UAE scores highly in many individual categories

While the UAE ranks highly for road networks, absence of organised crime and trust in politicians, the index does highlight some failings, such as in primary education and infant mortality.

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The UAE was scored highly by the World Economic Forum in certain individual categories.

For its infrastructure and efficiency of its goods market, for instance, it is ranked third in the world.

Its “macroeconomic environment” – the state of its overall economy – is judged to be the fifth best in the world, while there are also highly favourable ratings for its higher education and training (6th), institutions (7th) and labour market efficiency (8th).

But the index is not all good news.

There are some warning flags for those considering doing business in the country, including restrictive labour regulations, an inadequately educated workforce and restricted access to financing.

The UAE is further down the rankings in the detail of the health and primary education pillar – in 41st position for life expectancy and 44th for infant mortality.

For take-up of primary education, the country languishes in 98th position, yet for the quality of its higher education system, it is ninth.

But the country can find much to be proud of in the detailed findings underpinning several of the 12 pillars that shore up the WEF concept of competitiveness.

Under a subcategory of institutions, the UAE ranks 1st in the world for absence of organised crime and almost as highly for public trust in politicians (3rd), burden of regulation (3rd), and reliability of police (7th).

In a country where so much infrastructure development has taken place, it comes as little surprise to learn the UAE is ranked first for the quality of its road network, second for its airports and third for its ports.

* Jonathan Gornall