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GMR reveals top 50 Mena Corporate Brands

Siobhan Adams, Group Managing Editor, GMR

Emirates is the Middle East’s most valuable brand for the fifth consecutive year
Al Maraai affirms its position as the most valuable food brand in the Middle East

May 13, 2013 2:59 by



Dubai, UAE.  May 12, 2013: Emirates Airlines has been named the region’s most valuable brand for the fifth year in a row by global brand valuation company, Brand Finance. Emirates Airlines grew by $398 million in 2013, to more than $4 billion. The brand is now worth 40 per cent of its total enterprise value, the highest contribution of any Middle Eastern brand and significant even on a global scale. For example, Apple – the world’s most valuable brand – is worth 23 per cent of its total enterprise value.

“For five years, Gulf Marketing Review (GMR) [The Gulf’s most reliable marketing, advertising and media resource] has been working with Brand Finance Middle East to compile the Top 50 Corporate Brands. This year, we have extended it to include Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, making it the most comprehensive ranking to date. GMR’s target audience is primarily media agencies and marketing professionals,” says Siobhan Adams, group managing editor, GMR.

This year, however, Saudi Arabia’s Al Maraai, affirmed its position as the most valuable food brand in the Middle East, with a brand value growth of 60 per cent. Sitting just behind the telcos and ahead of Qatar’s top banking brand, QNB, Al Maraai is now the seventh most valuable brand in the region. In a ranking traditionally dominated by airlines, telcos and finance companies, Al Maraai has dramatically improved since the list was first published in 2007, becoming the first brand outside of these sectors to break into the top 10.

“This is the first time a food and beverage brand has made it into the top 10, and it is great to see a local FMCG name in there,” says Adams.

The recent rebranding of Qtel to Ooredoo demonstrates the growing self-confidence of GCC brands.  Bold marketing actions and big budgets are now driving the organic growth of GCC brands. This year, Qatar based telecom, Qtel, became the most valuable telco brand in the Middle East, with a brand value of $3.39bn, overtaking Etisalat. Saudi brand, Mobily, has seen the strongest growth this year, increasing its brand value by $892m. Middle East businesses still have a long way to go to capitalise on the full potential of their brand power.

The UAE and Saudi Arabian brands occupy 29 of the 50 places in the table and constitute 68 per cent of the total brand value. While Saudi’s brands have grown by an average of 17 per cent, the UAE’s growth has been less than one per cent, so the race to be the Middle East’s brand champion is heating up.

“For the past five years, the ranking has been dominated by airlines. Emirates has been consistently at number one – not just in the UAE, but across the GCC – followed by telcos and financial institutions, but this year we have a newcomer in the top 10, with Almarai. The ranking is a clear demonstration of the growing confidence in and success of locally created brands and products in a region that was traditionally dominated by imported brands,” explains Adams.

While 20th century business was concerned about supply, the 21st century is demand-driven. In this new business paradigm, brands are the crucial catalysts for growth. Businesses in the Middle East have successfully laid the foundations of strong tangible assets, whether in manufacturing, service or distribution. They must build on their existing successes, focusing on the intangibles; emulating local champions such as Emirates, to capture market share and deliver for the global consumer.

For the past 20 years, GMR has been the most authoritative and reliable information source for marketing professionals operating across the Middle East. An indispensable blend of robust analysis, meaningful insights and solid research, spanning a broad range of marketing disciplines, issues and product categories, has kept GMR at the forefront of the region’s business media for nearly two decades. Subscribe to GMR to get your monthly dosage of information by sending your request to [email protected], or call +971 4 363 03 32.

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