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Virtual Edition
16 - 17 June 2021

Source: Trade Arabia

Saudi Aramco has claimed the title of the Middle East’s most valuable brand for the second consecutive year, with a brand value of $37.5 billion. 

Last year’s Brand Finance Middle East ranking saw the new arrival of the oil & gas behemoth, following the top oil exporter’s recording-breaking IPO. 

The brand maintains a considerable lead over the rest of the ranking, despite it losing 20% of its brand value this year.

As with other oil & gas brands globally, Aramco has suffered major dents to its profits in the first half of last year as it negotiated reduced demand and lower oil prices, which turned negative in April of last year. As the global economy starts to pick up and return to some level of normality, the brand will be hoping this uptick will be reflected in its profits.

For national oil companies (NOCs), like Aramco, economic contribution to national wealth is paramount to their mandate. To ensure this economic contribution is sustainable, NOCs must increasingly venture into new sources of energy for the world after oil. Aramco has made substantial strides towards building a sustainable future and is focusing on utilising technology and embracing digitisation to reduce CO2 emissions and create next-generation materials.

Sitting in second in the overall ranking, is fellow oil & gas brand, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). Adnoc has managed to successfully shelter its brand value during an incredibly challenging year for its industry, with only a 6% brand value loss to $10.8 billion, making it the most resilient of all National Oil Companies (NOC) globally. 

Adnoc’s transformation since 2016 has taken the brand from strength to strength. Under the astute leadership of Managing Director and Group CEO  Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Adnoc has evolved into a trusted global player with one brand and one strategic vision at its core. 

It has attracted some of the world’s leading institutional investors as partners across its business and has raised more than $64 billion through such transactions since the start of its transformation. 

Due to Adnoc’s competitive advantage in cost and carbon efficiency per barrel of oil produced, it is a likely contender to be “the last barrel standing” in the ongoing transition to a low carbon economy.

Adnoc is actively investing in diversifying its portfolio beyond raw commodity exports with recently announced efforts in hydrogen, ammonia and other value-add Downstream products – part of the brand’s longstanding commitment to future proofing its economic contributions to the UAE and maintaining a legacy of environmental stewardship. To date, the Group has invested in a number of measures to reduce its carbon footprint, notably through a significant expansion of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology across its business. 

Adnoc once again is set to raise the profile of Abu Dhabi and the GCC through the launch of the highly anticipated futures exchange for Murban crude.

This year, the Brand Finance Middle East ranking has been expanded to include 100 brands for the first time, with nine Middle Eastern nations’ brands featuring from: Saudi Arabia; the UAE; Qatar; Kuwait; Oman; Bahrain; Jordan; Lebanon; and Iraq. Saudi Arabian brands are the most represented with 45 featuring and account for 56% of the total brand value in the ranking, the UAE sits in second with 25 brands featuring with its brand accounting for 36%, and Qatar in third with its 12 brands accounting for 11% of the total brand value.

Andrew Campbell, Managing Director, Brand Finance Middle East, commented: “The Middle East is home to some of the world’s leading brands and each of these are supporting the region’s rise on the global stage. It is not surprising that the six oil & gas brands in the Brand Finance Middle East 100 ranking account for 38% of the total brand value, making it the most valuable sector, with banking and telecoms following in second and third, respectively. As we are witnessing nations across the region focus on diversification – including Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the UAE Vision 2021, Qatar’s National Vision 2030, and Kuwait’s Vision 2035 – no doubt we will be seeing the rise of other sectors in the coming years to rival the traditional oil & gas brands’ dominance.”