Namshi is fast becoming the UAE’s leading local online shopping hub for the latest fashion brands, items and must-haves. The online fashion outlet recently began shipping to wider parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It also launched an Arabic language interface as part of a wider outreach.
32. Samsung Mobile Arabia
One of the world’s most famous brands, Samsung is as widely recognised in
the Gulf as it is globally. While Apple and its iPhone products are becoming stronger in the region, Blackberry is still universally popular. Samsung comes in third but, particularly in the GCC, it faces a tough battle to usurp its rivals.
33. Doha Film Institute
Interest in Qatar for all things movie- related has exploded in recent years, with much of it focussed on the Doha Film Institute and its now regular event, Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Still a fledgling newcomer to the worldwide film-making scene, DFI is already beginning to
attract interest from the world’s biggest superstars, like rapper Kanye West, who recently filmed a video in Doha with the help of DFI.
As the largest network provider in the UAE, Etisalat has a region-wide presence. Etisalat is aggressive with communication, offering updates, offers and news streams on social media platforms. Notwithstanding a decline in revenue, Etisalat is one of the most recognisable brands in the Middle East, and still stronger than its arch-rival Du, at least on this list.
35. Tang Arabia
A fruit drinks company that has more colour in one of its adverts than your average rainbow, Tang recently launched an inspired campaign using children as superheroes. The Krafts Foods-owned company encouraged children across the Gulf to do more to help the less fortunate in the charity-giving month of Ramadan.
Jamaluk is a beauty and lifestyle website based in Saudi Arabia, covering health and fitness, beauty secrets, make-up and fashion. With plans to reach the wider GCC region, Jamaluk hosts a family and community discussion section, while also posting a new ‘prayer day’ story every day of Ramadan.
37. Kia Motors UAE
The UAE is a difficult market for this international auto brand. Not because the market is flooded with rivals, but more because the high purchasing power in the UAE allows many residents to splurge on high-end wheels. Though KIA faces competition from elite brands, such as Ferrari, Bentley and Mercedes, it continues undeterred, recently even announcing the launch of its revamped Cerato model.
Qatar’s biggest network provider, Qtel, is as recognised a brand as they come in the Gulf. Taking on a new approach to brand management, this telecom company set up a reward system for Qatari medal winners at the London Olympics, in celebration of their achievement.
39. Etihad Airways
Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier has been on a mission to snap up minority shares in other airlines, creating new partnerships with Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus. The brand has also used extensive sponsorship to promote its name across the world, including sponsoring England’s top professional football and rugby teams last season.
40. Souq KSA
The original souq.com launched its Saudi Arabian version five years ago and hasn’t looked back since. The e-commerce site, with its all-Arabic interface, is the online one-stop-shop for thousands of buyers and sellers across the region. Options range from phones to computers, health and beauty products to cars.