By Andy Sambidge
Emirates ranked 27th out of 134 economies worldwide for information technology.
The UAE has been ranked the top Gulf nation in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Information Technology Report.
The country was ranked 27th out of 134 economies worldwide, edging out Qatar (29th) as the top performing GCC state.
Bahrain was ranked 37th in the report which is the world’s most comprehensive international assessment of the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on the development process and competitiveness of nations.
Having gained a total of 13 places since 2006, the kingdom is the highest climber of the GCC nations over a two year period.
The report's Networked Readiness Index (NRI) assesses how prepared countries are to use ICT effectively in general business and regulatory infrastructure environment; the readiness of individuals, businesses and governments to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of the latest technologies available.
Saudi Arabia was ranked 40th, followed by Oman (50th) with Kuwait bottom of the Gulf countries in 57th place.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) said: “We in Bahrain recognise ICT as an important enabler of continued economic growth, modernisation and competitiveness.
"And as a sector in its own right ICT, together with strong financial services, professional services, logistics and manufacturing sectors, already significantly contributes to the Kingdom’s economy – the most diversified in the Gulf.”
Leading international ICT businesses have regional offices in Bahrain including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, WIPRO, Satyam, Software AG, Netgear and Atos Origin.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
...and yet if you try to buy Microsoft development software in Dubai, you cannot pay online because Emirates Computer (or any other MS resellers) don't have such new fangled IT things. Apparently they told me it is a security risk to do online transactions. Mmmm. Instead, you can send a friend or colleague with your credit card to their office where they will swipe it (apparently without any need for a signature!). No doubt carbon paper is used to make copies and an entry is then written into a large leather bound book by a clerk wearing a monocle and using a feather dipped in ink.