GCC brands go global as brand value grows 23% in a year
Source: Brand Finance , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed May 6, 2015 2:55 pm

UAE.  Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, including the top 50 in the Middle East. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.

• The total value of the Middle East’s top 50 brands has increased 23% in a year
• Emirates remains the most valuable brand, with a brand value of $6.6 billion
• The total value of Qatari brands is up 47% in a year, the fastest rate of growth
• The UAE is top for total value, its 16 brands are worth $25.5 billion
• KSA has the most brands (17) together worth $21.7 billion

The Brand Finance MENA 50, the definitive list of the Middle East’s top 50 most valuable brands, is now in its eighth consecutive year. The rapid brand value growth that took place between 2013 and 2014 has continued. The total brand value for the Middle East’s top 50 brands has increased 23% between 2014 and 2015 from $50.3 billion to $61.7 billion.

This does not merely reflect a very large jump by a small number of the largest brands, brand values are growing strongly across the board. 44 of the 50 brands have recorded double digit brand value growth rates over the last year, some by as much as 91%.

The UAE is top when the brand values for each country are totalled. It has reclaimed the title from KSA, which last year pulled ahead for the first time. The combined value of all 16 Emirati brands is US$25.5 billion, while the 17 brands from KSA total US$21.7 billion. The UAE has strength in depth, with major brands from a variety of sectors including banking, aviation, telecoms, energy and real estate, led by Emirates.

Emirates remains the Middle East’s most valuable brand and the world’s most valuable airline brand by a considerable margin. Brand value is up 21% from US$5.5 billion to US$6.6 billion. Emirates’ route network continued to expand in 2014, with Brussels, Oslo, Chicago, Taipei and Boston added to its list of destinations. Its fleet is growing too; 150 Boeing 777s have been ordered at a cost of US$56 billion to meet demand and service the new routes. Revenues are soaring, rising from US$19 billion in 2013 to US$22 billion the following year.

This excellent business performance is underpinned by the strength of Emirates’ brand. It remains the only AAA rated brand in the Middle East. The brand rating is calculated using Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index which is a benchmark of a brand’s power, stability and future potential, similar to a credit rating.

Emirates’ competitors have performed even better however. Etihad has seen brand value increase 41%, while Qatar Airways has grown by an even more impressive 51%. It too has enjoyed enviable levels of investment as it begins to become a serious competitor for Emirates in scale as well as service. Brand value is up nearly US$1 billion in a year and now stands at US$2.8 billion, allowing Qatar Airways to jump from 7th to 4th place in the table.

In fact all of Qatar’s brands have performed well this year. The average brand value growth rate for the Middle East as a whole is 23%, the rate for Qatari brands is nearly double that at 47%. The Middle East’s two fastest -growing brands are both from Qatar; Qatar Islamic Bank has risen 91% and Ooredoo 82% helped in part by the rebrand of providers in markets such as Algeria, Tunisia, Kuwait and Oman under the Ooreedoo master brand.

The rebrand to Ooredoo highlights an encouraging trend among brands in the region; internationalisation. Unlike QTel (Qatar Telecom), the new name is free of national associations, making its smooth adoption in foreign markets much more likely.

Other brands include National Bank of Abu Dhabi (which is using the acronym NBAD in preference to the full name) to limit its national, institutional associations and instead steadily develop a reputation as an international player.

Other brands following the same path include National Bank of Kuwait (now known as NBK) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) which successfully refreshed its brand last year. This branding trend points to the growing power of Middle Eastern brands on the international stage and the resulting need for branding to reflect the needs of all markets.

The average brand value to enterprise value ratio (BV/EV) for the region is growing. The figure was 7.2% in 2013 (the same as in 2010) but rose to 8.1% in 2014 and to 10.7% this year. This change shows that brand values are not just increasing in line with company expansion. It demonstrates that Middle Eastern enterprises are starting to more effectively develop their intangible assets and maximise their contribution to business value.

Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh comments, “It is very pleasing to see such robust brand value growth across the board when the countries of the Gulf are surrounded by troubled nations. MENA brands are not just surviving this tricky period but are thriving, growing in importance within their domestic markets and in many cases out-competing international brands. They are emerging from their position of regional significance and becoming international brands themselves, adapting or changing their identities to suit global markets.”

The Middle East’s Most Valuable Brands

The UAE’s Most Valuable Brands

KSA’s Most Valuable Brands

Qatar’s Most Valuable Brands


Kuwait’s Most Valuable Brands

Oman, Jordan, Iraq & Egypt’s Most Valuable Brands

Photo Caption: David Haigh, Brand Finance Chief Executive 

About the Brand Finance methodology
2015 brand values are calculated in USD with a valuation date of 1/1/15. More information on our methodology can be found on our website here and in the Brand Finance Global 500 report.

About Brand Finance
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy, with offices in over 15 countries. We provide clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands.

Drawing on expertise in strategy, branding, market research, visual identity, finance, tax and intellectual property, Brand Finance helps clients make the right decisions to maximise brand and business value and bridges the gap between marketing and finance.



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