Dubai: When it comes to dealing with change brought about by everything, from economic and political shocks, to long term trends such as technologies and demographics, the UAE is the most prepared in the Arab world.

The country has emerged number five in the KPMG 2015 Change Readiness Index, just behind Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Norway, and ahead of developed economies like United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

It is the only Arab country that made it to the top five. Qatar, however, is trailing behind in the seventh place.

Produced in partnership with Oxford Economics, the index rated 127 countries for their capability to prepare for or respond to change caused by financial crises, political shocks and natural disasters.

It looked at the business environment, technology access, as well as fiscal, regulatory and security capabilities, among several other indicators, of 127 countries.

The UAE scored highly in terms of economic openness, which is ranked third in the world, as well as in business environment (ranked 4th), infrastructure (4th), technology infrastructure (4th), labour market (5th) and economic diversification (9th).

“[The] UAE’s non-oil sector has been growing rapidly, largely due to initiatives by the government to boost the private and government sector,” noted Vikas Papriwal, head of markets, KPMG Lower Gulf.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had earlier announced that 2014 was the UAE’s strongest economic year.

He said the country has “anticipated many global economic scenarios, and built a range of economic policies in order to be better prepared and equipped to manage a range of variables.”

“Today we have a robust and diversified economic base, great confidence in the environment and the stability of our country, sureness and expertise to deal with a range of scenarios, and great optimism about the future and the projects we have launched,” the ruler said in a note released on June 20.

Below are the countries in the top 20:

1. Singapore

11.   Netherlands*

2. Switzerland*

12.   Germany

3. Hong Kong*

13.   United Kingdom

4. Norway

14.   Canada

5. United Arab Emirates*

15.   Japan

6. New Zealand

16.   Australia

7. Qatar

17.   Austria*

8. Denmark*

18.   Belgium*

9. Sweden

19.   Chile

10. Finland

20.   United States


*Countries that are new to the 2015 index