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Mineral Water Market in Abu Dhabi

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One of the industries which have recorded a high growth rate is mineral water industry. Like the ICT industry, mineral water industry has taken the world by storm recording a high rate of growth compared to other beverages.  Buoyed by the heightened consumer interest in clean pure water, mineral water industry has recorded high rates of growth not only in the developed world but also in the developing world.  Since the middle of the 20th century, there has been growing consumer interest in their health and safety with. Mineral water is a part of the market drive strategy that has been used by the food and beverage companies to assure consumers that their health is taken care of.  Consumer shift towards nature and health as well as gourmet food has been a contributory factor towards the increasing popularity of mineral water.

One of the regions in the world where mineral water market has been growing rapidly is the Middle East regions. Although endowed with reserves of millions of barrels of oil, the region is faced with water scarcity. As might be expected in such a region, the presence of fresh water resources is a real challenge that these countries in the region may be facing.  The existing reserves of fresh water are fast dwindling as the climate pattern changes in the world.  It has been recorded that two thirds which is approximately 30 million cubic meters of desalinated water which is produced in the world is found in this regions.  Considering the presence of the fresh water in the UAE region, only Oman is considered to be above the “water poverty line”. Statistics collected in 2004 showed that in the Middle East region, UAE was coming second after Saudi Arabia in terms of overall water consumption accounting for 26% of the total consumption.

  Since the end of the gulf war, there has been renewed growth in the region which as seen an increase in the number of tourist visiting the Middle East either for business or for other purposes. The increasing number of tourist means that the region has to standardize the quality of life for the visitors with the world standards which have led to emergence of the water sector as one of the dominant industries in the regions. From once a reserve for large hotels in the region, mineral water is currently sold in all large and retail markets in the region. One of the regions in the Middle East that has spurred growth in the region is the United Arab Emirates. Apart from being the leading producer of crude oil, UAE is also attracting millions of tourist every year. Abu Dhabi is the largest of the emirates that make up UAE. It has also been rated as the richest emirate and leading oil produce r in the world. However in terms of tourists, Abu Dhabi comes second after Dubai but it has pt in place developments that will ensure it catch up with Dubai. Abu Dhabi is also the largest consumer of mineral water in UAE and has most companies operating in the region.

Mineral water market in Abu Dhabi has turned out to be a war of brands.  There are more than 10 brands which have been established in the market and more and more brands are coming into the limelight. Due to the increasing flow of tourists in the emirate, there is presence of locally manufacture brands as well as import of brands which are recognized all over the world. This has bee in drive to grant visitors a taste of the local brand as well as ensure that there is a brand they can recognize. The marketing strategy of various players in the market also shows that there has been price water and target market competition with different companies packing their water in size that meet the retail and whole sale market.  There are packages of as large as 1.5 liters and as small as 330 mls.  There are other areas including marketing strategies which have been adopted by these companies which clearly shows that water market is set for a higher competition. As more players come in the market, we are likely to find more competitive measures adopted by the major players in the market in order to create a market niche for their brands.

In this paper we are going to review the mineral water market in Abu Dhabi emirate.  First we are gong to understand the emirates and the reason why it has become one of the leading tourist destinations in the Middle East. Second we are going to review the mineral water market in the larger UAE for us to have larger picture of the competitiveness of Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Finally we will narrow down to the mineral water market in Abu Dhabi understanding all the major players and then looking at the marketing strategies which have been adopted by the major players in the market.

Country description

Abu Dhabi is the richest and the largest of the seven emirates that makes up United Arab Emirates. The actual Abu Dhabi city is a 10 mile long island but it is over 85% of the total areas that makes up UAE. It is a major player in the world economy especially in the supply of the precious crude oil that drives our economy. The emirate pumps more than two million barrels of oil every day and has been said to own reserves which can last for more than 150 years.

