UAE general public and business leaders favourable towards Government to guide economy, says new CNBC / Burson-Marsteller study
  • First-ever CNBC/Burson-Marsteller corporate perception indicator reveals favourability towards UAE Government is 83 per cent amongst UAE general public and 90 per cent in the business community 
  • More than half (52 per cent) of the general public trust the UAE government most to guide the national economy, significantly more  than they trust academics, entrepreneurs or corporations against global average of 23 per cent
  •  Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the UAE general public have a favourable view of corporations 

Favourability towards the UAE government is overwhelmingly high with 83 per cent of the general public and 90 per cent of business executives citing a “favourable” view of the leadership compared to a global average of 43 per cent, according to the first CNBC/Burson-Marsteller Corporate Perception Indicator.

The Corporate Perception Indicator: A Global Survey from Main Street to the Executive Suite polled 25,000 individuals from the general population and 1,800 business leaders in 25 countries, including the UAE, on their opinions about the role of corporations in society and the economy. International polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which has its Middle East headquarters in Dubai, conducted the study. In the UAE, 923 online interviews with the general public and 75 with business leaders were conducted from June 28 - August 15, 2014. The poll was conducted in partnership with Burson-Marsteller, the parent company of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the leading public relations consultancy in the Middle East.

The UAE places a great deal of trust in the country’s national government to guide the economy compared to the global average. More than half (52 per cent) of the UAE general public polled, trust the UAE government most to guide the national economy, more so than academics (11 per cent), entrepreneurs (11 per cent) or corporations (10 per cent). The UAE findings are significantly higher than the global average at 23 percent of the general public.

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of UAE residents and almost all (95 per cent) of business executives view corporations favorably; however the two groups differ significantly on the type of corporations they trust more. While 62 per cent of the UAE general public trust publicly traded businesses more than they trust privately held corporations; in contrast, 60 per cent of UAE business executives trust privately held businesses more than publicly traded businesses.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Company reputation: The UAE general public believes the technology sector (59 per cent), airlines (54 per cent) and the oil & gas industry (48 per cent) have the best corporate reputation.
  • Government influence: Over half (51 per cent) say the government has the most influence on their daily life while just 16 per cent say corporates have the most influence.
  • Corporate social responsibility: Over half of UAE adults (55 per cent) believe corporations do not communicate enough about social responsibility. While one third of UAE adults are looking to hear from corporations about their efforts to be socially responsible, 29 per cent want information about new products and services, and just 13 per cent about their financial performance. 
The UAE’s results are broadly in line with the survey’s overall headline findings. The poll uncovered a sharp divide between the developed economies of North America and Western Europe, and emerging economies like China, Russia and Brazil, particularly in people’s disposition toward corporate influence over government, corporate stewardship of the environment, and perhaps most importantly, the role corporations play as engines of job creation and economic growth.  

According to the survey, the general public in developed economies has a much more cynical view of corporations compared to the general public in emerging economies. In developed economies, 52 per cent of the general public has a favorable view toward corporations versus 72 per cent of the general public in emerging economies. A deeper dive into those emerging economies finds that the general public and business executives are much more likely to see corporations as a source of hope, rather than fear, when compared to their developed country counterparts.

“We discovered in our initial reporting that there is a serious dearth of data spotlighting the way corporations are perceived from all points of view,” said Nikhil Deogun, SVP & Editor in Chief, CNBC Business News. “These findings will ignite debates and discussions important to CNBC's audience across all platforms.”

“Six years after the economic crisis hit, this major survey makes clear that, while the reputations of corporations and business leaders are improving, there is still real work to do to dispel doubts about their impact,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO of Burson-Marsteller. “The good news is this survey is a corporate compass that points in the direction of even deeper engagement between corporations and their leaders and the broader public about their essential roles in building the economy and improving society.”

For more information including more in-depth results as well as exclusive videos, stories and graphics go to:

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About CNBC

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 371 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

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About Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller

Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with 11 fully-owned offices and 10 affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa. A WPP company within the global Burson-Marsteller network, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is a member of the MENACOM Group. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients through its seven practices in the sectors of Technology, Finance, Healthcare, Energy & Environment as well as Consumer Marketing, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. The firm’s services include reputation management, digital communications, media relation, media monitoring & analysis, design services and event management.

About Penn Schoen Berland

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dubai, New Delhi, Miami, The Dominican Republic and Denver, which are supported by an in-house fielding capability and are fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. More at