a seamless extension on the Airtel Global network spanning across 50 countries across 5 continents," said Ajay Chitkara, chief executive officer, Global Voice and Data Business, Bharti Airtel.

"The partnership is in line with the long-term strategy of Airtel Business, considering the long-term potential for the Middle East market," he added.

Amr Eid, acting chief executive of GBI, said, "We are delighted to partner with Airtel, to extend our network reach to Airtel's customers and to further enhance the benefits of our value propositions for customers and partners.

"Bharti Airtel ranks among the top three mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers, the company said.