UAE 1st in human development in Arab world

The UAE has been placed among the most advanced countries in the world and is positioned at number one in the entire Middle East and Gulf when it comes to human development, according to a United Nations Development Programme report.


Nissar Hoath

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Published: Tue 14 Dec 2010, 12:56 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

“It is without doubt that UAE has been able to achieve its advanced global scientific standing only through the leadership’s wise and clear vision and the adoption of a sound and scientific strategy for the present and the future,” said Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, while commenting on the achievement.

The report indicates that the UAE is the only country in the GCC, excluding Oman (which is not included in the index) that has shown progress in the index without having its ranking points decline. The report, which was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the first HDI in 1990, depicts UAE accelerating from the 37th global position to 32nd, a five-position improvement on its growth.

The HDI is measured taking three dimensions of health, education and living standards that are driven from four indicators of life expectancy at birth; mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling and gross national income per capita. These are then used as the yardstick for measuring a nation’s human development factor.

“We are pleased to see the UAE is now the highest ranking Arab country and move up to 32nd globally in the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI) for 2010. Since the foundation, the UAE has always given priority to the development of its people, thanks largely to the enlightened vision of the late Shaikh Zayed who believed that development was about realising human potential,”

said Hazza Mohammed Al Qahtani, Director-General of the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aids while unveiling the report along with UNDP officials yesterday for the MENA region.

Besides the UAE, other GCC countries are Qatar (38th), Bahrain (39th), Kuwait (47th) and Saudi Arabia (55th). The UAE, Qatar and Bahrain are the only Arab and MENA region countries that have been ranked among the Very High Human Development Index category, while Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Algeria are placed in the High Human Development category.

Norway leads the global top 10 HDI countries, followed by Australia and New Zealand, while the three bottom countries are Zimbabwe (169th) followed by Democratic Republic of Congo (168th) and Niger (167th).

The indicators show UAE securing 0.815 HDI value points in average; 77.7 years of life expectancy at birth; 11.5 expected years of schooling; and $58,006 gross national income per capital.

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