As the world struggles — both economically and socially — to come to terms with future strategies that will best show us the way forward after a devastating pandemic, there is much to be cheerful about on the home front. The UAE handled Covid remarkably well, keeping numbers in check while unleashing a vaccination policy that’s been all-embracing. And not just that: over the course of time when a virus ran amok, the country launched its Mars mission and, unrelentingly, planned Expo in a way that would not compromise health/safety protocols but would still not take away the grandness of its scale and inclusion. It also opened up its market to draw in the best of talents — professional as well as entrepreneurial — making the process easy, efficient, transparent and synergised with technology.
It is, therefore, not surprising that today, the UAE has been named the world’s 11th strongest ‘nation brand’, according to a report by Brand Finance’s Nation Brands 2021, overtaking giants such as the United States and the United Kingdom (whose ratings have actually taken a steep stumble: the UK, for instance, fell from 2nd position last year to 14th and the US from 4th to 17th). The report factors in opinions of more than 75,000 respondents from across more than 100 countries, and rates 100 countries “based on the relative strength of nation brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating brand investment, brand equity, and brand performance”.
During a period of time when there were travel restrictions all around the globe, the verdict has largely been based on perception: the value that people the world over give to a tiny country that has been consistently upping its game, while endearing itself to expatriates — offering them an international lifestyle, the likes of which is difficult to replicate elsewhere. “Overseas perceptions of the UAE’s prowess in the education and science pillar are high, and the successful Emirates Mars Mission is clearly a factor. The UAE also stands out for its Covid-19 response, and scores high for the influence and business and trade pillars, both of which should see a further boost from Expo 2020 inaugurated in Dubai this month,” Brand Finance said. Even as this good news did the rounds, another nugget came up on Tuesday to claim stake on the UAE’s winning streak, cementing the notion that this is a country that hasn’t stopped striving for excellence since the time it was formed. HSBC’s 14th annual Expat Explorer study that surveys over 20,000 people who live and work abroad ranks the UAE as being the fourth best country in the world to live and work, citing reasons of its focus on “innovation, infrastructure, quality of life, diversity and inclusion” that have made it “the destination of choice for businesses and professionals looking to grow and prosper”.
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