UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri inaugurates the Gala dinner of Forbes Arabia

Published November 18th, 2008 - 01:37 GMT

Forbes Arabia, the Dubai-based Arabic edition of the world-renowned business magazine Forbes, has announced the top 40 Arab brands for 2008 during a gala dinner held by the magazine yesterday (Sunday, November 16, 2008) in Mena Al Salam Hotel, Dubai, under the patronage of H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy. 

The brands that topped the list were Al Jazeera TV, MBC TV, Afia, Al Marai, Rotana TV, LBC TV, Emirates Airlines, Etisalat, Fine and Melody TV, respectively.

Delivering the opening speech of the ceremony, H.E. Al Mansouri said, “It is our hope that all Arab countries achieve more success and establish prestigious brands on an international level; as they acquire significant practical experience in the market to increase their sales and profits, which will help to promote their image, credibility and gain wide acceptance globally.”

“This cannot be achieved without focusing on education and training, and leveraging the advanced information technology systems that will enable Arab companies to increase spending on marketing and advertising without any impact on prices of the products or services,” H.E. Al Mansouri added.

Refaat Jaafar, Managing Editor of Forbes Arabia, said that the listing of the top 40 Arab brands was conducted in cooperation with TNS Middle East & Africa, in line with a group of specialised lists issued by Forbes Arabia during 2008, including the Arab World’s richest list, Highest Income Earners among Arab Preachers, the 50 most powerful businesswomen in the Arab World, and the top Arab investment firms and funds. 

It is only the second time since the Top 40 Arab Brands list has been announced since the Arabic version of the magazine was first issued in 2004, following a similar list in 2006.   The new list is an updated version of the previous list and reflects the changes witnessed in the market such as the emergence of new brands and the exit of others.

An evening with Forbes Arabia and Wataniya Telecom gala dinner was attended by a large number of businessmen as well as officials and representatives of private and public organisations in the region, and featured a discussion session run by the Media-star Hala Sarhan.  In this discussion, the participants shared their views regarding the challenges faced by Arab brands amid the global credit crisis, and considered required means for addressing the challenges while also promoting the reputation of Arab brands strategically and practically on the regional and global levels. The discussion also highlighted the available potential for these brands to establish themselves in the respective markets, and to compete with the Asian, European and American brands in global markets.

This invitation-only event was co-sponsored by Wataniya Telecom as Platinum sponsor, Almarai and Ajmal Perfumes as gold sponsors, and Aramex as a silver sponsor; in participation with CNBC Arabiya as the Media sponsor of the event.

The full listing of the Top 40 Arab Brands is included in the November issue of Forbes Arabia.

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