DP World named the fastest growing brand in the UAE

Oil and gas industry dominates the Middle East's most valuable brands, according to a Brand Finance ranking

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (right) and William Hague (left), look out as they stand on a gantry atop one of the ship container cranes, with with DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem during a visit to DP World London Gateway on March 14, 2016 in Stanford-le-Hope, in Essex. The visit is to highlight an agreement that has been reached with the transport sector to crack down on global wildlife trafficking routes. (Photo by Nick Ansell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

DP World, the global ports operator with terminals from Australia to Peru, is the UAE's fastest growing brand, according to a report by London-based consultancy Brand Finance.

The Dubai-based company climbed up in Brand Finance UAE 25 2021 ranking, with its brand value growing 17 per cent to $1.1 billion, as it recorded strong performances in markets including India, the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Egypt, the consultancy said in a report released on Monday.

"DP World continues to set its sights on extending its global reach, with expansion plans underway at several of its terminals to increase capacity," Brand Finance said. "The container industry in general has showcased itself to be resilient to the pandemic turmoil, with the meteoric rise in e-commerce maintaining demand."

Last month, DP World said it is on track to report a "relatively stable" financial performance for 2020 but the outlook for this year remains uncertain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) claimed the title of the UAE's most valuable brand and the Middle East's second most valuable brand with a brand value of $10.8bn. Etisalat emerged as the UAE's strongest brand for the first time, overtaking Emirates, the report said.

Saudi Arabia's brands dominated the rankings for the Middle East's most valuable brands.

Some 45 Saudi Arabian brands made the list and accounted for 56 per cent of the total brand value in the ranking. The UAE came in second with 25 brands, representing 36 per cent of the total brand value while Qatar came in the third position with its 12 brands accounting for 11 per cent of the total brand value.

The Brand Finance Middle East ranking has been expanded to include 100 brands for the first time, with brands from nine Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Oil and gas brands dominated the Middle East's most valuable brands, according to the report. Six oil and gas brands in the Brand Finance Middle East 100 ranking accounted for 38 per cent of the total brand value, making it the most valuable sector, with banking and telecoms following in second and third, respectively.

Oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco retained its top brand ranking in the Middle East, followed by Adnoc.

"As we are witnessing nations across the region focus on diversification – including Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the UAE Vision 2021, Qatar’s National Vision 2030, and Kuwait’s Vision 2035 – no doubt we will be seeing the rise of other sectors in the coming years to rival the traditional oil & gas brands’ dominance," Andrew Campbell, managing director of Brand Finance Middle East, said.

The region's telecoms industry has seen "mixed fortunes," the report said.

Average brand value growth for the top 10 Middle Eastern telcos was down six per cent, it said.

Across the industry the key trends that have emerged from the crisis included an increase in data consumption, network pressure, 5G deployment, cyber security and the enhanced speed of transition towards a digital telecom model.

"We see a big growth potential for telecoms brand in cyber security, collaboration tools, cloud and IoT – 5G is, of course, is the pivotal enabler of these investments," Mr Campbell said. "The challenge for Middle Eastern telcos ... is to manage the successful deployment of 5G, while maintaining a focus on leveraging other growth opportunities."

Saudi Telecom Company is the most valuable telecom company across the region with a brand value of $9.2bn, according to the report.

Despite being the second most valuable sector in the region, the aggregate brand value for the banking industry fell 9 per cent annually due to the impact of the pandemic.