Image for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Istockphoto

A view of the Dubai Marina, the world's tallest block, with nearly 300 skyscrapers. The UAE has made great strides in recent years, pushing it up three places in global competitiveness rankings in 2018 review. The country was the most competitive economy in the Middle East North Africa region, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center. Gulf News

COMPETITIVENESS REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

UAE is number one globally in 23 indicators including “Government Decisions” and “International Talent”. 

• The UAE has moved up from 28th Position in Seven Years to become the Seventh Most Globally Competitive, Outperforming Norway, Sweden and Canada 

• UAE is the only country in the region to be among the top 10 in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018

• UAE maintained its leadership in the region and moved up three ranks from 2017’s position 

• UAE moved up 21 positions in 7 years from 2011 till 2018

• Mohammad Bin Rashid: We have the determination, we have the talent, and we have the resources. Being Number One suits our nation

• Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid: UAE’s experience is a regional one that led to a top global rank. An experience of determination and success that is open for all the Arab nations.

• We will continue in enhancing our business environment, our infrastructure and our resources, because we want a better life for our people and all the residents in the UAE, Shaikh Mohammad added.

Dubai: The UAE jumped in the competitiveness rankings in 2018 review, after having made "tremendous progress" in the last few years.

The country was the most competitive economy in the Middle East North Africa region, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, said the UAE’s experience is a regional one that led to a top global rank.

It is an experience of determination and success open for all the Arab nations., he stated in a tweet. 

"We will continue in enhancing our business environment, our infrastructure and our resources, because we want a better life for our people and all the residents in the UAE."

His Highness added that UAE’s competitiveness journey is an accelerating one, and "it only makes us more determined to reach the highest ranks, stressing that we will continue in the competitiveness race and we will not settling for anything less than being number one globally."

His Highness concluded by saying, "We have the determination, we have the talent, and we have the resources. Being Number One suits our nation."

The centre, which is a part of IMD business school, published its annual ranking of 63 countries depending on their competitiveness using 258 indicators with a combination of hard data such as national employment and trade statistics and soft data such as business perception on issues such as corruption, environmental concerns and quality of life.

The UAE jumped to seventh most competitive economy from 10th ranking last year, following countries like United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and Denmark. The UAE was followed by Norway and Sweden.

 José Caballero, Senior Economist at the IMD World Competitiveness Center told Gulf News: “This UAE’s performance has been driven by top ranking indicators in areas such as international trade, international investments and Attitudes and Values to mention a few.

The Dubai Internet City: The UAE is already the high-tech hub of the Middle East. Experts say that the 100% foreign ownership of UAE-based businesses and the upcoming 10-year residence visa rule send a 'solid signal' to high-tech investors that anyone is allowed to compete. Gulf News

"The UAE model of competitiveness is exemplary for other economies in the midst of improving their-own competitiveness strategies: the Emirates’ public sector facilitates free enterprise; it provides the infrastructure and regulation that the country needs.” 

A 3D-printed building in the Dubai. The UAE is embracing the future through numerous initiatives, from 3D technology and renewable energy to artificial intelligence and smart services. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

When asked about the impact of the policy changes made earlier in the week on the 10-year visa for professionals and 100 per cent foreign ownership, Caballero said: “It is not possible to predict/assess the impact of the recent change in policies.”

“These measures will probably increase the attraction of the UAE for foreign investors and overseas highly skilled talent, but its real impact will be captured in the next few years.

"We note, however, that countries which are open in terms of trade, international investment and dedicated to the attraction of foreign highly-skilled, show an outstanding competitiveness performance,” he added.

Saudi ranking

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia dropped by three places to 39th in competitiveness ranking, while Jordan was placed as 52nd.

Saudi Arabia announced a plan called as the Vision 2030 to bring their economy off oil, and diversify their source of revenue to reduce their over-dependence. 

“These changes as well as a slowdown in GDP growth and gross fixed capital formation led to a decline of three positions in the 2018 ranking with respect to last year,” Caballero said.

Asia showed mixed results. Hong Kong and Singapore led the region, and Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and India all saw slight improvements.