The UAE's 10 Most Valuable Brands in 2021

Published March 17th, 2021 - 03:00 GMT
dubai skyline
Despite a challenging year, 10 UAE-based businesses have made to the most valuable brands list. (Shutterstock: Iakov Kalinin)

Even though 2020 was an extremely challenging year for most sectors around the world, many of the UAE's businesses have worked hard to maintain their positions amongst the country's strongest and most valuable brands, minimizing the damage caused by the pandemic over the year.

While the UAE lived through an almost complete shut down of all business and trade activities for more than two months during 2020, many of the country's largest businesses were able to achieve a reasonable come back, one that resulted in their ability to maintain their financial strength and their positions amongst the country's most prominent businesses names.

A report released this month by Brand Finance has explored the strongest brands in the UAE during 2021, in addition to the most valuable companies even in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

While it is important to study the heavy influence that 2020 has left on different sectors in the UAE, the list also shows the prompt and effective response taken by Emirati businesses to reverse the negative impact of the lockdown imposed in the spring of 2020, following the first cases of infection, which shows strong crisis management skills.

The report highlights 25 Emirati businesses with the biggest market value showing whether 2020 was a profitable year for them or not, in addition to the different sectors that have been affected throughout last year.

1. ADNOC 

Despite the unprecedented volatility in the oil market this year, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company was able to be ranked as the highest UAE brand in terms of value, with $10,763 million for 2021.

2. Etisalat

Overtaking Emirates for the first time, Etisalat was the only brand amongst the top 10 to have a higher value in 2021 than it did in 2020, with a 0.7% growth rate. The telecommunication sector was relatively less affected by the pandemic, as millions of people have heavily depended on it for remote work and education to make up for restrictions imposed by social distancing rules. Etisalat's value for 2021 is expected to be $8,533 million.

3. Emirates

The air travel sector was probably amongst the hardest hit in 2020, thanks to travel bands imposed in most countries around the globe. Despite a 30.9% drop, Emirates remained the third-highest UAE brand in terms of value, which is estimated by $4,669 million for 2021.

4. Emirates NBD

Leading the banking sector on the list, the Dubai government-owned bank came in fourth place with $3,730 million.

5. FAB

The First Abu Dhabi Bank followed with $3,621 million for 2021, which is 10.1% lower than its value in 2020.

6. ADCB

In sixth place came the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank with $2,148 million, despite losing 19.4% of its value compared to 2020.

7. du

Unlike its major competitor in the telecommunication sector, Etisalat, du's value has fallen by 33.5% during 2020, to be around 1,840 million.

du is the second of two telecom companies in the UAE and was founded in 2005.

8. Dubai Islamic Bank

The bank which was founded back in 1975 came in 8th place with $1,598 million, losing 12.1% of its 2020 value. 

9. EMAAR

The only real estate brand appearing amongst the top 10 UAE brands in terms of value, EMAAR's value dropped by 16.5% to be $1,552 million.

10. ENOC

Finally, the Emirates National Oil Company's value for 2021 is estimated at $1,395 million.

Which of these businesses have you expected to see on the list? How can other businesses increase their chances of appearing on this list next year?


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