Brand UAE is world’s third-strongest

The efforts of the seven emirates have lifted the country to the world’s third-strongest nation brand and the 29th most valuable globally.

The UAE ranked third in the Brand Finance study. Satish Kumar / The National
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“Brand UAE” is now worth more than US$400 billion and is set to challenge Singapore as the country with the strongest international image, new research published today shows.

The efforts of the seven emirates have lifted the country to the world’s third-strongest nation brand and the 29th most valuable globally.

That is the finding of the London-based consultancy Brand Finance, which today published its much-anticipated annual ranking of 100 countries according to their global brand strength and value.

The rankings take into account factors such as a country’s image and perceptions about quality of life, security, ease of doing business and the prevalence, or lack of, corruption.

Government officials welcomed the news that the UAE has become the world’s third-strongest nation brand.

“It is heartening to see such a significant jump and it certainly speaks to the development and progress the UAE has made since its foundation in 1971,” said Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE Minister of State. She is also the managing director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Committee and the director general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.

“Working as a team, everyone is contributing to the UAE’s future success and Expo 2020 Dubai represents a significant milestone on this journey.”

The UAE is now behind only Singapore and Switzerland in terms of its brand strength. Last year it ranked 21st globally.

“To see the UAE acknowledged for its increasing brand strength is extremely positive,” said Helal Al Marri, the director general of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the chief executive of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

“The country’s efforts in promoting its successful bid to host the World Expo 2020 will certainly have contributed to this jump and this has been supported by the efforts of the emirates as well.”

The combined efforts of the UAE as a whole, the individual emirates and local companies such as Etihad have all contributed to what John Brash, a branding analyst in Dubai, called the country’s “dynamic, daring and luxurious” image.

Alex Haigh, the nation brand director at Brand Finance, said the UAE looked set to topple Singapore as the world’s strongest nation brand.

“The way that the UAE’s economy is going from strength to strength, I wouldn’t be that surprised to see it overtake Singapore in the future, as the No 1 nation brand,” he said.

“According to this analysis, it’s almost there. And maybe in the next four or five years we might see it overtaking Singapore.”

Andrew Campbell, the managing director of Brand Finance Middle East, based in Abu Dhabi, said the results showed that Brand UAE was “world class”.

“The fact that the UAE is No 3 in terms of brand strength, after only Singapore and Switzerland, is hugely impressive,” he said. “It’s testament to the vision and leadership of the country, the way that they have gone about building the pillars of the nation, which distils down into brand strength.”

The strength of the UAE’s brand comes partly through the marketing efforts of individual emirates.

There is less done at a federal level, although government officials point to the UAE National Day and “Spirit of the Union” message as something that applies nationwide.

The UAE’s ranking does not take into account the moneymaking potential of the country’s reputation, Brand Finance research shows.

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