Dubai – The United Arab Emirates has the most efficient government, the strongest decision-making and the lightest bureaucracy in the world, according to a report by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed the findings in a personal message to government employees.

"The title of ‘most efficient government in the world’ was earned by the commitment and dedication of every member of the UAE government team. We are truly transforming public service in the UAE, and here is the proof. We have shown what can be achieved on the world stage by a small nation with big ideas."

The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014, released on Thursday, also ranks the UAE as number one globally for low government debt, effective corporate boards, and quality of air transport.

As part of its ranking of 60 economies for 2014, the IMD World Competitiveness Center also looks at perceptions of each country as a place to do business.

While the US retains the No. 1 spot in 2014 competitiveness ranking, the UAE continued to be ranked at 8th position above a number of developed economies such as Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Australia and UK.

Shaikh Mohammad urged government employees to sustain their ongoing drive to improve the quality of government service, cautioning against complacency.

"Let us never forget: competitiveness is a race with no finish line. We must never stop improving: even as Number One, we have a duty to do better tomorrow, and every day. Because this is also a race with the richest of prizes: a government that delivers happiness and prosperity to all of the people of the UAE," Shaikh Mohammad said.

In another international ranking, Dubai figured in PWC’s Cities of Opportunity report as the only Middle-Eastern city, ranking 16th overall among 30 global cities.

Dubai ranked fifth in global affordability that measures cost of living, purchasing power and corporate tax rates, behind only San Francisco, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Toronto. Dubai was also ranked 8th as an urban gateway, replacing Los Angeles in the Top 10.