The United Arab Emirates has been ranked 1st in the world in terms of being different and distinctive and 10th in the world in the way it projects its power on the global stage. The accolade is given in the 2018 Best Countries rankings, covering 80 countries and published by the newspaper US News and World Report. The rankings assess the results of a study and model devised in collaboration with the BAV Group of global communications company Y & R and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The UAE is also ranked 23rd in the ‘Best Countries Overall ‘category, the only Arab country to appear in the top 30.
The Movers category assesses a country in terms of it being "different, distinctive, dynamic, unique." In other subsidiary rankings, the UAE was ranked 17th for Cultural Influence, covering "culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy", and 23rd for Entrepreneurship, covering "connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business."
For Quality of Life, covering "a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system," it was ranked 25th.
All of the 80 countries included in the rankings had to meet four criteria within the last two years for which data are available specific to each benchmark to be included in the study. The criteria are that the countries should be included among the top 100 countries in terms of gross domestic product in 2015 or 2014, based on World Bank data, the top 150 countries in the UN's Human Development Index, based on the 2015 or 2014 report, the top 100 countries in terms of foreign direct investment inflows in 2014 or 2013, based on United Nations data, and the top 100 countries in terms of international tourism receipts in 2014 or international tourism arrivals in 2013, based on World Bank data.
Collectively, the 80 countries account for about 95 percent of global gross domestic product and represent more than 80 percent of the world's population. They span the globe, covering Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America.
The 2018 Best Countries report and rankings are based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies.
A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified. Attributes by nation were presented in a survey of more than 21,000 people from across the globe. Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.
A total of 21,117 individuals from 36 countries in four regions - the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa - were surveyed. Of the respondents, 12,114 were informed elites and 6,016 were business decision-makers. Some respondents were considered both informed elites and business decision-makers.
Selected participants were then invited to complete an online survey through Lightspeed GMI, a global market research and data collection firm.
Each country was scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on a collection of individual survey responses. The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country's attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalised to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.
Attributes were grouped into nine sub-rankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, allocated 3.24 percent of the total score, Citizenship (16.95 percent), Cultural Influence (12.93 percent), Entrepreneurship (17.42 percent), Heritage (3.17 percent), Movers (10 percent), Open for Business (11.99 percent), Power (7.42 percent) and Quality of Life (16.89 percent)..
These thematic sub-rankings were formed by grouping country attributes that had similar global trends in survey responses. Sub-ranking scores for each country were determined by averaging the scores that country received in each of the attributes comprising that sub-ranking.