Gulf News

UAE among top 20 in Global Knowl­edge In­dex


- BY FAISAL MASUDI Staff Re­porter

Ex­traor­di­nary per­for­mance due to na­tional strat­egy fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion — ex­perts |

The UAE has risen six places — up from 25th last year — to rank 19 out of 134 coun­tries in the Global Knowl­edge In­dex 2018, as re­vealed yes­ter­day at the Knowl­edge Sum­mit 2018 in Dubai.

The UAE again placed sec­ond in the ‘Econ­omy’ cat­e­gory, which is one of seven ‘Sec­toral In­dices’ that to­gether de­ter­mine the over­all rank of a coun­try in the re­port. Sin­ga­pore was ranked top in Econ­omy this year.

Over­all, Switzer­land was placed num­ber one in the world in the 2018 re­port, fol­lowed by Fin­land and Swe­den.

The fifth edi­tion of the two­day sum­mit is or­gan­ised by the Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum Knowl­edge Foun­da­tion (MBRF). The re­port is pro­duced an­nu­ally by MBRF in part­ner­ship with United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP).

At­tend­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony were Shaikh Ham­dan Bin Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chair­man of the Dubai Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil; Shaikh Ah­mad Bin Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Chair­man of MBRF; Ja­mal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF and other se­nior of­fi­cials.

Na­tional strat­egy

Speak­ing on the side­lines of the sum­mit, Bin Huwaireb said the UAE’s per­for­mance was ex­cep­tional, and the coun­try aims to even­tu­ally rank num­ber one in the in­dex. The UAE’s strat­egy, he added, is fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing ed­u­ca­tion and in­no­va­tion.

One of the rea­sons why the UAE jumped six places this year was that a num­ber of in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions had up­dated their data on the UAE, which was re­flected in the re­sults of the in­dex, Bin Huwaireb said.

Speak­ing on the side­lines of the sum­mit, Hany Torky, Arab Knowl­edge Project Di­rec­tor at UNDP, said it was “very dif­fi­cult” for any coun­try to jump one or two places in the in­dex, let alone six places like the


How­ever, its strong per­for­mances in the seven Sec­toral In­dices — es­pe­cially in Tech­ni­cal and Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing and ICT — boosted its over­all stand­ing, Torky added.

In the com­ing years, the UAE’s long-term strat­egy and in­vest­ments in de­vel­op­ing a knowl­edge econ­omy will hinge heav­ily on the youth, which is

“a pos­i­tive power” for so­ci­ety, Torky said.

New tech­nol­ogy

With re­gard to the UAE’s aim to rank num­ber one in the in­dex, Torky said the UAE’s pri­or­ity on de­vel­op­ing tech­nol­ogy in Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI), cy­ber se­cu­rity, biotech, and blockchain, will play a ma­jor role in meet­ing that goal. “I think the UAE has this vi­sion and they are build­ing new tech­nol­ogy and new rules, and link­ing tech­nol­ogy and the labour mar­ket, and also link­ing the econ­omy and the labour mar­ket,” Torky added.

On the UAE’s sec­ond place rank in the ‘Econ­omy’ cat­e­gory, Torky said it was be­cause the UAE has “an open and com­pet­i­tive econ­omy, with no bar­ri­ers to en­try of for­eign in­vest­ment”.

En­vi­ron­men­tal con­cern

How­ever, the UAE fared poorly in ‘En­vi­ron­ment’ un­der the ‘Gen­eral En­abling En­vi­ron­ment’, rank­ing 131 in the

cat­e­gory. Its car­bon diox­ide emis­sions rel­a­tive to pop­u­la­tion were high, while its share of re­new­able en­ergy con­sump­tion, out of the to­tal con­sump­tion, was low. “For all oil coun­tries, the En­vi­ron­ment rank is very low,” Torky said, adding that the UAE has the po­ten­tial to lead in the En­vi­ron­ment cat­e­gory among oil-rich coun­tries.

New re­port

Yes­ter­day’s sum­mit also launched the first-ever ‘The Fu­ture of Knowl­edge: A Fore­sight Re­port’, which looks at the im­pact of dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy such as AI, cy­ber se­cu­rity, blockchain, and biotech, among oth­ers.

The re­port was also pro­duced by the MBRF and UNDP. Torky said one of its key find­ings was that UAE is placed among six coun­tries — in­clud­ing the US, UK, Brazil, Fin­land, and Sin­ga­pore — that will lead the world is these new fields. For the UAE, its spe­cial strength will be in blockchain and AI.

 ?? Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News ?? Shaikh Ham­dan Bin Mo­ham­mad, Shaikh Ah­mad Bin Mo­ham­mad and Ja­mal Bin Huwaireb with the win­ners of Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum Knowl­edge Awards in Dubai yes­ter­day.
Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Shaikh Ham­dan Bin Mo­ham­mad, Shaikh Ah­mad Bin Mo­ham­mad and Ja­mal Bin Huwaireb with the win­ners of Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum Knowl­edge Awards in Dubai yes­ter­day.

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