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Emirates Soars to the top as the most valuable brand in the Gulf Region 2008

DUBAI – Today, Brand Finance Middle East publishes the first-ever Business Brand Values Index in the Gulf region, covering a select set of ≈ 200 companies across industry sectors. Following on from the first-ever UAE league table which was published in February 2007, this study has been extended to include publically quoted brands within the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Kuwait.

‘The reason for extending the study to include the Gulf Region is because it is imperative companies throughout the Gulf start looking at how shareholders are benefiting from the ‘brand value’ that their businesses have built up over time, whilst many of them are expanding into the global marketplace’ comments Gautam Sen-Gupta, Managing Director Brand Finance Middle East.

Brand Finance calculates the brand values in the study using the ‘Royalty Relief’ approach – a methodology recognised by technical authorities worldwide that ties back to the commercial reality of brands: their ability to command a premium in an arm’s length transaction. This method is highly actionable for accounting, tax, litigation and commercial purposes.

According to the study, Emirates Airlines is the most valuable brand within not only the UAE but in the whole Gulf Region. Emirates Airlines has a brand value of AED 11.8 billion and a brand strength rating of AA+, which is the highest brand score achieved in this year’s study. Despite rising jet fuel prices, Emirates Airlines continues to expand and become a truly global airline with a highly innovative service culture, which has evidently helped the brand grow and develop value.

On a regional basis, Bahrain’s most valuable brand is Batelco with a brand value of BD 190 million (US$ 503 million) and a brand strength rating of A. Kuwait’s most valuable brand is Zain with a brand value of KD 950 million (US$ 3.6 billion) and a brand strength rating of A+. Oman’s most valuable brand is Omantel with a brand value of OR 144 million (US$ 374 million) and a brand strength rating of A-. Qatar’s most valuable brand is Q-Tel with a brand value of QAR 6.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) and a brand strength rating of A+. Saudi Arabia’s most valuable brand is Saudi Telecom with a brand value of SAR 10.2 billion (US$ 2.7 billion) and a brand strength rating of A.

Evidently from these regional results the most valuable brands are all from the Telecommunications sector excluding the UAE’s most valuable Airline sector. This is illustrative of the Gulf Region’s Telecommunication sector being one of the fastest growing in the world. However, the telecommunications sector is only the second most valuable sector within the index with a total brand value of US$ 11.9 billion. Despite the economic downturn, the banking sector is the most valuable sector amongst the Gulf Regions with a total brand value of US$ 16.5 billion.

Commenting on the Brand Finance Gulf Region Index 2008, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance plc states:

‘With only a few notably valuable brands predominantly in the banking, telecommunication and airline industry, the Gulf region’s sectors are generally not generating as much value as international leaders. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on determining the value drivers behind the brand and developing brand strategies that leverage this value amongst all the stakeholder groups. This is especially relevant in tightening economic conditions. Short sighted reductions in brand investment can destroy long term value.’

For a more detailed analysis of the Brand Finance Middle East Gulf Region Top Brands, please press here

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