Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Saudi Aramco, UAE’s ADNOC Remain Middle East’s Most Valuable Brands as Energy Dominates: Brand Finance 

Gulf’s oil giants have it their way in a year when energy dominated all talk

In a year when energy – demand and prices – dominated, Aramco in Saudi Arabia and ADNOC in the UAE reinforced their status as the Middle East’s most powerful brands. Aramco’s brand value went up a hefty 4 per cent to $45.2 billion, more than enough to retain its numerous uno status, according to the UK consultancy Brand Finance.

ADNOC was second placed at $14.2 billion, gaining 11 per cent. The clout was extended by IPOs from JV entities Borouge and Fertiglobe, and now comes the one from ADNOC Gas.

This is as far as brand value goes, When it comes to brand strength the UAE tech-telco entity e& (formerly Etisalat) is at the top of the hustings, with a value of $10.1 billion (up 18 per cent). That was enough to make it the strongest brand in the global telecom sector with a score of 89.2 out of 100.

It was last year that e& adopted the new identity and since then went into a raft of deals to work on its credentials as a super-app, build up a presence in the enterprise business, and also go big globally with stake purchases in UK’s Vodafone.

The ‘focus on enhancing customer experience and living the ethos of ’Together Matters’ helped the brand to increase its BSI score by 1.8 points, breaking into the Top 20 strongest brands globally, claiming 18th place,” says Brand Finance.

An entrenched domestic presence and one of the fastest expansions overseas helped UAE’s DP World anchor in with a brand value of $1.8 billion. “Despite difficult operating conditions, the global logistics brand has continued to deploy technology to create efficient and innovative trade solutions for stakeholders,” says the report.

Dubai headquartered Mashreq (brand value up 35 per cent to $1 billion) is the third fastest growing brand in the UAE. A refreshed brand identity, launched in 2022, was ‘part of a wider strategy to realign its offerings as a digital-first financial institution’. And at a time when standalone digital banks are coming to the party, not least the e& backed Wio.

Qatar’s QNB makes a clear point

In a year when Qatar rarely left the headlines, helped a bit by the FIFA World Cup, QNB retained the title of its ‘most valuable and strongest brand’, with a value gain of 16 per cent to $7.1 billion.

“QNB’s impressive performance was also reflected in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2022 ranking, where it moved up to 45th,” the report notes. The brand’s growth outpaced the top 50 banking brands in the world, as it consolidated its position as the most valuable banking brand across the Middle East.”

“The brand has acted as a unifying force across its operations, which have benefitted from the significant investment in digital services for retail and corporate clients,” said Andrew Campbell, Managing Director, Brand Finance Middle East.

Much the same brands dew brand strength in Saudi Arabia, with telco stc (brand value up 17 per cent to $12.3 billion) the second strongest brand in the Middle East and strongest brand in Saudi Arabia. The brand also rose 25 places in the Global 500 rankings – the most by any Middle Eastern brand.

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank (brand value higher by 32 per cent to $5.7 billion) is the strongest banking brand in the Middle East with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) of 85.5 out of 100. Another Saudi entity, Riyad Bank’s brand value is up 42 per cent to $1.8 billion, and above the overall average for Saudi banks.

Abu Dhabi’s FAB (brand value up 19 per cent to $3.9 billion) is the third most valuable banking brand in the region and the most valuable banking brand in the UAE. Record profits for 2022 bolstered the bank’s credentials on the brand side.

Saudi mining giant rises to the top

Ma’aden with a 69 per cent brand value increase to $503 million is the ‘fastest-growing brand in the Middle East of 2022’, helped by record sales. “The brand has become the third pillar of Saudi industry, behind oil and petrochemicals, and its growth has seen it named among the Top 20 largest global mining companies by market cap,” says Brand Finance.

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