Best Brand Rankings for MENA reveals favorites of the year

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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According to YouGov’s 2020 Best Brand Rankings Index for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, the largest airline of UAE the Emirates, Saudi-based dairy company Almarai and American tech giant Google are the healthiest brands in the Middle East.

The index from YouGov, a UK-based market research company, calculates the overall health of a brand on the basis of its average impression, quality, value, satisfaction, recommendation and reputation.

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In the UAE and Saudi Arabia, perceptions of leading carrier brands have remained high despite the flight restrictions in place. Emirates remains the top-ranked brand in the UAE, scoring 59.9 points (with a small decrease in its brand health score year-on-year), while Saudia has made a substantial improvement in its brand image, moving up three positions to finish third in the top 10 brands of Saudi Arabia.

In all three countries, technology giants Google, WhatsApp and YouTube made an appearance in the top 10 brands list. YouTube has greatly improved its brand perception among UAE residents and has jumped three positions to become the nation’s third most popular brand (49.3). On the other hand, Google (47.4) and WhatsApp (50.4) have not witnessed any improvements in their perception of the brand compared to the past year.

YouTube (43.4), WhatsApp (41.7) and Google’s (41.7) year-on-year brand health scores in Saudi Arabia have not seen much improvement. But all three brands noticed a drop in their scores in Egypt.

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Within the region, the antiseptic liquid brand Dettol had a very good year amid the pandemic in terms of brand health. In the UAE, with a substantial 5.6-point uplift in its score, Dettol made a new entry in top 10. It has gone up one and two points in the rankings in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to seventh (38.4) and eighth positions (41.1), respectively.

In both the UAE and Egypt, the France-based retail brand Carrefour has strengthened its place. It remains in fourth place this year in the UAE, scoring 48.6 (with an improved year-on-year score) and has made an impressive new entry into the list in Egypt, at sixth place (42.5).

The electronic company Samsung re-entered Saudi’s top ten list in tenth (39.6), while the amusement company Dream Park and the National Bank of Egypt are new entrants to Egypt’s top 10 brands list, positioned in eighth (37.6) and ninth (37.4) respectively.

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The rankings also reveal the brands that, in the last 12 months, have progressed the most. The holding company Majid Al Futtaim is the most improved brand in the UAE, with a rating improvement of + 11.0.0. e It also appears in second position in the Saudi’s list of improved brands, with an increase of + 6.2 in its score.

STC Saudi Telecom and KFC are the most improved brands in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with score improvements of +8.4 and +9.4, respectively.

In the improvement list of all three countries, eCommerce giant displays the strength of the regional eCommerce ecosystem during the difficult past year. is the third-most improved brand in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while it ranks eighth (5.5) in the list of improvers in Egypt.

This year, MENA’s improver’s list is dominated by food and beverage brands, reflecting the role of familiar consumer brands during the ongoing health crisis in comforting residents.