UAE's global talent competitiveness ranking improves in 2021

Country's ranking jumped two positions to 12th in the appeal sub-index and up by five positions to 50th in investment and development index


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 3:34 PM

The UAE continues to improve its global talent ranking, rising one position to 23rd in the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s World Talent Report 2021 released on Thursday.

The Emirates maintained its top position in the Arab world and second in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, after Israel (ranked 22nd). The UAE’s global ranking has seen major improvement when compared to the 2019 rating when the emirate was rated 30th in the IMD World Talent Ranking Index.

The ranking is structured according to three factors – investment and development, appeal and readiness.

The UAE’s ranking jumped two positions to 12th in the appeal sub-index and up by five positions to 50th in investment and development index. But it slipped in the readiness sub-index from 3rd to 6th in 2021.

The UAE was ranked first in readiness of skilled labour, competent senior managers and student mobility inbound and appeal for zero personal income tax sub-indexes. The country was also rated high for a number of other sub-indexes such as quality of life (2nd), international experience (2nd), health infrastructure (7th), development of employee training (8th) readiness for primary and secondary education (9th), and availability of graduates in science (9th).


Regionally, the UAE is followed by Qatar which slipped two positions to 31st, Saudi Arabia fell four positions to 38th and Jordan achieved 40th position in the index, up from 49th last year.

Globally, Switzerland led the top 10 economies, followed by Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, Finland, Netherlands and Germany.

The study found that the Covid-19 pandemic widened the chasm between talent-strong and talent-weak economies and brain-drain in talent-weak countries in 2021.

“It’s also the responsibility of senior executives who need to realise their role in boosting worker motivation, which is not just driven by external factors such as salary, safety, or quality of life, but also by the opportunities leaders can provide for workers to reskill, to work flexibly, and to have the use of the best tech at their fingertips,” said Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.

Among the other major economies, Singapore dropped three places to 12th, the USA improved one ranking to 14th, Canada fell from 8th to 15th, the UK rose from 23rd to 21st, China jumped four places to 36th, Japan fell one spot to 39th and India jumped six positions to 56th.

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