Our brand shows our core values

The UAE has been judged the world’s third strongest national brand, worth Dh1.5 trillion

Dubai's megaprojects are part of the reasons for the UAE's national brand strength. Reem Mohammed / The National
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Nobody who has spent any amount of time in the UAE will be surprised to learn that the country's "brand" is advancing at a fast pace. As the London-based consultancy Brand Finance disclosed recently, we are now the third strongest "nation brand" in the world and fast closing in on Singapore and Switzerland, the top two countries.

There is more to the UAE’s ranking than international recognition, although that certainly plays a significant part. Other factors that were taken into account included each country’s image and perceptions about its quality of life, security, ease of doing business and the prevalence of corruption. The UAE’s brand is valued at $400 billion (Dh1.5 tn), making it the 29th most valuable of the 100 countries assessed.

This result is not because of a single action but the collective result of many decisions, some of which date back decades to the foundation of the country. Obvious factors include Dubai’s profusion of world-record-setting megaprojects and the success of Etihad Airways and Emirates, two of the region’s strongest commercial brands. But the notions of tolerance, stability and security on which this country was founded are less heralded but equally important.

In a sense, this country represents a series of different brands. To the Arab world, we are an exemplar of opportunity, meritocracy and how life could be, which is why the UAE regularly tops the list of countries in which Arab youth seek to work. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are now seen as centres of learning and excellence, in the way Cairo, Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus once were.

To the West, we are a haven of safety and tolerance in the midst of a turbulent region, where there is the rule of law and some of the most free media in the Arab world. These factors, as much as the megaprojects and attractions like the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, help explain why more visitors come here every year.

With Expo 2020 and the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi next year, we can expect our national brand to continue to grow stronger. In a region beset with strife, our success provides a powerful counternarrative to those who sow fear and violence.