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Information and communication sector in the UAE

A number of recently published international studies demonstrate the UAE’s favorable performance from an international perspective across various ICT indicators.

2011-2012 Networked Readiness Index (NRI)

The UAE ranked 3rd of all the Arab states in the 2011-2012 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) study issued by the World Economic Forum, and 30th among all 142 countries assessed. The NRI measures the capacity of an economy to fully leverage ICT for increased competitiveness and development. The NRI study was published in The Global Information Technology Report 2011-2012 and is based on data collected by organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Bank, and the United Nations (UN). In terms of the individual indicators analyzed, the UAE ranked first among the Arab states on:

  • Broadband internet subscribers;
  • Impact of ICT on new services and products;
  • ICT patent applications per Million population;
  • Secure Internet servers per Million population; and
  • Low Software piracy rates.

Internationally, the UAE was ranked:

  • Equal 1st in mobile network coverage, percentage of population covered;
  • 4th in ICT use and Government efficiency;
  • 5th in Government procurement of advanced technologies products;
  • 7th The importance of ICT to Government vision of the future;
  • 11th Government Prioritization of ICT; and
  • 12th Impact of ICT on access to basics services

2010 ICT Development Index (IDI)

In a separate study, Measuring the Information Society 2011, the ITU constructed an ICT Development Index (IDI) which combines 11 indicators into a single measure to assess the level of ICT development within a country. The study includes 152 countries which enables benchmarking both on a global and a regional, level. The UAE ranked overall 32nd in the world for the IDI (2010). This was the highest rank of all the GCC and Arab states in the ICT Development Index. The UAE also recorded the 3rd highest growth in ICT between 2007 and 2008 of all 159 countries examined.
The report categorizes each of the 152 countries into one of four groups used to describe the level of ICT within the economy: high, upper, medium and low. The UAE was one of the 33 countries placed in the highest category.
The overall measure is also divided into three sub-indices relating to ICT infrastructure and access1, ICT usage2 and Skills all of which provide a further level of insight. The UAE ranked the highest of all the GCC and Arab states in the IDI ICT Usage sub-index.
Other findings of the Measuring the Information Society report was:

  • The UAE ranked 2nd in the world in the fixed telephony sub-basket3
  • The UAE ranked 2nd in the world for the mobile telephony sub-basket4
  • The UAE ranked 5th in the world in the ICT Price Basket5

2011-2012 World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report

A recently published report by World Economic Forum based its competitiveness analysis on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), a comprehensive tool that measures the microeconomic and macroeconomic foundations of national competitiveness. The competitiveness index is determined by measuring 12 sets of indicators which include Technological Readiness and Innovation. The UAE was ranked overall 27th out of 142 countries for the GCI 2011-2012.
Key findings of the Global Competitiveness Report were:

  • The UAE ranked 5th in the world in Government procurement of advanced tech. products.
  • The UAE ranked 10th in the world in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and technology transfer (Investment bringing new technologies).
  • The UAE ranked 19th in the world for Internet users/100 population.