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Dubai has ranked first in the Arab world in terms of government budget (as percentage of GDP), while globally the emirate ranked seventh in government efficiency and third in public finance, according to the Competitiveness Report 2018 issued by the International Competitiveness Centre of the International Institute for Management Development, IMD, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Commenting on the achievement, Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of the Department of Economic Development, DED, said the emirate had adopted a transparent and streamlined approach to government work, supplemented by policies and plans that support business competitiveness. As a result, Dubai has created a friendly and supportive environment for businesses. The emirate is now a role model for economies in the region and worldwide, and competes with the most advanced cities in the world.

"Dubai has set a high benchmark for both government and business efficiency," said Al Qamzi. "This achievement has been possible because of the team spirit that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has instilled in us. The emirate features among the strongest and most dynamic economies on the global competitiveness map. The initiatives of the Government of Dubai have boosted the emirate's position in infrastructure efficiency, making it the world's fourth best in basic infrastructure, ahead of developed economies such as Hong Kong, France, Japan, Switzerland and Denmark."

In turn, Hani Al Hamli, Secretary-General of the Dubai Competitiveness Office in DED, said that that the Dubai Competitiveness Report 2018, the first of its kind in the region, compares Dubai with 63 economies across the world on 346 indicators.

"The report is based on a scientific analysis of various competitiveness indicators and their implications on legislation and policies that support public and private sector decision-makers in Dubai and support the development of appropriate economic development strategies, and consolidate the emirate's position on the global competitiveness map," he added.

Government efficiency, as evaluated in the report, rests on three central axes: economic performance, efficiency of the business environment and infrastructure. Globally, Dubai ranked seventh in government efficiency and tax system, first in terms of government expenditure as a percentage of GDP, and third as a global financial hub, ahead of Singapore, Switzerland and all EU countries except Iceland.

Dubai has also been ranked topmost in the Arab world in terms of government budget as percentage of GDP. Meanwhile, recent DED initiatives such as ‘Instant Licence,’ which enables businessmen and investors to obtain a trade license in one step and within five minutes, have helped Dubai to rank first in the world concerning the number of start-up procedures and start-up days. The initiative has brought down the time required to complete business registration and licensing transactions by 90 percent.

Regarding the adaptability of government policy to changes in the economy and the extent of implementation of government decisions, Dubai ranked third globally. The emirate also ranked first concerning population growth and the number of internet users - 906 users per 1,000 inhabitants - in addition to being third globally in low dependency rates.

Globally, Dubai stands second in the openness of the local culture to new ideas as well as concerning the efficiency of economic and social reforms in the emirate. Dubai’s labour force is the third biggest as a percentage of the population. The emirate ranked fourth worldwide in productivity in the service sector, ahead of Singapore and Hong Kong. The average number of working hours per year in Dubai is the fifth highest globally.