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

14 August 2009
This article is more than 14 years old.

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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Penny Erricker
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Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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