Yet again, the UAE leads the way in the Middle East. What everyone knew, has again been officially recognised: The country has topped the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region in the Global Soft Power Index 2022. Globally, it is placed at a respectable 15th place, up two places from the 17th position it occupied a year earlier.
The UAE finds itself in august company, one place below Sweden and one above Holland. Other countries from the Mena region that did well on the global list were Israel (23rd) and Saudi Arabia (24th).
So what soft power does the UAE exert, exactly? His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said it best when is described the UAE’s real soft power as “its development model that brings together East and West”. He tweeted: “It brings together the best ideas and minds. It brings together people of all cultures without discrimination.”
An aspirational place
UAE is an aspirational place. People come here from every corner of the world because the country gives them the opportunity — regardless of their religious, national, ethnic or linguistic backgrounds — to realise their potential. To make a life for themselves and their families, and to live in an ultra-secure environment with civic amenities that match, and often surpass, those found in the world’s most industrialised nations.
The UAE is home to a whole gamut of people, from rich, developed nations to those from impoverished or conflict-ridden states. It gives hope to all. The deal is simple: If you are talented, hardworking, and seek a life of peace and stability without disturbing others, then this is the place for you.
Every step that the government takes is intended to make life easy for all residents of this nation. Laws and regulations are designed to increase the ease of doing business and generally facilitating day to day transactions. Lack of corruption contributes to the trust in the system and perceptions of the country being a meritocracy.
The efficiency of the governing system was in full display during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the country doing exceptionally well in terms of vaccinations and generally managing the situation.
Year after year, favourable perceptions of the country in the eyes of the world are only likely to grow.