Apart from the largest and the richest, the emirates have the highest population compared to other emirates that makes up the UAE. According to the 2005 statistics, Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.3 millions which made it the most populated of the seven emirates.   This means that Abu Dhabi more than the other six emirates is likely to be a leading market in the region and any company that wish to trade in UAE must consider Abu Dhabi first.

In term of the economy, Abu Dhabi has been experiencing a double digit economic growth for the last five years.  In 2005 the economy grew by 12% while in 2006 it grew by 10.5%.  It has since then marinated the same inertia in growth.  Unlike other oil producing countries where the companies depend on the oil and gas for their economy, Abu Dhabi has diversified its economic base with trade playing a bigger role in the overall growth of the economy. Non oil and gas revenues currently make up more than 64% of the total revenues in the country.  The increased diversification of the economy has seen the entrant of more players in the region with the expatriate work force playing a crucial role in the overall growth of the economy. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)

It is a leading tourist destination coming only after Dubai. Recently it has started building seven star hotels like seven stars Emirates Palace which rivals Dubai seven stars Burj al Arab. Like other region of the world, Abu Dhabi has experienced a high inflow of foreigners who are coming to work in different fields while others are coming as business people.  For example according to the 2005 statistics, nationals were making up only 20% of the total population while the mixed non nationals were making up the rest 80% of the population.  There is a very large number of Indians and Pakistan and resides from other European the South Asian countries living in the emirate.

This is not unusual scene in the Gulf region where the nationals make up a minority of the total population.  However this trend is extreme in UAE than in other countries in the gulf.  The presence of a large number of expatriate labors skews the demographic typography of the region.

Market analysis

Bottled water market in the world is one of the rapidly growing markets in the world. The global water consumption has risen from 78 billion liters to more than 180 billion in less than a decade. In the global arena, the United States leads in bottled water consumption with a demand of more than 28.6 billion liter in 2005. However it is estimated that since 2005, the demand for bottled water in Indian has more than tripled and demand in China has more than doubled. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008) This means that the global bottled water market is poised to grow in the future going by the trend in the last one decade. With a large segment of the country being dry, water is one of the most precious commodities in the United Arabs Emirate. With more and more tourist coming to the UAE, there is a growing population which is driving water demand up.  The annual demand for water has been on the rise and more and more new players are establishing their operations in the country.

UAE is the world largest per capita water consumer and Abu Dhabi being the largest consumer in UAE it means that it is the leading per capita water consumer in the world.  Unlike in other countries where water consumption is segment to particular sectors only, Abu Dhabi show that fresh water is used for all purpose from industrial use to home use.  UAE consumes more than 3.4 million cubic meters every year leading in the world and closely followed by United States and Canada.  Considering the per capita terms, this makes up approximately 378 liters per day which is closely followed by the United States with 256 liters per day.

UAE also comes second as the largest produce of desalinated water with approximate 950 million cubic meters produced every year. It is closely followed by Saudi Arabia.  As a result, UAE has seen increased establishment of desalination plants rising to 5 plants by 2007. There have been efforts by the country to set up the world largest desalination complex in Dubai which will have a capacity to produce more than 3 million cubic meters of desalinated water every day.  Abu Dhabi is following suit and the government also intend to set up such a complex to increase it fresh water supply to the residents.

One of the key factors driving up demand for water in Abu Dhabi and in the whole of UAE is the industrial demand which is catalyzed by the increased industrial growth in all sectors.  Since 1960s, there has been increase growth of the various industries ranging from manufacturing sector, hospitability industry, real estate industry, agriculture and the desire to have green lawns in the ever enlarging desert.  This has led to the development of national policies especially in regard to the use of energy and water resources. As a result Abu Dhabi and UAE in general have been rated to have the largest ecological footprint from the decision to cut the national water consumption by half. For example Abu Dhabi has come up with a national policy that is aiming at reducing the national water consumption per capita from 550 gallon to 250 gallon in the next five years. However analysts have argued that this may not be achieved given the fact that there are other objectives which have been set to stir the economic growth of the sector. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)

