Emirates is most popular brand in the UAE, YouGov says

Google, WhatsApp and Saudi’s Almarai also feature in 2018 BrandIndex ranking

Codeshare agreement with Italian rail company, Trenitalia, will extend Emirates airline's reach in Italy. Reem Mohammed/ The National
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Emirates, the world's biggest carrier for long-haul flights, is the most popular brand among consumers in the UAE, followed by technology giants Google and Whatsapp, according to YouGov.

The research firm, in its the latest annual brand health ranking released on Tuesday, analysed attitudes towards brands over a 52-week period, evaluating perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others.

It produced three separate ‘BrandIndex’ rankings for the Middle East – charting the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Emirates topped the UAE ranking, with YouTube and electronics producer Samsung in fourth and fifth position, followed by Apple, the Saudi Arabia-based dairy producer Almarai, Facebook, Apple iPhone (a separate brand) and supermarket retailer Carrefour.

In Saudi Arabia, Almarai topped the list of the most popular brands in the kingdom, followed by fast food chain Al Baik. Several technology firms followed, including YouTube, Whatsapp, Google, Apple and Apple iPhone, and then state carrier Saudia occupied 8th position in the ranking. Samsung and Dettol were 9th and 10th respectively. Almarai and Facebook also topped the ranking for Egypt.


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“Overall, in a list otherwise dominated by digital brands, the airline brand [Emirates] food & beverages manufacturer [Al Baik] and the social media network [Whatsapp] reign supreme for the fourth year in a row,” YouGov said.

In the UAE, Samsung has seen the greatest improvement in its scores in the past 12 months, jumping ahead of rival Apple to become the fifth most popular brand. For the second year in succession, biscuit manufacturer Oreo has seen the greatest improvement in brand health among Egyptian consumers, while Pepsi has also been steadily improving its perception over the last 12 months, BrandIndex said.

In the global BrandIndex ranking by YouGov – based on six million interviews conducted in 26 countries – Google tops the list followed by YouTube. Samsung jumped one place from last year, climbing to third position, as did the messaging app WhatsApp in fourth position.

However, WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, fell two places to fifth position amid ongoing controversy over user privacy and weaker earnings in the second quarter of 2018. Amazon was sixth in the list, followed by Ikea and Lego, according to the research.