Every year, Brand Finance ranks thousands of global brands to determine which are the most powerful – and the result we are taking a look at here is the top 10 of the Brand Finance Middle East 50.
This list of the most valuable brands in the region reveals that the total value of brands in the UAE (USD 27.9 billion) exceeds that of all other countries, including Saudi Arabia.
1. Emirates – airlines - UAE
The airline has consistently dominated the Brand Finance Middle East 50, with a brand value of USD 7.7 billion, far in excess of both direct competitors and brands from other sectors. It spent USD 20 million in 2015 on an advertising campaign featuring actress Jennifer Aniston, and is regularly voted the world’s favourite airline.
2. STC – telecoms – Saudi Arabia
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is an innovative telecoms provider. It has recently introduced Jawwy, a digital mobile experience, making it one of the first telecommunications operators globally to design and develop a new mobile experience leveraging online and social media.
3. Etisalat – telecoms - UAE
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Etisalat serves 11.6 million residential customers and over 300,000 business and government customers. Its extensive Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network covers 86.4 percent of the UAE's populated area, making the UAE rank as one of the most fibre-connected countries in the world.
4. Qatar Airways – airlines – Qatar
The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operations, it is one of the world’s leaders in sponsoring global sporting events, including the strategic team sponsorships of FC Barcelona and Al-Ahli Saudi Arabia FC.
5. QNB – banks – Qatar
Established in 1964, Qatar National Bank was the first Qatari-owned commercial bank and it has steadily grown to be the biggest bank in the country. It recently announced that for Q1 of 2016, it recorded a net profit of QAR 2.9 billion (USD 787 million), with total assets up by 10 percent from March 2015 to reach QAR 550 billion (USD 151.1 billion), the highest ever achieved by the group.
6. Al Rajhi Bank – banks – Saudi Arabia
Al Rajhi Bank was founded in 1957 and is one of the largest Islamic banks in the world with total assets of SR 307 billion (USD 80 billion and over 9,600 employees. The Sharia-compliant banking group has an established base in Riyadh and a network of over 500 branches, with over 118 branches for women.
7. Almarai – food – Saudi Arabia
Describing itself as the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company, Almarai was set up in 1977. Fresh dairy makes up 40 percent of Almarai’s business and it also produces fruit juice, desserts, bakery items and poultry.
8. NCB – banks – Saudi Arabia
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) was the first Saudi bank to be licensed in the Kingdom and in 1999 the government, through the Ministry of Finance's Public Investment Fund (PIF), acquired a majority holding in the bank.
9. Emirates NBD – banks – UAE
Emirates NBD, the leading banking group in the region, was formed in 2007, the result of merger between Emirates Bank International (EBI) and the National Bank of Dubai (NBD). The group invests in several schemes to preserve the culture of the UAE and in 2003, it launched the first pearl museum in the region containing the largest collection of natural pearls in the GCC.
10. Ooredoo – telecoms - Qatar
With a global customer base of 117 million customers, Ooredoo is a leading international communications company delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services to consumers and businesses across markets in the Middle East. In 2015 the company reported revenues of USD 8.8 billion.
Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine