The UAE has moved up the ranks to grab a spot among the world’s top 10 most influential countries for the first time listed by FutureBrand.
The UAE’s elevation to ninth position in the prestigious FutureBrand’s Country Index reveals the nations amazing resilience during a year of crises.
In one year, the UAE jumped seven positions — from 16th in 2019 — and has moved 10 places since 2016 to win the new ranking.
The index also revealed a growing global confidence in both the Middle East and Africa. Along with the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia have all improved their overall rankings since 2019, currently placed at 18, 25 and 28 respectively.
“The UAE is progressing forward very fast in technology, transportation, business, etc. It is a tourist attractive place and people from all over the world work in the UAE. The people are friendly and welcoming,” the index report said.
The ranking reflects the UAE’s stature as the Middle East’s most important economic hub. The tourist-attractive country is progressing forward very fast in technology, transportation and business, FutureBrand said.
Among the findings, 71 per cent of respondents were positive about the UAE’s handling of the pandemic, with clear government communication cited as a key factor. Meanwhile, 55 per cent of respondents would like to visit the UAE in the next five years.
Earlier, among the world’s most influential cities ranked by FutureBrand, Dubai had secured ninth position.
In October, Dubai was named the 12th-best destination in the world, in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, and was named one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2020, according to Lonely Planet.
Dubai was also rated the sixth-best city in the world in this January report (and the best city in the Middle East), and the world’s second-best city for driving.
In KnightFrank’s City Wellbeing Index released in March, Dubai was named the best city to live in the Middle East and Africa, and placed 15th in the world.
Japan retained its No.1 spot in FutureBrand’s influential countries rankings, a position it has held since the inaugural index was launched in 2014. It was joined in the top 10 by Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, followed by the UAE and New Zealand, both entering the top 10 for the first time.
India, the world’s fifth-largest in GDP, is ranked 67th.
Jon Tipple, global chief strategy officer of FutureBrand, said this year’s index once again goes beyond GDP to take into account broader metrics “such as perceived quality of life, value system and heritage and culture” to inform up-to-date country brand rankings. “Ultimately, it’s clear that countries which consistently invest in their global brand holistically are better placed to withstand the shocks of economic uncertainty, polemic news headlines, populist politics and even pandemics,” said Tipple.
The index surveyed 2,500 influential individuals on how people perceive countries, based on qualitative and quantitative data, and includes reflections from people living in each country.
New to the country index is a swathe of questions relating to coronavirus, including a ranking of the best handlers of the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand secured the top spot in the list, followed by China in second and Germany in third.
Events to be staged at the DWTC, comprising diverse sectors including construction, energy, technology, beauty, food, healthcare, environment and automotive, will mark the emirate’s post-pandemic economic recovery