UAE ranked among top 10 country brands for the 1st time

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The UAE has entered the top 10 country brands for the first time, representing the increasing global business confidence in the Middle East.

UK-based global brand transformation company, FutureBrand revealed the results in its 2020 Country Index, offering in-depth and complex rankings of global country brands.

The Country Index (CI), which was conducted six months after the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, shows surprising resilience during a year of crisis. The ranking is based on a survey of 2,500 influential individuals.

Japan has maintained its No. 1 spot in the rankings, the position it has held since the launch of the inaugural index in 2014. Switzerland, Germany and Canada entered the top five, with the UAE and New Zealand joining the top 10 in 9th and 10th position, respectively, for the first time.

The index also revealed increasing global confidence in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region. UAE is joined by Oman from the GCC. It climbed 10 places since 2014 to reach the 25th rank.

Each nation in Africa increased its ranking, with Angola, Kenya and Algeria emerging as three of the world’s top five risers. One of the strongest metrics evaluated for both regions was heritage and culture.

New to the CI for 2020 is a number of categories relating to coronavirus, including a ranking of the best handlers of the pandemic. The top spot in the list was secured by New Zealand, followed by China and then Germany in the third position. Interestingly, “don’t know” took 4th position, with qualitative data from respondents showing that it took more time to determine the performance of various governmental policies properly. The fifth position was secured by South Korea.

Data on domestic expectations of coronavirus care were new to the 2020 index. The different approaches of countries towards the pandemic were measured using related queries. By pointing the consistent government communication as a key factor, 71 percent of respondents in the UAE were optimistic about the handling of the pandemic by their country. About 55 percent of respondents would like to visit the UAE within the next 5 years. Dubai was also ranked 9th in the ranking of most influential cities globally.

Jon Tipple
Jon Tipple
Chief Strategy Officer

“This year’s index once again goes beyond GDP to take into account broader metrics such as perceived Quality of Life, Value System and Heritage and Culture to inform up-to-date country brand rankings. This more nuanced index of global country brands offers fresh insight into challenger countries, which may yet be unclear from their economic standing”.

“Ultimately, it’s clear that countries which consistently invest in their global brand holistically are better placed to withstand the shocks of economic uncertainty, polemic news headlines, populist politics and even pandemics,” he added.

The data is taken from the latest Country Index of FutureBrand, an in-depth ranking of how people view countries around the world, based on qualitative and quantitative data collected from 2 to 11 September.