UAE Economy Most Competitive in Arab World

Posted on April 12, 2007


Source: Arab News and the World Economic Forum

DOHA, 11 April 2007 — The United Arab Emirates has the most competitive economy in the Arab world, according to the third Arab World Competitiveness Report 2007, released yesterday by the World Economic Forum. This report has been a major driver of efforts to advance economic reform in the region, spearheaded by the Arab Business Council. The latest report was unveiled at the exclusive Roundtable meeting in Qatar.

“The Emirates ranked first because of the highly developed infrastructure, particularly air and sea ports,” said Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, an economist who co-authored the survey of 13 Arab states that the forum released at a two-day meeting of Arab business leaders in Qatar.

“The important contributor is the efficiency in government spending and government regulations as well as the efficiency in the labor market, due to a lot of imported labor,” Hanouz said of Emirates’ success.

But the Emirates is not the most competitive economy in the Middle East — a position occupied by Israel, according to the biennial survey.

Qatar is the second most competitive Arab economy. It took first place in the 2005 survey. And Kuwait is in third place.

In world terms, Emirates ranks 29th, just ahead of Portugal and behind Spain, and Israel is 15th. Switzerland is the most competitive country in the world, with the United States in sixth place.

Please click here to download the executive summary of the 2005 World Economic Forum Report.