In the drinking water segment, there are many local branded water products which are sold in the UAE region.  The demand for drinking water has been on the rise with the ever growing population and today more than 500 million liters of bottled water are needed everyday in the region.   In order to meet this demand, companies have come up with various initiatives in order to satisfy the market.  There are three key sources of bottled drinking water in the country which include; (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)

  • Natural underground sources which is used by the market leaders in the water bottling industry
  • Desalinated water
  • Imported water brands

These varied sources of water are particularly dictated by the government regulation polices and the consumer preference.  Imported brands of water have found a place in the market due to the fact that more and more tourists prefer the imported brands as compared to the local brands. At the same time, most of the imported brands retail at a higher price and therefore most individuals prefer to purchase the local brands which may be cheaper. Therefore the source market forcers dictate the sources of water used in the market.

There are three main top local sellers in market which accounts for the largest market share.  The three main players include;

  • Masafi which holds 37.9% of the market and which is well water based
  • Al Ain holding 23.6%  of the market  which sells purified treated water
  • PepsiCo has 6.6% of the total market share which like Masafi is well-water based

However it has been argued that these water sources are almost the same and the water undergo the same process. The issue of the source of water is used as a marketing strategy by the companies since they are aware that more consumers are likely to prefer well water. The only difference in the water is the treatment process where reverse osmosis is used to further remove salts and brand specifications are then added.  However despite the biting demand for water in the country, some leading companies like Masafi have been exporting up to 30% of their current consumer sized production   to many regions in the world including GCC, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. There is no government restriction on the export of water from the country and therefore it is marketing strategies that may put a company in the international market.

There are many challenges that are facing the Abu Dhabi market especially with regard to consumer health. In 2007, the consumer market was bombarded with media concerns that were related to bottled water products.  Consumers were drawn to attention regarding the presence of up to 100 ppb of bromate which is a carcinogen bi-product used in the desalination process in the country. This was portrayed as contrary to the UN and WHO recommendation which is 10 ppb. At the same time there as a growing concern from World Wildlife Fund report which also portrayed negative environmental impact of the process of desalinations which include brine build up, coastal area destruction, increased emission of green house gases and reduce wetland conservation measures.  At the same time, local doctors also cautioned the reuse of PET water bottles which is a common practice in the country and which is peaking steam in the world.  The practice which involved breaking down plastic bottles for reuse with the inside coat wearing away and releasing dangerous carcinogens which are harmful to the health of the people.  The headlines in the press showed warnings of “Killer Bottle Warning” which was meant to awaken consumer concerns. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)

 There have also been concerns about the bottling of unfit water in the country and there has been yanking of Armenian made bottled water from the shelves since they consist of excessive amount of arsenic products.  There have also been concerns from the U.S that man-made bacteria and arsenic products have been found in the 22% of more than 103 brands of bottled waters which have been sampled for testing in the market.  This in a way has dented the image of most local brands and driven by desire for consumer to have internationally accredited brands increasing the import share of the market.

Abu Dhabi being the largest of the seven emirates that makes up UAE has a large population which is driving water demand up. Abu Dhabi market demand reflects the larger market situation in the United Arable Emirates since most of the companies in this industrial segment operate from Abu Dhabi. Its size and large population forms a perfect market for most industries.  With the recent drive towards increasing the number of tourist in the emirate, the demand for clean water is also increasing at a rapid rate.

Since the turn of the millennium, the water demand in Abu Dhabi especially the bottled water segment has been on the rise prompting government directives which are aimed at reducing the overall water consumption. One of the UK based study carried out in the early 2000s showed that every resident in the emirate consume about 220 liters of bottle water every year. A recent study carried out in 2006 showed that this figure had risen to 319 liters of bottled water every year.  This means that the Abu Dhabi residents have become leading consumers of bottled mineral water in the world.  Bottled water remains the most consumed drink in the emirate.  Compared to the other emirates, Abu Dhabi has a high water demand accounting for more than 47% of the total water demand in the UAE.

