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Published By Khaleej Times
The UAE is the most stable country in the Arab World in 2019, improving its rating further this year due to betterment in its public services, economic sustainability and human capital.
The Fragile States Index, released by Fund for Peace, has ranked the UAE at 149 in 2019, improving from its last year’s ranking of 147 (the higher, the better). Among the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia was rated at 93, Bahrain at 113, Kuwait at 130 and Oman at 133. Globally, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Denmark retained their ranking as world’s least fragile states in 2019 at 178, 177, 176 and 175, respectively.
The countries have been categorised into eight segments – very sustainable, sustainable, very stable, more stable, warning, elevated warning, high warning and alert.
The UAE has been placed in the list of more stable countries, rated higher than Spain, Italy, Greece, Malaysia, Cyprus, India, Russia and China.
Among the sub-indices, the UAE scored highly on public services, economic sustainability, human capital, balanced development and strong security apparatus among others.
Arshad Khan, managing director, Wealth Monitor, said as the most diversified economy in the Arab World, the UAE has made tremendous progress in all sectors, ranging from education to infrastructure.
“The country is actively contributing to the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf as well as the wider Middle East. Over the years, the UAE has built an island of opportunities through developing a range of growth sectors such as airlines, trade, hospitality, financial services, real estate, construction and logistics,” Khan said.
“The rapid progress in these sectors not only enabled the country to attract global talents, it also proved successful in putting a brake on young Arab brains migrating to other countries in search for better opportunities,” he added.
“The UAE government is continuously adopting forward-looking changes to make the environment even more stable and sustainable for the expat population to thrive in this country. With Expo 2020 Dubai, a year away we will see the current infrastructure with new changes resulting in a bigger population calling the UAE as their home,” Khan added.
Billy FitzHerbert, regional editor for the Middle East at Oxford Business Group, said economic stability and growth in the UAE continues to be underpinned by a strong regulatory framework, good doing-business indicators and an environment conducive to foreign investment.
“Higher oil prices in 2019 will provide a firm footing from which the government can continue the progress made in recent years to diversify the economy, with strategic investments set to continue in nascent as well as long established sectors such as technology and financial services,” he said.
“Looking ahead, the Expo 2020 Dubai will provide the opportunity to showcase many of these developments, with the main challenge there being to ensure that the various infrastructure developments being rolled out in preparation for the event continue to feed into economic growth after 2020,” said FitzHerbert.
When it comes to investing in the UAE to enjoy good returns in the region’s safest country, Issam Kassabieh, senior financial analyst, Menacorp, believes that there is a variety of investment vehicles here in the UAE that suit different investor preferences whether it is risk appetite, religious etc.
“There is a developing regulatory frame work that aims to protect investors and help them generate higher returns from their investments as well,” he said.
Moreover, global travel portal Far & Wide has also advised travellers to explore the UAE as it is extremely safe, with some of the strictest laws to keep crime to a minimum.
The UAE has been popular destination in recent years, due to increasing number of high-end resorts, shopping and over-the-top grandeur found in Dubai.
“With man-made island offering outdoor shopping and art promenades, Dubai is a fascinating place to explore,” says Far & Wide.
As per the index, most improved countries in 2019 were Ethiopia, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Iraq and Malaysia among others. While the most worsened countries were Venezuela, Brazil, the UK, Yemen and the US among others.
Among other prominent countries, India was ranked 74, Pakistan 23, Sri Lanka 46, Bangladesh at 36.