UAE named MENA's most IT friendly country

High mobile phone use, the availability of the latest technologies and government endorsement cited as key reasons for the UAE's ranking

Tags: United Arab Emirates
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UAE named MENA's most IT friendly country The UAE was once again ranked as the most IT friendly country in the MENA region.
By  Andy Sambidge Published  April 14, 2011

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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