2018 has proven to be a good year for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries due to the economic diversity and social-economic developments across the region. The second half of 2018 was extraordinarily successful thanks to the UAE banks’ profitability sharp growth (e.g. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD Bank).
Though pretty diverse, the UAE economy still relies mostly on oil and gas and derived products. The local authorities are working hard for decades to reduce this dependence, developing other economic sectors. One of the biggest non-petroleum revenue sources is tourism, based on the construction industry development. People from all over the world come to the UAE to visit the most luxurious hotels and malls and admire the astonishing office buildings, created by the best architects.
As the second biggest and fastest developing economy in the Arab world with a $403.2B GDP, the UAE provides unlimited investment possibilities. Learn more of them and select the best one for you, based on financial insights on the biggest UAE companies by profit in 2018. We at Global Database created this rating according to our company intelligence platform data on Middle East business. All the data it contains is verified daily.
Whether you’re planning to enter the Middle East market or just interested in potential possibilities across the GCC, UAE is the country to be considered. And it is important to be prepared when trying to have business with local companies. This Top 30 public companies in the UAE by profit in 2018 will be of use for this purpose.
the big dogs of Saudi Arabia business, access their financial insights and evaluate the Saudi market correctly. Check out the Top-30 largest public companies by assets in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD
*UAE was converted to USD using an average currency rate of 3.67 UAE to 1 USD
1. Etisalat Group ($2,7B)
Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC (further Etisalat), once the most influential company in the UAE (Forbes, 2012), today is still proudly successful. In 2018 it kept its leading position in terms of profit ($2,7B) and was the second UAE public company by market value ($40B). Etisalat operates 6 subsidiaries, serving customers in 15 countries. The company earned $14B in annual sales in 2018 providing telecommunications services to over 170M customers in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
2. First Abu Dhabi Bank ($2.5B)
First Abu Dhabi Bank (further FAB) is the biggest UAE bank by assets. It was created after the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) merger in 2016. FAB is not only the largest Emirates’ bank by all measures: $182B assets, $43B in market value, $6.1B in sales, and $2.5B annual profit. It also is the biggest bank in the Middle East and North Africa and has the most extensive international branch network among the UAE banks. The FAB employees are serving clients in around 20 countries across 5 continents.
3. Emirates NBD Group ($2.3B)
Emirates NBD Group (further Emirates NBD) is officially listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). With its $136B (AED 500.3B) assets, Emirates NBD is one of the biggest Middle East banking groups by total assets. The company operates in 8 countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, employing over 9,000 professionals of 70 nationalities. Its profit for 2018 ($2.3B) and the $13.7B market value made it rank 3rd UAE largest public company by both Forbes and Global Database.
4. Emaar Properties ($1.8B)
Emaar Properties (further Emaar) is the entity behind such major projects as Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It’s the biggest real estate development enterprise in the UAE by profit ($1.8B) in 2018 and has total assets of $30.7B. As an international company, Emaar operates in 36 countries across 5 continents, serving clients through its 60 active branches. Emaar made $5.1B in sales in 2018 generated by its UAE and international projects.
5. DP World ($1.3B)
DP World (further DP) is yet another UAE company formed by the merger of two companies (Dubai Ports International and Dubai Ports Authority). This global port operator has around 80 operating marine and inland terminals in UAE, India, France, Canada and 29 more countries. More than 50 businesses related to port operations in 40 countries brought the company $1.3B in profits and $4.7B in sales in 2018.
6. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ($1.2B)
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (further ADCB) is the third biggest bank in the UAE by assets and the sixth by profit ($1.2B) in 2018. It is a public company with over 60% of shares owned by the state. Near 5,000 employees working for the ADCB Group serve around 1M clients in its 59 branches in the UAE, India and Jersey. All of them contributed to the ADCB’s annual sales of $3.3B and $72B assets as of 2018.
7. Dubai Islamic Bank ($1.2B)
Dubai Islamic Bank (further DIB) is a public company listed on DFM and the world’s 3rd biggest Islamic (Shariah compliant) bank. It serves almost 2M customers through 90 local and multiple international branches from Kenia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bosnia and others. DIB employs over 4,000 professionals that contributed to the good financial results of 2018, such as getting $2.8B in sales and $1.2B in profits (as of 2018).
8. DAMAC Properties ($752M)
DAMAC Properties (further DAMAC) operates in the real estate & construction sector and is focused on property development. The relatively successful 2018 financial year resulted in $2B sales, $752M profit and $6.9B assets for the company. DAMAC Group has an impressive portfolio of over 40,000 units developed across the UAE, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, UK, Qatar and other countries. It includes such big projects as Tower Nine Elms in London and AKOYA Oxygen in Dubai.
9. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ($626M)
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (further ADIB) is a bank and financial services sector representative from Abu Dhabi, that is fully Shariah compliant. The ADIB has around 100K shareholders, owning 71% of the company’s shares, besides the founders holding their 29%. ADIB is listed on the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX). As a result of a fruitful year, the company made $1.7B in sales and $626M in profits in 2018, while its assets were $33.6B as of the end of 2018.
10. Mashreq Bank (569M)
Mashreqbank psc (further Mashreq) is a private bank from UAE with current assets of $34.1B. It was the first in the region to provide several banking services, like loans, debit and credit cards, and install ATMs. Besides local offices, Mashreq operates 12 branches in 9 countries, managed by over 4,000 employees. They generated $2.5B in sales and $569M in profits in 2018 and allowed the bank to enter the Top-10 UAE public companies by profit in 2018 according to Global Database.
11. Aldar Properties ($546M)
Aldar Properties PJSC (further Aldar Properties) is a company from Abu Dhabi real estate and construction sector, developing and managing real estate facilities and investments. The company’s shares are listed on ADX. Though relatively small (less than 400 employees), Aldar Properties manages major projects, such as Ferrari World and Coconut Island. 2018 was the year of achieving good sales ($1.7B) and profit ($546M) and the forecast for 2019 is optimistic too.
12. ADNOC Distribution ($492M)
ADNOC Distribution is a public subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (UAE oil enterprise, owned by the state), that was created to market and distribute ADNOC products. This subsidiary manages multiple service stations in the UAE, providing aviation fuel and bunkering services at airports and ports. ADNOC Distribution also owns an automotive lubricants brand, that is distributed in the Persian Gulf region. These activities resulted in $5.4B in sales and $492 in profits for the company in 2018.
13. du ($466M)
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (further du) provides mobile and landline telephone services, as well as TV and internet to customers from the Emirates. Etisalat (the No1 in our rating) is its main competitor with a monopoly everywhere except free zones. Around 3,000 employees are serving over 5M subscribers of du, that brought $3.5B in sales in 2018. The company started offering mobile services in 2007 and has acquired almost 2M clients just in 12 months registering a 157% revenue growth in that period.
14. Union National Bank ($451M)
Union National Bank (further UNB) is one of the leading local banks, located in Abu Dhabi and operating in UAE (across 56+ locations) and Egypt. The company’s stock is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, as the bank’s market value is $3.6B. Its profit of $451M for 2018 were achieved due to $1.4B in sales for the same year. As the most local banks, UNB has a subsidiary, called The Al Wifaq Finance Company, that provides Shariah-compliant personal and corporate services.
15. Gulf Medical Projects Company ($391M)
Gulf Medical Projects Co PSC (further GMPC) is a public healthcare company from the UAE, based in Sharjah, that registered profits of $391M in 2018. The company operates across the whole Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area, managing hospitals and medicine product factories. GMPC also trades medical equipment. These activities contributed to the $371M market value of the company as of 2018.
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16. TAQA ($284M)
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (further TAQA) is a public oil and gas enterprise from Abu Dhabi. TAQA is listed on ADX and, as one of the key UAE enterprises, is 75% indirectly owned by the local government. The company manages over 60 subsidiaries in the Gulf region (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq), Africa, Europe and Asia. This oil giant’s assets supply around 85% of the power generated in Abu Dhabi. TAQA registered $284M in profits in 2018.
17. Commercial Bank Of Dubai ($273M)
Commercial Bank Of Dubai (further CBD) is one of the biggest banks in the Gulf region by assets ($19.2B) and one of the 30 largest public companies in UAE by profit ($273M in 2018). As most of the local banks, CBD operates a fully Shariah-compliant subsidiary Attijari Al-Islami. The bank is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) with a market value of $3.1B.
18. Reem Investments ($267M)
Reem Investments is an investment company from Abu Dhabi, working in real estate & construction sector. With $267M profit in 2018, the company was ranked 18th in the Global Database rating of the most prominent UAE public companies by profit. Reem Investment is one of the Reem Island (the first free zone in Abu Dhabi) projects developers. The company is sharing the island’s 6.5M sq.m. surface with two more developers - Aldar Properties PJSC and Tamouh.