According to Abu Dhabi National Foodstaff Company (FOODCO) the total mineral water sales is valued at Dh 338 million ever years in (UAE UAE Interact, 2005).   This means that UAE one of the leading consumer of mineral water in the world.  The demand for water has been growing over the years with the increased desalination of water in most areas which previously supplied fresh water. This demand has also been driven by the increasing number of tourists and foreign workers who are flocking the region every year.

The total volume of mineral water was 496 million liters every year.  However since the turn of the millennium, the total volume of water consumption has been increasing with a marked increase in the areas where the population is growing at a rapid rate.

 The highest water sales in UAE  was in Abu Dhabi which made up more than 47 percent o f the total volume of water sold in UAE while Dubai and Sharjah combined  comes second with 38% of the total sales. The other emirates follow with about 15% of the total market share. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)


Consumer for bottled water in Abu Dhabi is not segmented but somehow seems homogeneous. Water consumption in the emirate is not reserve of the rich only but since water is a necessity life, lack of source for clean water makes it imperative for all individuals regardless of their economic status to consumer bottled water.

However there are differences in the water consumption spectrum which are evidenced in eth size of water bottles purchased.  Although this is not considered as a reflection of consumer segmentation, there are those individuals who purchase the bulk 5 gallon bottled water persist for organizational or family use while there are those who purchase individual 330 mL bottles.  With more and more companies coming on board and more brands on the shelves, there is a growing trend toward provision of  bottled water size the reflected the demand of the market.  There is also an evident segmentation in the market based on price of the bottled water. For example  in the 1.5 liter segment, there are brands which sell for more than 6.5 AED shelf price while  there are others which retail  as low as 0.85 AEd shelf price.  Price has been cited as one of the leading consumer segmentation factor with the upper market consumers preferring to purchase the imported brands like Evian from France which retail at 6.5 AED shelf price.  On the other hand there are those who preference the local brands like Home Choice which retail at 0.85 AED shelf price.

However there are cultural and religious factors which are at play in the emirate which dictate the consumption market.  For example the efforts to put up complex water purification plant which would see increased purification of sewerage water has been met by resistance from the locals. When Singaporean technology peddling officials drank sewerage water that had been treated in the emirate, the residence swiftly claimed that “may be in Singapore not here”. This clearly shows that there are cultural and religious issues at play in the water consumption market.

Competition and marketing mix

Competition presents a market landscape in which brand try to outshine the other in the market and therefore acquire a larger market segment than the competing brand. Every marketing strategy that is taken by a company is aimed at ensuring that their brands are on top of the market. The competitiveness of a brand in the market is important as it determines how the brand will performs in the market.

Competition determines the entry and exit of a brand in the market. When the market competition is low, there will be more brands entering the market while a higher competition may see some brands exist the market. The more competitive the brand in the market, the more it is likely to acquire larger market segment and therefore its longer sustainability.

The level of competition in Abu Dhabi is getting tougher each and every day. There are more than 103 brands that are competing in the Abu Dhabi mineral water market segment and it is expected that the level of competition may not relent any soon. To take the notch of competition higher companies have started importing internally recognized brands like Evian which means that the competitive landscape has moved from competitive measure like price and quality is becoming a factor in the market. Even with Evian trading at a higher retail price than most local brands, it still has a higher market niche which portrays consumer segmentation based on quality aspect.  Analysts have argued that competition the Abu Dhabi market is no more about water but it is more about beverages now.  There is a constant pressure that is felt by the local and internal brands in the market to stand out and compete with others. (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008)

As a result, market strategists have spent sleepless nights formulating new marketing strategies, new formats, extension of categories, and new marketing campaigns which are meant to ensure that they capture the attention of the shoppers. Since we cannot cover all the companies operating in the market in this paper, we are going to select some companies that are very competitive in the market and some which have not performed well in the market. We will review five companies, their brands and their marketing strategies to get a picture of the situation in the market.

