UAE third most ready for change in the world, says study

Dubai: A new global report suggests the UAE is the “third most-prepared for change in the world”, said global audit firm KPMG on Wednesday.

The UAE also topped the list of all Middle East and North African (Mena) countries as the most ready to meet the future, KPMG said in its international Change Readiness Index (CRI).

The index ranked 136 countries for their capacity to “respond and adapt to significant change, resulting from short-term events, such as natural disasters, and longer-term demographic, economic, social and technological trends”, said authors.

The UAE climbed two spots from the 2015 CRI and topped the Middle East and Africa region coming in third in 2017, while Switzerland topped the charts. The UAE scored number one for enterprise capability, two on government capability and 17th for people and civil society capability.

The authors said the index provides “deep insights into where countries can focus and invest to be prepared for the increasing pace of change worldwide — breaking down each country’s capacity across three key pillars of capability.”

The 2017 index, like the 2015 index, indicated that countries dependent on natural resources and export incomes faced setbacks.

However, the UAE and Norway broke the pattern and displayed strong performance in the CRI, the index suggested.

“The CRI offers an eye-opening view of which countries are best positioned to weather and potentially benefit from inevitable change, and the factors behind their preparedness. It is increasingly becoming evident that countries cannot only focus on GDP or business outputs to be considered as change ready. The CRI shows that improving capabilities in areas of government and people and civil society, as well as in enterprise, or business environment, are often key to why some countries are able to climb up the rankings,” said Vikas Papriwal, partner and head of Markets, KPMG Lower Gulf, in a statement.

The improvement in rankings sheds light on the efforts the UAE is taking to be among the best countries in the world by year 2021 as part of its national agenda and broadly, the UAE Vision 2021, KPMG said.

Some of the initiatives undertaken in the national agenda include implementing the e-link project to enhance financial planning, appropriately allocate financial resources and support federal budget automation; developing health information systems and infrastructure in health-care facilities; and reducing by half the time taken for processing residency permits.

Recently, the UAE also moved up six spots on the 2017 Global Innovation Index to number 35, and led the Arab nations in innovation.

Top index performers



United Arab Emirates



New Zealand

The Netherlands



The United Kingdom


SOURCE: KPMG International’s Change Readiness Index (CRI)