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Sat 6 Feb 2016 10:42 AM

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Emirates beats rival Etihad in UAE battle of the brands

New survey reveals Dubai airline has best brand reputation in the UAE, well ahead of Abu Dhabi competitor

Emirates beats rival Etihad in UAE battle of the brands

Emirates Airline has by far the best brand image of UAE-based companies, according to new research carried out by communications agency IHC.

A YouGov survey asked more than 1,000 UAE residents which brands they feel have the best reputation in the country and 43 percent chose Emirates, with competitor Etihad Airways coming in second - but with only 14 percent of the votes.

Telecommunications provider Etisalat came in third (10 percent) followed by Souq.com and Dubizzle, tied with 8 percent.

Emirates NBD topped the list of UAE banks with 7 percent of the votes while consumer electronics retailer, Sharaf DG, came in seventh with 4 percent, followed by budget carrier flydubai (3 percent), Air Arabia (2 percent) and UAE University, which was the highest ranked educational institution with 2 percent of the votes.

"Money often talks when it comes to building brand image and Emirates has clearly reaped the rewards from its well-publicised 2010 plans to increase its communications budget as part of its global expansion strategy to nearly AED1 billion, including sponsorship, advertising and PR," said Ian Hainey, IHC’s managing director.

He added: “Emirates is often lauded as the fastest-growing airline in the world and its rise to become one of the world’s biggest carriers within three decades has happened in conjunction with its aggressive marketing campaigns and, in particular, phenomenal investment into sports sponsorship.

“For instance, it feels like the brand is bombarding us with its logo and destinations every time we turn on a televised football match, which is the world’s most watched sport. The roster of payments for sponsorship deals across all sports must be impressive to say the least.

“The word ‘best’ is of course subjective, but the fact Emirates has almost three times as many votes as its competitor, Etihad, clearly demonstrates a considerable gap in perception of the brand’s quality and desirability, as it is clearly considered as superior overall."

Etihad’s far reaching global marketing spend, including Manchester City, Formula 1, plus a US major league football, ice hockey, and basketball team, ensured its prominent showing in the survey, he said.

The rise of the Souq.com and Dubizzle brands is testament to the UAE’s tech sector.

"These home grown brands have raised their profile up there with the big budget players and are clearly reinvesting considerable marketing budgets into brand awareness," added Hainey.

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Steven 4 years ago

Oh my! a survey of such magnitude - 1000 people in UAE! And where were these 1000 people from? Dubai? What nonsense as usual. If you ask most people in Dubai, they will say Emirates of course, as they 'live in a bubble' and do not/never have visit/visited the capital - they even believe Dubai is the capital.
So you will never have a true image of the views of UAE, as I can assure you that if you ask 1000 people from Abu Dhabi, they will tell you the exact opposite, so it really is a useless article and poorly investigated.

MT3 4 years ago

By the look of it 1,000 people many of whom are pretty brand savvy. In the most highly recognised report on brand value in the world, the Brand Finance Global 500 report, Emirates was the most valuable brand in the entire Middle East and the most valuable airline brand in the world by some distance. It is an amazing achievement that I'd guess people living in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be proud of.

James 4 years ago

Correct Steven
You only have to look at the credit and if it says Staff Writer, it means a thinly disguised advertorial.
Nothing changes.

rajeev 4 years ago

It's a great achievement for an airline which is very young compared to other leaders in the same industry