Brand Finance logo

Emirati Brands are Jewel in the Crown of Middle East

22 January 2019
This article is more than 5 years old.

London - Abu Dhabi, 22/1/2019

  • New entrant ADNOC with brand value of US$8.9bn is the Middle East’s most valuable brand
  • Etisalat sets record as first Middle Eastern group to break US$10bn barrier as per its wider portfolio value, retains position as most valuable MENA portfolio brand
  • Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates valued at US$6.3bn scales up
  • STC flying flag for Saudi Arabian brands with 7% brand value growth since last year to a brand value of US$7.1bn

View the Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report here

The Middle East is home to 5 of the world’s 500 most valuable brands, with notable performances from Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC and Etisalat, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report. Growing on average 13% in brand value since 2018, Middle Eastern brands are cementing their place on the global branding scene across a variety of sectors: oil and gas, telecoms, airlines and banks.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said:

“It is a real testament to the leadership of the United Arab Emirates that Emirati brands are leading the charge for the Middle East, amongst the world’s most valuable brands. As celebrations for the ‘Year of Zayed’ wrap up, we recognise the achievements, will and determination of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”

ADNOC makes an entrance

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is a new entrant to the Brand Finance Global 500, boasting a brand value of US$8.9bn and announcing itself on the world stage as a leading oil and gas brand. Since launching its new unified brand in 2017 and bringing the brand’s various subsidiaries under a common identity, ADNOC has amplified the scale of its business and contribution to the UAE’s economy.

ADNOC has opened its first fuel stations in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, announced plans to increase its oil production capacity to 4million barrels per day by the end of 2020 and has also been making progress on its integrated 2030 Strategy, which is aimed at balancing market conditions with long-term future growth.

As the first regional oil and gas brand to be featured in the Brand Finance Global 500, ADNOC announced itself on the world stage, having entered the global capital markets for the first time two years ago. ADNOC’s listing in its fuel distribution unit was touted as the largest IPO on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange in the past decade. The Abu Dhabi oil and gas brand is focused on responding to changes taking place in the world’s energy markets and unlocking huge reserves of previously uneconomical gas that will ultimately put the UAE on a path to gas self-sufficiency and transition the nation to become a net exporter of natural gas.

Etisalat sets new record-breaking brand portfolio value

Emirati telecoms giant Etisalat remains the most valuable portfolio brand in the MENA region, boasting an impressive portfolio of brands such as Etisalat, Mobily, Ufone, Maroc Telecom and PTCL. Etisalat has seen an 8% growth since last year, resulting in it also becoming the first Middle Eastern brand to break the US$10 billion barrier in terms of its wider portfolio value.

Operating in 15 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Etisalat’s success can also be attributed to its continued efforts in developing its customer loyalty programmes, sports sponsorship commitments and role as a digital partner of Dubai’s Expo2020 showcase. As the premier digital partner of Dubai’s Expo2020 showcase, Etisalat is preparing to deliver the event’s visitors and delegates with a cutting edge and immersive digital experience.

Sports sponsorships provide an international platform through which Etisalat can connect with its loyal customers, sharing and supporting their interests and passions. Alongside its high-profile sponsorship of English Premier League football team Manchester City, Etisalat has also successfully sponsored the UAE National Paralympics Committee at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. These strategic sponsorships align with the brand’s priorities of being at the forefront of major sporting events.

Emirates Airlines swoops up ranking

With a solid brand value growth of 18% since last year, flagship airline Emirates has cemented its place as the world’s 329th most valuable brand. The airline’s success is a nod to the brand’s ability in attracting passengers to Dubai as a travel hub. Emirates continues to offer ideal connection routes to passengers across the globe who are transiting in Dubai before continuing with onward travel. In the past year, the airline has successfully launched new passenger services to London Stansted and Santiago Chile, as well as introducing a new linked service from Dubai via Bali to Auckland.

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands through the Brand Strength Index (BSI) – a balanced scorecard of factors including marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Along with the level of revenues, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, with a BSI score of 85.8 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand rating, Emirates remains the strongest Middle Eastern brand. World-renowned for its brand loyalty programme, Emirates has further developed its flydubai partnership, which now combines both airlines’ loyalty programmes under Emirates Skywards.

Brand Finance Global 500 Key Findings

  • Ferrari accelerates to claim the title of the world’s strongest brand, with a score of 94.8 out of 100 and an AAA+ rating
  • Three of the Big Four brands: Deloitte, PwC, and EY, post an elite AAA+ brand strength rating, while KPMG trails behind
  • Amazon defends prime position as the world’s most valuable brand following 25% growth to US$187.9 billion, with Apple and Google placed 2nd and 3rd
  • As tech brands lead the ranking, Microsoft makes a comeback to top 5 with 47% brand value growth, while Facebook sees its brand strength tarnished by scandals
  • China’s answer to Netflix, iQiyi is the world’s fastest-growing brand of 2019, up a whopping 326% year on year, three times the 105% hike by its US counterpart
  • Brands from China climb up the ranking as the country’s total brand value in the Brand Finance Global 500 breaks US$1 trillion


Note to Editors
Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 500 most valuable brands in the world are included in the Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance league tables and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.


Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
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.

Get in Touch