Digital transformations are at the center of the UAE's advancement, both as a nation and regional business hub. The latest survey published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) proves that with numbers. 

According to IMD's World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019, the country climbed up five places compared to last year, emerging as the first in the Arab world and 12th globally. The study revealed that the UAE achieved the top ranking in the region in all three main factors researched including "technology, future-readiness and knowledge." 

The annual rankings measure the readiness of 63 economies to adopt "digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society." The findings are based on 51 indicators grouped into nine sub-factors that form the survey's three main factors. 

By far, the UAE is the region's most digitally competitive nation and local officials believe it earned its place on this years IMD list. In his statement on the country's latest feat, the head of the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, said

"The UAE progress in the Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 is a new global testimony added to the UAE record of achievements and teamwork."

Al Mansoori also highlighted the hard work put in by local leaders, government entities, and private sector institutions that have helped the country advance. 

"Technology today is the cornerstone of the economic and social development strategies and plans adopted by the world's advanced economies. Innovation is the key for success and cooperation among individuals, federal and local government entities in the development of solutions, and future foresight plays an accelerating role of this innovation and thus improves the country and society," he added. 

The UAE topped another regional IMD ranking this year

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In May, the UAE became the first Middle Eastern country to break into the top five of IMD's World Competitiveness Ranking. Regionally, the Gulf nation ranked the highest among countries in the Arab world. 

"The UAE has climbed to the 5th most competitive country globally in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019, ranked 1st globally for business efficiency & management practices, and 2nd in government efficiency, international trade & infrastructure. No end to our ambitions," UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted at the time.

The survey also revealed Saudi Arabia to be the most "improved" economy in the world, rising 13 places from the previous year.

A look at other Arab countries featured on the list

There were other Arab countries listed in this year's ranking, though they came far down the line when compared to the UAE. Qatar emerged as No.31 on the list, followed by Saudi Arabia (39) and Jordan (50). 

The top five countries remained unchanged from last year. The U.S. came in the first position, followed respectively by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.