UAE: Living The Branded Life

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UAE consolidates its position as the Mecca of global brands, home to 15 of the top 50 brands in MENA for 2013.

A study by Brand Finance, values UAE brands at USD 14.5 billion. Emirates, Etisalat, DP World, Emaar Properties, QNB, Kuwait Finance House, and Arab Bank, all scored impressive wins in their respective categories.

UAE is the mecca of global brands
The UAE has consolidated its position has the Mecca of global brands, home to 15 out of the top 50 brands in MENA in 2013. Photo: PhantomMenace/Flickr

A study published by Brand Finance, the world’s largest independent intangible assets and brand valuation consultancy, values the UAE brand presence at USD 14.5 billion. With the total value of the top 50 MENA brands estimated to be USD 39.3 billion, the value of UAE brands is about 37 per cent of that value.

The brand value table is topped by Emirates at USD 4.1 billion, followed by Etisalat at USD 3.4 billion. The brand values indicate the strong performance of airlines and telecom industries in the MENA region, which both benefit from advancements in technology and higher consumer spending.

The brand value of the UAE’s retail sector was led by Emaar Properties (USD 468 million), while DP World (USD 681 million) dominated the commercial services sector.

Although the brand value of most banks in the Middle East has fallen, the banking sector still made up for 26 brands in the top 50 list. QNB was placed on 7th rank, while Kuwait Finance House and Arab Bank also featured prominently on the list.

However well the Middle East Top 50 brands have performed historically, they have recorded a growth rate of only 5 percent this year — compared to 2012. This was much lower than the global average increase of 12 percent in the value growth of brands. In addition, the brand-value-to-enterprise-value is only 7 percent in the Middle East brands — compared to the global rate of 16 percent.

Out of the top 50 brands, 29 brands are from UAE and Saudi Arabia, accounting for 70 percent of the total brand value of the Middle East. The kingdom witnessed the highest growth of 11 percent in the total brand value.

By leading the MENA region in terms of brand value, the two countries have stamped themselves as regional business hubs with a strong focus on economic diversification and growing consumer appetite for branded goods.

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