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UAE ranked No.1 in Arab world on competitiveness

Ranked 17 globally, the UAE leads the region as a technology and innovation hub, attracting USD 1.7 bn in equity investment in new tech firms in 2016


A new study from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum has placed the UAE at the top in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as the most competitive economy.

The Arab World Competitiveness Report 2018, launched in August 2018 in Dubai, ranked the UAE as the 17th most competitive country in the world. Saudi Arabia, the other country from the MENA region to make it into the top 30, ranked 30th most competitive.

The rankings are based on 12 factors, which include education, infrastructure, goods and labor market efficiencies, technological readiness, market size, and business sophistication, which are considered necessary for productivity and economic growth.

The UAE also ranks high on the formation rate of firms, showing a significant increase between 2006 and 2016 (from 19.60 to 29.69), making the country stand out as an outlier in regional entry of new businesses.

Increased diversification makes the UAE’s economy most resilient and able to weather the double shock of lower oil and gas prices and reduced global trade, according to the report, and better suited to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment.

The report also said the UAE is a notable exception in attracting qualified foreign talent to work in technical positions outside of the oil and gas industry in finance and other advanced service sectors. Indeed, equity investment in new technology firms jumped from USD 100 million in 2014 to USD 1.7 billion in 2016 in the UAE.

New opportunities that can support growth are especially relevant in the context of the “swiftly spreading Fourth Industrial Revolution—a dramatic change that involves a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital, and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies, and industries,” the report said.

“The resilience of its fiscal policy will be further strengthened in the future because the UAE was … among the early adopters of the new VAT,” the report says, adding that the country benefits from strong institutions, good infrastructure, and a good level of health and primary education.


Read the full report:

Arab World Competitiveness Report 2018





World Economic Forum