19. Dubai Investments ($254M)
Dubai Investments PJSC (further Dubai Investments) is the biggest investment company from the DFM with $1.6B market value and almost 24,000 shareholders. The company operates in investment, construction, raw glass production and aluminium extraction through its 46 subsidiaries across the Middle East. The Dubai Investments’ activity in 2018 resulted in $759M in sales and $254M in profit for the company.
20. RAKBANK ($220M)
National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PJSC (further RAKBANK) is one of the UAE’s biggest banks and financial services companies. It is traded on ADX and has a market value of $1.9B. The bank operates 39 departments and almost 300 ATMs across the United Arab Emirates. It also has a fully Shariah-compliant subsidiary RAKBANK AMAL. Altogether, these generated $1.1B in sales and a $220M profit in 2018.
21. Air Arabia ($180M)
Air Arabia is an airline, providing low-cost passenger transportation services to clients across the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe. The airline works with an enormous number of destinations. It manages flights to 172 destinations from the UAE, 28 destinations from Morocco and 6 - from Egypt. It is on the 21st place among the largest UAE public companies in 2018 with $180M in profits for that year.
22. Sharjah Islamic Bank ($130M)
Sharjah Islamic Bank (further SIB) is a fully Shariah-compliant bank from the UAE, traded on ADX, with $952M market value. Sharjah Islamic Bank provides retail, investment and corporate services according to the Islamic regulations to its clients through 36 branches and 138 ATMs. SIB managed to generate $452M in sales and $130M in profits in 2018.
23. National Bank Of Fujairah ($129M)
National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (further NBF) is a corporate bank from the UAE, listed on ADX with a market value of $1.5B. NBF is one of the 50 safest Middle East banks in 2017 and one of the 30 biggest public companies in UAE in 2018. The bank’s real estate, financial and hotel subsidiaries brought it an impressive revenue in 2018. Here are other key financial indicators of the National Bank of Fujairah for the past year: sales - $521M, profit - $129M, assets - $10B.
24. Aramex ($124M)
Arab American Express (further Aramex) is a public company from the transportation sector, providing international logistics, express and mail delivery services. Aramex network of 40 independent companies employs over 14,000 professionals, that managed to achieve $1.3B in sales in 2018 and $124M profit in the same year. They are serving customers via 54 companies across the globe.
25. Waha Capital ($124M)
Waha Capital is an investment company from Abu Dhabi, traded on ADX with $1B market value. The assets managed by Waha capital are from real estate, financial services, healthcare, energy and other fields. Together they are worth $3.1B and generated $124M in profits in 2018. Waha Capital’s investment strategy includes 8 companies working primarily in the Middle East and North Africa regions’ emerging economies.
26. Tabreed ($109M)
National Central Cooling Company PJSC (further Tabreed) is the largest UAE cooling company. It is also listed as one of the most prominent local public companies by profit ($124M). Tabreed is behind such significant projects as The Dubai Metro and Jabal Omar Project in the Holy City of Mecca, as well as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, etc. The company manages 72 plants across the 5 Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with a total capacity of 1.09 refrigerated tonnes as of 2017.
27. National Bank Of Umm Al Qaiwain ($101M)
National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain (further NBQ) is a public company from UAE, the main stake of which is owned by the Umm Al Qaiwain government. The two main segments NBQ operates in through its 14 branches are treasury & investments and corporate & retail banking. These operations generated $163M in sales and $101M in profits for the company in 2018. As it is common among UAE banks, NBQ operates a Shariah-compliant subsidiary.
28. Orient Insurance ($98M)
Orient Insurance PJSC (further Orient Insurance) is one of the biggest UAE insurance companies. Orient Insurance is traded on DFM for $90.3M as market value. It has operations across 3 business segments (investments, life and general insurance) and offers 2 types of products (personal and commercial line insurance). Together they managed to generate sales of $321M and profit of $98M in 2018.
29. RAK Ceramics ($86M)
RAK Ceramics PJSC (further RAK Ceramics) is one of the world’s biggest ceramics brands. The scale of this ceramic production is astounding: 110M sq.m of tiles and 5M sanitaryware pieces, 24M tableware pieces - these are just some of its annual production capacity indicators. The company operates subsidiaries in UAE and 6 more countries that employ over 15,000 professionals. All of them generated $778M yearly income and $86M in profits in 2018.
30. Dana Gas ($83M)
Dana Gas is a public gas exploration and production company from Sharjah with Crescent Petroleum as the biggest private shareholder. It is listed on ADX with a market value of $2B. The company operates assets in 3 countries, including the home country, being quite successful. Dana Gas registered $144M net income in 2018, as well as $450M sales and $83M profit.
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