How UAE keeps its lead in economic competitiveness

The Emirates has been performing exceptionally well in various international indices for several years in a row


Issac John

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Published: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 9:16 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 9:52 PM

The UAE’s exemplary progress across key sectors, including its robust economy, increasingly attractive investment environment, and growing allure as a global safe and attractive haven for residents and visitors, has enabled it to sustain its ranking as the most economically competitive nation in the Arab world.

The latest Arab Economic Competitiveness Index released by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) says that the UAE, which has been performing exceptionally well in various international indices for several years in a row, secured the accolade for its top position in the government financial sector index, ranking first in the deficit/surplus to GDP ratio and second in the tax burden index.

The AMF index shows that the Middle East’s most vibrant economy came in first place among Arab countries in terms of investment environment and attractiveness, topping the economic freedom index due to its advanced standing in all sub-indices.

The UAE also topped the infrastructure sector index, leading in mobile phone subscriptions and the percentage of the population with access to electricity, while ranking second in the share of air transport and shipping to total global transport and shipping, according to the report.

The UAE was ranked 10th globally in the IMD World Competitiveness Booklet 2023 issued by the World Competitiveness Centre of the World Institute for Management Development (IMD). In the same report, it was ranked 1st in the Middle East and North Africa region for the 7th consecutive year.

Per IMD report, the UAE has shown its excellence in various fields, such as international trade, city management, energy infrastructure, the adaptability of government policy to changes in the economy, lack of bureaucracy, and other areas. It is ranked fourth in the world for its remarkable economic performance.

The country also leads the Arab world for attracting and retaining talent. According to the 2023 IMD World Talent Ranking, the UAE ranked 22nd among 64 economies thanks to an increase in scores for quality of life, management remuneration, health infrastructure, quality of education and labour force growth.

The UAE could project itself as a magnet for world’s top talents, investors and the super-rich on the back of a wave of economic, legal and social reforms rolled out over the past three years. In particular, the government’s overhaul of visa programmes has boosted opportunities for foreign workers to live and work in the country. That includes a revamp of the 10-year golden visa to simplify eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries. A green visa was also introduced to provide five-year residency to skilled workers without needing a sponsor or employer. The UAE also unveiled unemployment insurance for federal government and private sector employees, adding to its attraactions as hub for global talents,

The UAE also recorded remarkable performance in the Competitive Industrial Performance Index (CPI). The United Nations Industrial Development Organization publishes the index, emphasizing the UAE’s influential role in the global industrial ecosystem. In the latest rankings, the UAE earned the top spot in the Arab region and claimed the 29th spot globally. Notably, the UAE has seen a steady ascent, moving up two positions from the previous year’s index.

The AMF report said the UAE came out on top among Arab countries in terms of institutional and good governance sectors, achieving an advanced ranking in both the administrative corruption and government efficiency indices.

The report highlighted that many Arab countries have adopted multiple national strategies and visions to enhance productivity, improve the efficiency of produced goods, and focus on productive sectors. The Arab countries are striving to develop service sectors, facilitate business environments, and enhance infrastructure to address challenges that hinder their competitiveness.

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