Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 25 November 2020

UAE retains regional top spot in brand value ranking

China grows its brand value by 40 per cent to narrow the gap with global leader US, according to Brand Finance's annual report

The UAE retained its top 20 spot in brand value and came in sixth in brand strength in the annual Brand Finance report. Jaime Puebla / The National
The UAE retained its top 20 spot in brand value and came in sixth in brand strength in the annual Brand Finance report. Jaime Puebla / The National

The UAE is the most valuable brand in the Middle East and also retains its top 20 spot in a global ranking of 100 nations, a new report from consultancy Brand Finance found.

The UAE’s nation brand value grew 3 per cent from $707 billion (Dh2.6 trillion) in 2018 to $730bn, according to the Nation Brands 2019 report which analyses countries' brand value. Saudi Arabia also retained its position in 21st place, while the US led the ranking overall, followed by China in second position and Germany in third.

“This year’s results show the Middle East nations are persevering through to rival the traditional nation brand powerhouses of the West,” said David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance. “In the run-up to Expo 2020 next October, we see the UAE leading the pack ahead of its GCC neighbours.”

Brand Finance gives countries an overall “brand strength index” score based on dozens of data points across three key pillars: goods and services, investment and society. A nation's brand value is then calculated based on a hypothetical royalty rate, which is applied to the country’s gross domestic product to determine brand-related GDP streams.

Graphic by The National
Graphic by The National

China recorded tremendous brand value growth of 40 per cent to $19.5tn, narrowing the gap behind long-standing leader the US, despite the trade war between the two countries. The US recorded a brand value growth of 7 per cent to $27.7tn, a difference between the two nation brands of $8tn, compared to $12tn last year.

Among the top 10, Japan's brand value grew by 26 per cent, taking fourth position after Germany. It also overtook the UK, whose brand value grew less than 3 per cent from last year. India made the largest jump within the top 10, from ninth to seventh position, with a 19 per cent increase in brand value to $2.6tn.

“With the Western world seeing a real crisis of leadership on both sides of the Atlantic, the developing world is catching up,” Mr Haigh said. “Bolder, more agile, increasingly innovative African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin American nation brands are racing ahead at breakneck speed, poised for further growth in the years to come.”

The average year-on-year nation brand value growth among the 65 developing economies was 13.9 per cent, compared to as little as 0.4 per cent for the 35 developed economies.

Eleven out of the 20 fastest-growing brands came from the Middle East and Africa. Ghana and Uganda were the top two, increasing brand value by 67 and 56 per cent, respectively. Egypt came in fifth with an increase of 50 per cent.

The Emirates also scored highly on the quality and efficiency of its infrastructure, as well as its improved ease of doing business. Although its brand strength rating dropped slightly from last year’s third place, the UAE had a high brand strength index of 86.6 out of 100.

Singapore retained its title as the world’s strongest nation brand with a score of 90.5.

Updated: October 14, 2019 05:25 PM

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