x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sheikh Mohammed’s message to UAE ministers: ‘Lead us to global excellence’

'Life is boring without challenges.' said the Ruler of Dubai as he asked ministers to push towards being the best in their fields within the next year.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid chairs the cabinet meeting.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid chairs the cabinet meeting.

ABU DHABI // Ministers have been asked to push towards being the best in their fields within the next year.

In a Cabinet meeting led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, ministers were asked on Sunday to set a challenge and attain it so the UAE will rank among the best in the world in terms of competitiveness.

In this year’s Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum’s annual survey of the most efficient and dynamic economies, the UAE was ranked 19th, putting it in the top 20 for the first time. It was ranked 25th last year.

Switzerland was ranked first in the index, ahead of Singapore, Finland and Germany. The United States regained its top-five status.

Qatar, at 13, was the highest-ranked Middle East country.

“I asked all of them to achieve the first place globally in an area or a competitiveness indicator of their choice over a period of one year,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted yesterday.

“Life is boring without challenges, and I fully trust in my team’s ability to meet their challenge and lead us to global excellence.”

This month, Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the UAE’s ranking in the global report, and noted that the country surpassed “important players such as France, Ireland and Australia”.

At the time, he tweeted that the UAE came second globally in foreign investment and technology transfer, first in roads quality and absence of organised crime, and fifth for infrastructure in general.

“Our only objective is to make our people happy. Maybe that’s why we came third for citizens’ trust in their leadership.”

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE was continuously following up on reports “as retreat was not an option”.

“Thanks to the federal and local teams who are jointly working in line with a vision, the term of which extends to the year 2021, as well as with agendas and plans that are continuously being revised and assessed as per our growing ambitions in all sectors, the UAE has been able to visibly stand out among the countries of the world,” he said this month, the state news agency Wam reported.

“Our economy is continuously developing, and the indices for security and stability are the best globally. The welfare of our citizens is at the top of our priorities.”

The world report states that “higher oil prices have buoyed the budget surplus and allowed the country to reduce public debt and raise the savings rate”.

It noted that the UAE was aggressive in adopting technology, but there was room for improvement in health and education where its ranking was low.

During the meeting, the Cabinet also agreed on the country’s contribution to the International Monetary Fund and agreed to draft a law to combat the use of banned substances in horse racing, and determine the duties of owners, educators and trainers.

osalem@thenational.ae