(i) Danome premium

Donome Premium beverage is one of the companies which have successfully ventured in the upper market segment in Abu Dhabi.  The company   has number of brads in the market including Hayawiya Natural Mineral Water which was launched in December after performing magnificently in Saudi Arabia and Evian which is considered as one of the success story for the company.

In the market landscape and as per the level of competition, Danome can be considered third in the overall market performance (Arabian Business.com 2008). A 2007 study revealed that it had a bout 15% share of the supermarket and hypermarkets in the emirate and in the whole UAE.   At the same time its brand, Evian comes third in terms of overall market consumption in the market.  This brand has a market segment that reflects consumers’ life style.  Most of them are well educated, conscious of their health, those seeking the latest fashion in the market and those who enjoy fun in a world brand. Let us look at the marketing mix for the product

  1. Product

In marketing, the product is the most important thing that defines the strategies that a company will take towards reaching its consumers.  The product in our case is Evian water brand which is important from France.  Evian comes in different sizes to meet the individual needs of the consumers and ranges from 1.5 liters, 2 liters, 1 liters and 750 ml sports cap. Evian is marketed as a global change and more premiums.  Unlike other water which has undergone desalination, Evian brand is marketed as water that has undergone more than 15 year of filtration through the permeable rocks of the Alp Mountains without any alteration or chemical addition.  Evian is the leading brand in the imported water category not only in Abu Dhabi but also in the whole of Middle East.  In Abu Dhabi and the whole of UAE, Evian comes third in terms of retail market share with 15% of the total market. In addition to Evian, Danome also market Hayawiya Natural Mineral water which is also available at 1.5 Liters and 0.5 liters. In addition, this brand is marketed more like a beverage with Hayawiya fruits, lemon, peach, strawberry, apples and other variety. (Arabian Business.com 2008)

  1. Price

The pricing strategy for the products has been determined by the sources and the target market of the product. The company uses high price strategy to create a competitive edge among the upper market segment.  Therefore both Evian and Hayawiya are marketed above the market prices retailing as the most expensive brands in the market. For example in 2007, Evian was the most expensive brand for the 1.5 Liters categories trading at 6.5 AED shelf price (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008).  Therefore higher pricing strategy has been used to segment the consumer market since it is only the upper consumer market that most consumers the brand

  1. Promotion

Promotion is an important factor that creates consumer awareness of the product. The company has taken various promotion activities which are aimed at ensuring that there is eventual growth of its brand in the market. The company has used below and above the line advertisement strategies including mass media advertisement, off street sampling and many others to ensure that growth of its product in the market.  The company has also taken into corporate social responsibility through the establishment of Ramsar’s protection of wetland areas and Evian protection Institutes. In terms of promotion, Danome has used a huge segment of its revenues to market its brands

  1. Place

Initially, the product was sold only in the large supermarkets and hotels where the target market was morel likely. The high prices and the target market initially made the brands difficult to compete with others in the market. However research shows that even in the economically deprived market segment, there will be a certain percentage that will prefer imported products to local product. The company therefore started marketing its product in the retail market and has since then cut a niche in the market.  The company has a distribution chain cutting thorough wholesalers to retailers. The company also has an online ordering and delivery which puts it in unique marketing position

(ii) Masafi

Masafi is the undisputed leader in the bottled water segment not only in Abu Dhabi but also in the whole of UAE.   The company distributes more than 320 million bottles every year in UAE which is ranked as having the highest per capita water consumption in the world.  The company has a 41% share of the bottled water market and a 37% market share in Abu Dhabi. The company also exports more than 30% of its bottled water in Japan, Germany and UK. Apart from the bottled water the company has secured 5% of the total fruit juice segment. In the bottled water segment, the company exclusively sells Masafi which is the leading local brand in the market.  However the company has other interests in the market. Let us look at the marketing strategy for Masafi brand (Maktoob Business, 2007a)

