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Wed 13 Apr 2011 06:27 PM

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UAE ranked most IT-friendly country in MENA

Gulf state comes 24th in new global tech-ready list published by the World Economic Forum

UAE ranked most IT-friendly country in MENA
The UAE retained its position as the Middle Easts most IT-friendly country in a global list published by the World Economic Forum. (Getty Images)

The UAE retained its position as the Middle East's most IT-friendly country in a global list published by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011 ranked 138 economies by examining the correlation between ICT readiness and economic growth.

In the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), the UAE was ranked 24th globally and first in the Middle East and North Africa region.

High mobile phone use, the availability of the latest technologies and government endorsement of the IT sector were drivers of the UAE's performance although the country slipped one place compared to last year's list.

The UAE was closely followed by Qatar (25), with Bahrain (30), Saudi Arabia (33) and Oman (41) all included inside the top 50. Kuwait was the least technologically ready Gulf state, with a ranking of 75th.

The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011 is the tenth annual report produced in a collaboration between INSEAD, the international business school, and The World Economic Forum.

The report said the UAE had demonstrated the central role that information and communication technology (ICT) should play in the government's agenda as an enabling infrastructure for economic diversification and a target sector in itself.

Globally, Sweden, Singapore and Finland place in the top three, followed by Switzerland and the United States.

Bruno Lanvin, executive director, eLab, Insead, said: "ICT, and the internet in particular, have changed the world dramatically, and all indications point to an even higher rate of transformation of our lives going forward."

Nordic countries led the way in leveraging ICT. With Denmark in 7th place and Norway in 9th place, all were in the top 10, except for Iceland, which was ranked 16th.

Led by Singapore in second place, the other Asian Tiger economies continued to make progress in the ranking, with both Taiwan, China, and Korea improving five places to 6th and 10th respectively, and Hong Kong following closely at 12th.

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Janice McDuff 8 years ago

When you finally realise the real value of great .com domains and their impact on a global web you will make another giant leap forward.

Your are a little slow in that department at the moment ;)

Peter Johnston 8 years ago

I recently visited Dubai again (first time since leaving Dubai in early 2009 after living there for 11 years) ... and I was disappointed again at the lack of internet access and the slow speed of access, once I managed to get access. I don't mind paying for internet access in cafes or public places, but it's really annoying when you pay and the access is still pathetic. I ended up at a cafe near Al Murooj / Dubai Mall that had fast internet speed - and it was free ... Dubai Airport is still a complete joke ... I don't think that internet ever worked properly in the 11 years I lived in Dubai ... the Emirates lounges are worse than the coffee shops in the Duty Free area ... and they are pretty bad !!
That is ONE thing that the UAE government (or Etisalat & du) can spend some money on for the future ...

sriram 8 years ago

UAE needs to allow IP telephony. Probably then all this would make sense.

Omar 8 years ago

Its not just about internet covrage and speed. The report is about linking ICT and economic growth. Amazon Kindle, Apple iTunes, Android Applications, etc.... are all still blocked in the U.A.E. The government needs to accelerate its e-commerce legitlation and commercial agreements to allow the growth ofe-commerce as well as encourage home grown entrepeneurship in this area.