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UAE ranks first in Middle East and 17th globally in Soft Power Index 2021: What it means for SMEs
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UAE ranks first in Middle East and 17th globally in Soft Power Index 2021: What it means for SMEs

The UAE has placed first in the Middle East region and 17th globally in the Brand Finance's Global Soft Power Index 2021, up from last year’s 18th spot.

Its overall Soft Power score increased by 5%, thanks to the Emirates Mars Mission which helped enhance the country's influence and standing in the global sphere.

“As the nation approaches its 50th birthday in December, the UAE continues to flourish and showcase its impressive growth trajectory, reflected in its 13th rank for future growth potential among the general public,” Andrew Campbell, the Managing Director of Brand Finance in the Middle East, stated.

“The successful Emirates Mars Mission is a clear example of the nation punching above its weight, entering the race with global heavyweights China and the US, also forming an integral part of the nation’s journey to diversify its economy with sights set on long-term growth,” Campbell added.

The higher ranking will instill trust in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. SMEs are the backbone of the UAE economy, accounting for over 50% of the country's non-oil GDP, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Economy.


The UAE also improved its ranking in sectors such as governance (18th), education and science (19th), and people and values (24th). It saw the highest rise in the governance pillar (up 0.8 points), as perceptions of its political stability vastly improved.

According to Brand Finance, it was also the highest ranked nation across the Middle East and North Africa region, and 15th globally, on the Covid-19 response metric, and is perceived to have handled the pandemic better than its neighbors, mainly due to its contribution to international aid and vaccine development.

“The UAE will continue to build bridges with people across the world and establish positive economic and developmental relations with other nations. The UAE is not a place in the globe, but the globe in one place,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in response to the UAE’s improvement in the global ranking.

The UAE’s world-class brands are also helping to lead global transformation in their respective industries. It is continuing to promote the nation as the gateway to the region and will be welcoming the world at Expo 2020, as it opens its doors to over 190 nations worldwide.

This creates opportunities for small enterprises, which are one of the country's mainstays of economic growth. A positive and steady economic ranking is what keeps the UAE at the top of the list of preferred nations for entrepreneurs, encouraging small business owners to bring their businesses to the country. The UAE is anticipating a brighter 2021 as a result of these rankings and the approaching Dubai Expo 2020.

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