UAE rises in annual global innovation ranking
25 Jul 2019
Country jumps two places to 36th - with more measures planned to boost economy
The UAE has improved its standing in a global innovation ranking, as the country’s leaders push ahead with plans to boost the nation's private sector.
The Emirates jumped two places in the Global Innovation Index (GII), reaching 36th spot out of a total of 129 states.
Researchers ranked the UAE as top in the Gulf region for 2019 and third in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region, behind Israel and Cyprus.
The index considers 80 different indicators, including patents, investment patterns, and the creation of new technologies such as phone apps.
The UAE performed particularly well in areas such as government effectiveness, education and infrastructure,
New measures designed to boost the country’s tech sector were announced earlier this year while this week WeWork, a global company that specialises in providing workspaces for innovative firms, said it would be establishing a significant presence in Abu Dhabi.
A major package of measures known as Ghadan 21 has also been designed to develop the private sector in the capital over the next few years, as part of efforts to make the economy less reliant on oil.
"The UAE’s improved performance in the 2019 version of the GII is a testament to the continuous efforts of the country to improve its innovation landscape,” said Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.
"Our solid global innovation performance has given us the confidence to further embark on an ambitious innovation programme with short-term initiatives to boost our global innovation ranking and longer-term transformational initiatives to become among the top global innovation leaders.”
The UAE’s has risen up the innovation rankings rapidly in recent years, with its position increasing from 47th in 2015.
The world’s most innovative country in 2019 was Switzerland, followed by Sweden and the USA.
Recent policies announced in the UAE include a new fund to boost research and development, long-term visas for investors and a drive to develop the eco-tourism sector.