Performance overview: United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) improves by one place to 16th as it continues to lead the Middle East and North Africa region, building on improvements in competitiveness in recent years. This year small gains in areas such as technological adoption and business sophistication are partially offset by deteriorating macroeconomic stability that is the result of lower energy prices, which have led to a rise in inflation and public debt and to the emergence of a fiscal deficit. Overall, the UAE boasts a number of competitive strengths: infrastructure is top notch (4th overall) and goods and labor markets are open and efficient. Going forward, for the country to diversify its economy, enhancing innovation—where the country currently ranks 25th—will be crucial. There is equal scope for better leveraging digital technologies that are an important enabler of business innovation. Currently the country ranks 29th in ICT use.