  1. Product

In terms of product, Masafi comes with a grate innovation to put a product that sells in the market. Masafi bottled water has been packaged in a 1.5 Liters packs, 1 liter, 500 ml, 330 mls (regular and sports), 330 ml kids packing  and mineral water cups which comes in size of 250 ml, 200 ml, and 125 ml. This clearly indicates the consumer market for the product is homogenous targeting all the market segments in the market. The larger packages target organizations and families while the smaller packages are meant for individual consumers (Stensgaard, 2002). In order to keep up with competition from other companies like Denome which as introduced flavored mineral water for the Evian brand, Masafi has also introduced flavored water products which has an energy components of 25 Kcal for 100 ml. Its floured water category has seen entry of strawberry, lemon, and peach flavored water with lemon mint begin most successful.  The company was the first to operate in the flavored water segment.  A 2007survery revealed that Masafi flavored water had acquired a 65.5 % market share in that category (Maktoob Business, 2007a).

  1. Price

Being a local company and getting its product locally, Masafi has a standardized price for its products.  Unlike Evian brand which target the upper market segment, Masafi targets a homogenous local and international market and therefore its local prices are highly standardized.  For example a 1.5 Liters bottle markets at 1.25 AED shelf price as compared to 6.5 AED shelf price for Evian (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008). This price is within the range of most local companies in the region.  Analysts have argued pricing strategy and quality has been some of the leading factors that have helped the Masafi brand to acquire a larger market segment compared to the other brands.

  1. Promotion

Intense advertisement has been one of the key factors that have helped the company to acquire a large market segment. Unlike other companies which prefer to use their own system in promoting their product, Masafi has hired external marketing communication partners – Wunderman and PanGulf PR who provides the company with strategic consultation, creative and the execution of the marketing communication strategies.  However like all other companies it has used intensive advertisement in the mass media, public places, and through corporate social responsibility activities. (Abbott, 2007)

  1. Place

With such a large market segment, the company has come up with a distribution system that reaches all the segments of the market.  Since the company was established in 1976, it has put up a stronger distribution network which is in line with delivering dynamic market requirements and the company has from time to time upgraded its production system in line with the changing technology and market demand. In the local market, the company has put up a distribution network with wholesalers at the middle and retailers taking the product to the market. However large retailers like Hotels and other also purchase the products directly from the company. The company also has an online ordering and delivery which puts it in unique marketing position

(iii) Al Ain mineral water Company

Al Ain Mineral Water Company was established in 1990. The initial operation of the company included the bottling and distribution of mineral water and juice and production of plastics and glass.  Today the company has been acquired by the larger AGTHIA in its strategy to enter into the lucrative beverage market. Al Ain has a number of brands in the market including Al Ain Water, Al Ain water + Ice crystal with more than three branches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah Emirates.  Al Ain has the second largest market share in Abu Dhabi with more than 23.6% of the retail market share. Let us look at its marketing strategies (Maktoob Business, 2007b).

  1. Product

The company retails three main brands in the market including Al Ain Water, Al Ain water +, and Ice crystal. Since the company was acquired by AGTHIA, it was given the exclusive right to market Ice Crystal making it debut entry in the 5 gallon water category.  Al Ain is mainly a local brand which means water is sourced and bottled locally at its Abu Dhabi plant. To wake up the increasing level of competition, the company launched water+ in 2008 which has calcium and fluoride added and meant for children under the age of 13 years.  The company sells its products in 5 liters, 1.5 liters, 500 ml, and 330 mls. It has also products packed in 250 ml and 100 ml cups. (Maktoob Business, 2007b)

  1. Price

Being local brand, Al Ain is sensitive to the local market price and as competition peaks, pricing strategy has remained the option of many companies. Like its leading competitor Masafi, Al Ain also retails its 1.5 Liter bottle as 1.25 AED shelf price (Agriculture and Agric-Food Canada, 2008).  This means that there is a high likelihood that it has used pricing strategy to compete in the market which clearly indicates the mineral water price wars in the market.  In 2007 the company re-launched its products in a new packaged logo to have more market appeal to the consumers.

