Top 30 Kantar BrandZ Emirati and Saudi brands worth more than $94.2 billion

Telecom giant STC leads most valuable Emirati and Saudi brand rankings
02 November 2023
BrandZ UAE
Amol Ghate

Managing Director, Insights Division, Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan

Telecom providers lead the 2023 ranking of the Kantar BrandZ Top 30 Most Valuable Emirati & Saudi Brands. Saudi brand STC holds on to its number one position overall for the third year with a brand value of $13.7 billion. Etisalat by e& is the most valuable Emirati brand, worth $9.5 billion. Both brands have been laser-focused on their journeys towards becoming diverse technology platforms, with a strong purpose to improve society through their actions. 

Collectively, the top 30 Kantar BrandZ Emirati and Saudi brands are worth more than $94.2 billion, equivalent to 5.8% of the two countries’ combined GDPs. They have retained more of their value over the last year than their peers, in the face of the worldwide economic slowdown, with a decrease of 11% compared with 2022. This is a smaller drop than the top 30 brands in China, Italy and the UK.

Stability is also in evidence, with 29 of last year’s 30 ranked Saudi and Emirati brands returning once again in 2023. The sole newcomer is retailer Nahdi, a leading pharmacy retailer which made a big entrance at No.7 in the Saudi ranking with a brand value of $2 billion. With a mission to transform access to healthcare services, Nahdi offers an innovative omnihealth experience. Over the last year it has opened more large-format ‘pharmacies of the future’, while expanding its private label, e-pharmacist, and home delivery services. 

Two categories predominate in the rankings: Financial Services and Telecom Providers, which together are responsible for nearly three quarters of the total brand value. The Financial Services category has the highest representation, with 13 brands, and is the most valuable category, contributing 44% of the overall value. Five categories have grown, four in double digits: Food and Beverages (7%), Energy (14%), Real Estate (16%), Retail (30%) and Travel Services (69%).

All three real estate players have grown: Dar Al Arkan (+34%), Emaar Properties (+16%), and Aldar (+5%). These brands have looked beyond realising short-term gains tied to higher property prices, with the goal to build long-term brand equity by transforming how, and where, people live. Emaar Properties is known for its high quality and innovative developments, from 2010’s Burj Khalifa tower, to its forthcoming Ramhan Island eco-development.

Most Valuable Emirati Brands

Etisalat by e& has been at the forefront of bringing 5G technology to the market. The brand pushes the boundaries of innovation, for example by using AI to improve network management and customer service. Its new brand identity highlights its expansion into a wider range of services – including iZone, a system of Wi-Fi hotspots in locations such as shopping malls, restaurants, and sheesha cafes.

The top riser is airline Emirates (No.3; $5.4bn), with a year-on-year brand value increase of 69%. Consumers view Emirates as the most differentiated brand in the Emirati Top 10 ranking. It remains a symbol of status and aspiration, setting new standards not only for luxury, but also sustainability.

The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Emirati Brands 2023Etisalat by e&, FAB, Emirates, ADNOC Distribution, Emaar, Du, ADCB, Emirates NBD, Aldar, Dubai Islamic Bank

Most Valuable Saudi Brands

Number one brand, STC, has launched products and services across multiple digital platforms to meet people’s evolving needs, including personal payment solutions and entertainment. This has helped it to build an emotional affinity with consumers, beyond meeting their functional expectations. The brand’s multi-dimensional sustainability activities include investing in education and health, expanding telecom access to remote areas, and facilitating instant payments.

Two Saudi brands have grown their value by 34%. Real estate brand Dar Al Arkan (No.17; $573m) is known for being an innovation hub. Recently, it constructed the world’s tallest 3D-printed building in Riyadh. Saudia Dairy (No.20; $547m) has rebranded to reflect Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy. Its innovative marketing campaign, My Saudia Kitchen, aims to enhance the daily cooking experience with easy to implement creative concepts, expert tips, and professional guidance. 

The Kantar BrandZ Top 20 Most Valuable Saudi Brands 2023STC, AL Rajhi Bank, Saudi National Bank, Almarai, Mobily, Jarir Bookstore, Nahdi, Riyad Bank, BUPA Arabia, Alinma Bank, Bank Albilad, SAB, AL Othaim, Jahez

Saudi and UAE are the biggest economies in the Middle East, and the mood is optimistic for future growth. As the markets continue to implement large-scale economic development plans, huge opportunities abound for brands: in fact, brand building is a key pillar of both countries’ strategies. Brands must devote significant effort to understanding how Saudi and Emirati consumers’ mindsets and spending habits are evolving, as many of the parameters of their lives change.

Other key highlights from the Emirati & Saudi brands report include:

The Top 30’s three-year growth is more than twice that of the Global Top 30. Between 2020 and 2023 the brands in the combined rankings have grown their total value by 87%, compared with 40% for the Global Top 30.

Three quarters of the Emirati and Saudi Top 30 score high on Pricing Power. The strongest brands have the ability to justify charging a premium by being seen as ‘worth it’; being Meaningful and Different are by far the most important drivers of a consumer’s willingness to pay more for a brand.

Sustainability contributes 8% of the overall brand equity for the Emirati and Saudi Top 30. However, seven of the most valuable Emirati and Saudi brands lack strong sustainability credentials, showing that there are opportunities for those that invest in making improvements in this area.

The Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Emirati and Saudi Brands ranking, report and extensive analysis are available now at   
For an overarching view of brand performance, Kantar has launched a new, free interactive tool powered by BrandZ’s wealth of data and Meaningful Different Salient framework. Kantar BrandSnapshot delivers intelligence on 10,000 brands in 40+ markets, offering a quick read on a brand’s performance in a category. Explore for free on Kantar Marketplace today. 



Kantar BrandZ 2022 Emirates and Saudi Arabia Report
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