Dubai: The UAE’s telecom service providers have changed the network names on subscribers’ mobile phones to “UAE number one.”

The new phrase started popping up on users’ gadgets, including those served by du and Etisalat, on Monday morning, just after it was announced that the country has ranked first globally in a global competitiveness index. 

The phrase "UAENUMBER1" pops up on du mobile users' phones. Image Credit: Supplied

According to Etisalat, the change is in recognition of the fact that the UAE has achieved so much or done better compared to its global peers in many areas, including education, health, infrastructure and tourism.

In recent years, the UAE has added a lot of feathers to its cap. The country has been declared the safest in the world and it's home to the world's busiest airport. Its citizens have the most powerful passport, while the country's internet and telecommunications sectors have been rated number one recently.

"The network has changed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the beginning of UAE’s efforts on remaining ahead and maintaining competitiveness in all industries on a global platform," Etisalat said in a statement sent to Gulf News.

"UAE has reached number one position in industries such as education, health, infrastructure and tourism. Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) is also holding a high level event to celebrate this achievement."

A spokesperson for du also said the move is indeed to congratulate the FCSA on reaching its 10th anniversary. "Changing du’s network name is a way of creating public awareness around the feat to commend the FCSA’s efforts towards developing the UAE's performance in the areas of competitiveness and statistics. The network name change will be in place for three days, from May 27-29," du told Gulf News.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced on Sunday that the Knowledge Index Report, published by the United Nations Development Programme, ranked the UAE number one globally in the “internet and telephony level of competition.”

That’s a huge leap in over a short period, as the UAE was ranked in the 104th position in 2016.

tra tweet
A TRA tweet announcing UAE's achievement. Image Credit: TRA/Twitter

“The advanced level of competitiveness in the telecommunications sector in the UAE reflects the success of the one-team strategy used by government entities in national projects and initiatives management,” said Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA director general, in a statement.

“This accomplishment has been achieved by all of us, and we hope to continue to maintain the UAE’s leading position and to enhance our national vision to make the UAE the first globally in various fields.”

The UAE has also been ranked second globally in mobile-cellular subscriptions, fourth in terms of the number of households equipped with a personal computer, seventh in terms of the percentage of households with home internet access and eight in terms of the percentage of internet users.