  1. Promotion

The company has been taking different measures to promote its product. However promotion of the products is squarely on the hands of the company unlike Masafi which has contracted external communication Strategy Company.  The company also used below and above the line marketing strategies including mass media advertisement, off-street sampling, and many others. (Zawya, 2008)

  1. Place

Through acquisition by AGTHIA, Al Ain sold its exclusive distribution right to the company. However this was advantageous in that the company could now use the distribution chain that was previously used by AGTHIA. In 2007 the company further acquires the Ice crystal brand which extended its distribution network. Acquisition of Abu Dhabi based Ice Crystal five gallon water brand marked the entry of the company in the Abu Dhabi market. The company also has an online ordering and delivery which puts it in unique marketing position (Nolan, 2007)

(iv) Awafi mineral water Est

Awafi Mineral Water Company is based in Abu Dhabi and has sizable share of the market. The company has only Awafi brand in the market. This brand is produced and market locally and therefore like others it is facing a still local competition. However the company has mounted a marketing strategy that has ensured its survival in the market. (Awafi, 2008)

  1. Product

The company retails Awafi brand in the market. This brand comes in size of 5 gallon, 1.5 Liters, 500 mls and 330 mls and disposable cups in sizes of 250 ml, 200 ml and 150 ml. Unlike other companies that we have reviewed Awafi has not diversified its products and currently it is still selling one pure mineral water brand in the market. (Awafi, 2008)

  1. Price

The company has strived to use price competitive advantage but it has maintained its prices to the local standards of the competing companies. In the event of the escalating price wars between the companies, it has maintained standard local prices that can compete with the local brands (Awafi, 2008)

  1. Promotion

Like its competitors, mass media advertisement on radio, Television, and public places remains the most effective means of reaching the consumers. The company has also participated in a number of corporate social responsibilities as a way of reaching its consumers

  1. Place

The company has a local distribution chain which involves wholesalers and retailers. However it supplies its brands direct to the big retailers like supermarkets, hotels, and others. The company also has an online ordering and delivery which puts it in unique marketing position

(iv) Super Gulf

Super Gulf is one of the oldest companies in the market which was established in 1988. Compared to the rest other companies, the company has not bee able to acquire a large market segment and has only two brand in the market including Super Gulf and El Marwa. (Super Gulf, 2003)

  1. Product

The company retails two brands only, Super Gulf and Marwa. These two brands are targeted for the large homogenous market and they come in packages of 5 gallon, 1.5 liter, 500 ml, and disposable cups of 200 ml.  The water bottled by the company is obtained locally through desalination.

  1. Price

Like other local brands, the company has risen up to the level of competition in the market. The company has been retailing its 1.5 liters at 1.25 AED shelf price (Super Gulf, 2003).  Pricing strategy has been used as one of the most important marketing strategy by the company.

  1. Promotion

The company uses various marketing strategies but mainly through advertisement in the mass media, public places and in other ways.  Compared to other brands, the company has not effectively advertised its products which may be the reason for its underperformance in the market. (Super Gulf, 2003)

  1. Place

The company has put up distribution network through braches in Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaima, Umm Al Quwian and Abu Dhabi.  The company has been put a distribution network to al the interior markets.  .


UAE is the largest per capita water consumer in the world. Abu Dhabi which is the largest and the richest emirate in the country represent a total of 47% of the water consumed. This means that Abu Dhabi is a leading water market. Since the 1990s, the bottled water landscape has grown and become more competitive.   There are locally produced brands as well as international brand in the Abu Dhabi market while some companies like Masafi has bee exporting its products to other countries.  From our review, it is clear that there is price wars in the market and most companies have tried to adopt a locally standardized price which shows that pricing strategy forms an important marketing strategy. However the imported brands like Evian have segmented the market and are retailing at a higher price mainly targeting the upper market. It is also very clear that apart from the price wars, companies have been coming up with most innovative products re-branding their products now and then to create a competitive edge in the market. Abu Dhabi mineral water market remains one of the most competitive in the world.


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