(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Website of Dubai real estate developer Emaar Properties PJSC was ranked number one in the UAE for the second consecutive year, it was revealed during the GCC 2010 Hallvarsson & Hallvarsson (H&H) Webranking Survey and Awards.
The announcement was made during the Success in Digital Investor Relations seminar held in Abu Dhabi, which was supported by the Middle East Investor Relations Society. Now in its second edition in the GCC, H&H Webranking is an annual review and ranking of more than 80 of the largest publicly-listed firms in the Gulf region according to their digital investor relations and online communications capabilities. The UAE emerged with the highest score in the survey, and saw a lot of changes in the top 10 with seven new entrants, which is seen as a sign of increased activity.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) took second place while Sorouh Real Estate was at third, maintaining its rank from last year.
Rounding up the top 10 UAE Websites were Aldar Properties, Shuaa Capital, Depa Limited, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Mashreq Bank, du and Dubai Islamic Bank. DEPA was the other company in the top 10 last year, moving up one notch to sixth.
In the overall GCC region standings, Emaar was ranked third, surpassed only by Qatars Al Khalij Commercial Bank and this years top GCC Website, Kuwait telecommunications company Zain.
The other companies in the GCC top 10 were ADCB, Sorouh, Aldar, SABIC, Al Baraka Banking Group, Gulf Finance House and Qatar Telecom. ADCB and Aldar made big leaps this year, jumping 36 and 27 places, respectively.
H&H Webranking also handed out Technical Awards for the first time, with Emaar named as the best in the General Information category. Other UAE companies in the list were NBAD for Financial Information and Sorouh for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Other GCC firms cited in the Technical Awards were Gulf Finance House (Design and Technology), Al Khalij (Corporate Governance) and Zain (in two categories, Press and Social Media).
Companies that topped their countries were Al Baraka Banking Group (Bahrain), Zain (Kuwait), Al Khalij (Qatar) and Sabic (Saudi Arabia).
The number of international investors eyeing up Gulf opportunities is increasing by the day and online competition is an area that regional companies in the Gulf cannot ignore, H&H Executive Partner Staffan Lindgren said.
Any company that wants to compete on an equal footing for international investor attention needs to address good online communication.
The rankings show again that this year, Gulf companies continue to use online medium well for financial disclosure. However, the spread of the results within the region ranges from 10.25 to 35.75 points, showing that the level of Website performance differs a lot among the companies.
The UAE had the highest average score, leapfrogging Bahrain for the top spot.
Comparing the different categories in the survey, it is within General Company Information, Technology and Front Page that Gulf firms show the strongest performance.
Other sectors such as financial information, CSR and social media saw potential for more improvement. However, these areas have increased their level of importance according to the international capital market, therefore needing more push to be able to compete with international corporate Website standards.
The winning companies have understood this. A successful strategy should also address critical areas such as social media and CSR, as well as deliver the required financial information that target audiences are looking for, Lindgren added.
By Alvin R. Cabral