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Sun 7 Mar 2010 04:06 PM

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Nokia is 'most favoured' brand among Arab youth

Survey says going to the mall is second most popular pastime after watching TV.

Nokia is 'most favoured' brand among Arab youth
POPULAR: Nokia is the most favoured brand among Arab youth, according to a new survey.

Nokia is the most popular brand name among Arab youth, according to the results of a new survey released in Dubai on Sunday.

Respondents to the Second Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey said that going to the mall was their second most popular pastime – after watching TV - and when it came to choosing between international brands the Finnish phone maker was their outright favourite. [

Click here to view the key findings of the Arab Youth Survey


The survey, which was carried out in October last year and involved face-to-face interviews with 2,000 Arab youths in nine countries, found that shopping was a major part of Arab youth culture.

After Nokia, the international brands which caught the eye of Arab youth include Toyota (2nd), Sony (4th), Armani (5th), Rolex (6th), Pepsi (7th), Nike (9th) and HP (10th).

Among the big Arabic brands surveyed, FlyDubai scrapped in at 32nd, Rani was 31st, Etisalat ranked 26th, Air Arabia flew in at 25th, Emaar lay at 22nd, Aramex stood at 8th and Emirates took the bronze medal and was found to be the most popular Arab brand on the list.

The survey also asked which airlines Arab youth preferred to fly with and local Arab carriers proved to be popular. Emirates was the most popular across the region, especially in the UAE, followed by Saudi Airlines, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways and Egypt Air.

In the UAE, Emirates was favoured by 52 percent, followed by Etihad (22 percent), Air Arabia (eleven percent), Gulf Air (five percent) and British Airways and Egypt Air both on four percent.

The airlines with the highest level of loyalty in their respective countries were Qatar Airways (78 percent), Saudi Airlines (73 percent) and Royal Jordanian (71 percent).

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Kaptain 10 years ago

..Motorola has a cult following.. but where's its popularity..?? I'm a big fan of Motorola and I carry 4 years old model..this is Loyalty.. Its never great to be Number 1..what is, is the attention..!! And Motorola stands out.

John 10 years ago

This isn't good news at all, because it shows that Arab youth prefer anything not Arab, and if shopping is the big deal then maybe a little Arabisation is in order to get some thobes into the work place.

Jose De Souza 10 years ago

"The airlines with the highest level of loyalty in their respective countries were Qatar Airways (78 percent), Saudi Airlines (73 percent) and Royal Jordanian (71 percent)." Erm, the last time I checked Qatar Airways was the only airline in Qatar as is Royal Jordanian in Jordan. Its a bit of a no-brainer then?

WJ 10 years ago

At best your results might come close to matching the accuracy of an educated guess. They are laughable by every standard. When you say Arab Youth, you should, if you've only been in the region for six months, know that there are still 22 countries that fall under that classification. I can bet my worth that out of your 9 surveyed countries there were the 6 GCC states plus 3 more with a visible rich class that is usually removed and disconnected from the rest of the population. GCC and 3 countries would roughly mount up to less than 10% of the population of the Arab World. The absolute majority of the youth population of the other countries would have never even seen a Rolex or know what Armani makes! It is either we laugh at your results or tell the UN & the world bank that they are full of it when they talk about the severe problem of youth unemployment in the Arab World. Well yea there is an unemployment issue but we have style, Armanis and Rolexes ... This type of weekly defined and technically questionable studies raise serious concerns about the state of PR & marketing in the region.

Tariq 10 years ago

Really? Rolex? For the youth? I mean seriously did they just give them multiple choices between Rolex and Tag Heuer and the study based its results on that? I'd like to see study and on which specific regions in Saudi Arabia they were formed.

Louis 10 years ago

This survey is a joke. I don't know why Arabian Business is even giving it this much attention. 2000 surveyed? really? Out of over 100 million youth in the Middle East, this is what it boils down to. Where's the credibility? Truly no effort was out into this. One could go to Dubai Mall or MoE and survey 3 times this number of youth from several Middle Eastern countries. Whatever...

laradunston 10 years ago

Agree with everyone above that the report is flawed. I worked in education teaching Emiratis film/writing/media studies at tertiary level for over 7 years in the UAE, and now in my work as a writer I meet young people all over the Middle East (GCC, Levant & North Africa) from young architects to heavy metal musicians, fashion designers to eco-minded entrepreneurs, artists to restaurant owners. I find it strange that Apple is not mentioned, and yet nearly every young person I've met has had an iPhone or iPod and - admittedly I'm meeting young people in the arts/media etc - but most also have Macs. And for the thousands of young women I taught in the Emirates, Rolex didn't make the cut. While a few of their fathers might have worn them (they're not *all* wealthy), it wouldn't have been 'cool' enough for most. Very odd results. It's also a shame that the passion for 'Shopping' and 'TV' wasn't investigated further and elaborated upon. In the GCC many are going shopping, i.e. visiting malls for social reasons too. The mall in the GCC is like the town plaza/main square in many European towns simply because of the weather, though of course religious values and social customs prevent the kind of interaction I'm watching down on a square now as I write from Spain! But communication and flirting still goes on, using the technology they love so much. And while 'TV' brings to mind mind-numbing fluff when mentioned off-handedly, the news, esp Al Jazeera, was always popular with my students, along with entertainment, variety shows and serials, often watched with the whole extended family, especially during Ramadan. Both of those things say something about the importance of family and friends to Arab youth.

Yaser 10 years ago

This article/ report is not very well written. It should indicate how the survey was conducted; what were the people asked; what is the methodology etc... This survey doesn't reflect the reality and is "shallow"

Danno 10 years ago

When i first heard of this report on the radio, first thing that came to mind after hearing Emirates ranked #1 among the arab brands, i thought are there any Arab brands??? can you really think of that many? i drew a blank. then i read this article, and saw etislat, aramex, etc. i'll conclude that the surveyed individuals were given a list of brands and they simply ranked them (IMO). John: preference to non-arab stuff is an a widely accepted norm in the region. sadly it reflects on the lack of innovation, quality, and industriousness in the culture. are you familiar with the number of patents coming out of the region? WJ: your comment gets first place. they hardly touched the surface of what Arab youth is, proving that this is a pr stunt. not only Armani, or Rolex, I'm quite certain that tens of millions of Arab youth have never been on an airplane and most of them never will. Louis: 2000... yes its a joke period... comparable to a research project by a 2nd or 3rd year university student taking a statistics course. Brit happy: PR has taken place of state propaganda (popular during the cold-war). State propaganda doesn't work here any more, so this is another medium. i have made good cyber friends blogging this way.. if interested please email me zako100@hotmail.com

Graham Brown 10 years ago

Being the most popular brand means nothing these days. Go search for the Top 100 most popular articles on Wikipedia and see if that list carries any meaning at all. Brand "popularity" is only useful for ad agencies and brand managers. It's meaningless to customers. There is a key distinction between being "popular" i.e. getting elected and being "loved" i.e. where the profits are. I guarantee that while brands like Nokia are most popular they are among the least profitable in their category. Apple & RIM Blackberry have 7% market share but 62% of its profits. Still want to measure brand popularity? These kind of surveys are out of date along with brand awareness, brand equity, brand recall etc etc. If Middle East wants to portray an image of being up to date, it has to relinquish its reliance on metrics borne of the 1950s.