Stock Etisalat telecom
Etisalat is the region's second most powerful brand, while it has another Top 10 entry with Mobily. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Telecom giants STC of Saudi Arabia and Etisalat in the UAE are the most powerful brands in their respective markets in a Top 30 rankings brought out by the global consultancy Kantar. Taken together, the 30 brands have a combined value of a whopping $50 billion, with the list dominated by telecom and banking entities as well as real estate.

In third and fourth spots are Al Rajhi Bank and FAB, and followed by Emirates airline and the Saudi dairy company Al Marai. Rounding off the Top 10 regional brand powerhouses are another Saudi entity Saudi National Bank, the retailer Jarir Bookstore, Emaar and the Etisalat subsidiary Mobily.

ADNOC and du took up 11 and 12 positions, in rankings that “examine some of the consumer and market shifts that are presenting brands with such tremendous challenges – and opportunities – right now”.

In dollar terms

The Kantar findings also put a putative value to the brands, with STC’s coming up to 9.67 billion, while Etisalat is at $5.2 billion. STC “rises to the top thanks to a combination of scale and financial strength, coupled with bold communications initiatives that mark a departure from category norms, and a strong sense of purpose,” the report notes.

“The brand is closely linked with the Saudi government’s digitization push, and touches people’s lives not only through its telecom services but its humanitarian efforts and work to promote opportunities for women, young people and those with disabilities.”

Brand power

The $50 billion combined for the Top 30 brands in the UAE and Saudi Arabia – a number equivalent to Jordan’s GDP – is based on BrandZ analysis across 19 categories of goods and services and interviews with 12,000 consumers.

“Four of the Top 5 brands in the ranking are telecommunications providers or banks, and these two categories contribute 70 per cent of the combined value of the entire Top 30,” the report adds. “Not only do they tend to have the financial might that propels them up the Top 30, they also play a key role in people’s daily lives so are very much ‘top of mind’.”