Emirates, Almarai and Facebook are most positively perceived  brands in MENA three years running
January 16th, 2018, Antonia Stockwell

Emirates, Almarai and Facebook are most positively perceived brands in MENA three years running

2017 sees digital brands dominate positive consumer brand sentiment more than ever before

The latest Best Brand Rankings released by YouGov BrandIndex have recorded home-grown mega brands Emirates and Almarai, and global social media behemoth Facebook as the most positively perceived brands in 2017 among consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt respectively. What’s more these brands have all now dominated their respective markets for the past three years consecutively.

YouGov used Buzz scores to compile the rankings using the only daily brand tracker in the region, YouGov BrandIndex. Buzz is calculated by asking consumers daily if they have ‘heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word-of-mouth’. The rankings portray the 10 brands with the highest average Buzz score, and the largest Buzz score improvement over the past 12 months.

As a leading region in the adoption of digital technologies, consumers demonstrate considerable resonance with leading tech brands in all three countries in 2017, in the UAE in particular, the largest number of digital brands feature, occupying eight of the top 10 spots, in KSA it’s seven and Egypt it’s five. Leading the digital takeover is WhatsApp, which sits in second place in all three countries highlighting the huge popularity of the instant messaging phenomenon in the Arab world.

iPhone has seen the biggest score improvement in the UAE and KSA in particular. The iPhone X certainly made its mark on consumers last year who propelled the premium smartphone brand up five spots in the UAE, and two spots in Saudi Arabia, while in Egypt it maintained fifth place. Meanwhile Samsung Galaxy also takes a Best Brand top 10 spot, but a little behind its rival re-entering the KSA rankings in ninth, while in the UAE it sits in tenth.

The rankings demonstrate consumers’ increasing positive affinity with social media brands in the region with YouTube ranking in all three countries, most highly in Egypt. Following suit, Google also makes a top 10 appearance in all countries, while Facebook is making waves in Egypt and the UAE in particular.


Despite the increased prominence of digital brands, food and beverage and FMCG brands are elbowing their way to Best Brand status, cutting through the noise to resonate the most positively with consumers on a daily basis in the region. Al Baik continues to hold strong in Saudi Arabia, fluctuating between fourth and fifth place for the past six years in the Kingdom. Luxurious confectionary brand Galaxy is also creating positive chatter in Egypt, while Ariel and Dettol make their top Buzz debut in the Egypt and Saudi Arabia top 10 respectively.

Multinational hypermarket chain Carrefour demonstrates its strength in the UAE market as the only other non-digital brand consuming the country’s top 10 aside from Emirates. In Egypt, household names The National Bank of Egypt, real estate giant Memaar El Morshedy and top food producer El Rashidi El Mizan also lead positive brand sentiment.

View the full 2017 Best Brand rankings in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt »

Discover your place in the 2017 Best Brand Rankings, contact Scott Booth for more details.

More about BrandIndex »

BrandIndex Buzz is measured by asking respondents daily if they have 'heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word-of-mouth'. Respondents are interviewed from YouGov’s online panel.

Buzz scores are based on a two week rolling average ranging from 100 to -100, and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback. They measure recent brand sentiment and indicate the level and direction of recent awareness (positive or negative) about a brand.

The Buzz Rankings show the brands with the highest average Buzz scores between January and December 2017. All Buzz scores have been rounded to a single decimal place. YouGov BrandIndex operates globally covering markets in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.