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Brand Finance, a UK based brand valuation firm, has named UAE operator Etisalat as the most valuable brand in the MENA region with a value of $7.7bn. The consultation firm has seen its brand value rise to $7.7 billion which is higher than any other brand in the North Africa and Middle East region.

Industry analysts have attributed Etisalat's success with its 'Driving the Digital Future' strategy whereby the leading telecom colossus has adapted to a new competitive marketplace dominated by the rise of digital tech players.

According to experts at Brand Finance the operator was able to achieve a 40% increase in its brand value because of its progressive approach to digital transformation. Etisalat has firmly established itself as a strategic enabler in the UAE's digital transformation vision.

A number of key growth drivers have been identified as being the success behind the $7.7 billion brand value, which include, the introduction of new digital applications, amplified roll out of Etisalat flagship stores, global brand building initiatives.

In addition to this, it was also highlighted that its renewed and continued support for global football sponsorships such as its partnership with Manchester City Football Club was a factor in the increase in growth of its brand value.

Brand Finance, is the world's leading independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy, and is the organization behind the Global 500 Brands, a league table of the world's biggest brands ranked by their brand value, assesses the dollar value of the reputation, image and intellectual property of the brand.

Managing Director of Brand Finance Middle East, Andrew Campbell, said the operator's ability to expand its services across a range of countries cemented its status as the leading brand in the region, and paved the way for further economic opportunities in the United Arab Emirates.

He said, "The growing value of the brand reflects Etisalat's ability to call upon their expanding network across 16 countries. Looking ahead towards Expo 2020, the brand is paving the way for further growth prospects in the UAE."

The telecommunications colossus improved its brand strength rating exponentially, going from AA+ to AAA-, which ensured it became the strongest telecom brand in the North Africa and Middle East region as it continues to amplify its global brand engagement activities.

The improvement in its rating represents an increase of USD 1.2bn in Etisalat's brand value which means that the USD 7.7bn brand jumped 75 positions and is now ranked 217th globally against all brands, moving up from last year's position of 292th.

This new achievement is a reflection of the brand's successful progression in its ambition to provide world class communication and continue to focus on providing unique customer experience.

The consultancy compiled its Global 500 ranking by evaluating a company's "brand strength" based on three key factors:

These are marketing investment and methods used by marketers to create brand loyalty and market share; stakeholder equity - the perceptions among stakeholder groups including customers; and business performance, which includes market and financial measures to judge the success of the brand in achieving price and volume premiums, Brand Finance said.

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