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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

When it's time for a change, the UAE is prepared for anything, survey finds

2017 Change Readiness Survey puts the county in third place out of over 130 countries.

The index puts the UAE second for the ability of the Government to respond to changes, but takes 17th place for the performance of individuals and civil society. Christopher Pike / The National
The index puts the UAE second for the ability of the Government to respond to changes, but takes 17th place for the performance of individuals and civil society. Christopher Pike / The National

The UAE is in the top three of countries best equipped to deal with major and unforeseen changes, a new survey has revealed.

According to the 2017 Change Readiness Index, the country ranks only behind Switzerland and Sweden for its ability: “to respond and adapt to significant change,” and came top in the Middle East.

Created by KPMG, the global accountancy and tax advisory company, the index compares 136 countries on their ability to deal with short term incidents like natural disasters and long term trends, from demographic and economic to social and technology trends.

The UAE has risen two places since the index was last compiled in 2015 and takes the top spot when measured just by the way private and state-owned organisations are able to change and grow by responding to what is happening in the global economy.

This “enterprise capability” category is one of three key categories used to create the index, the others being “government capability”, or the way public institutions manage change, and “people and civil capability”, which relates to the way individuals and society deals with both change and opportunity.

The index puts the UAE second for the ability of the Government to respond to changes, but takes 17th place for the performance of individuals and civil society.

Vikas Papriwal, partner and head of markets at KPMG Lower Gulf, called the results "eye-opening" in terms of which countries were best positioned "to weather and potentially benefit from inevitable change,"

"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," he said.

Many of the top ten nations, which include Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, shared certain characteristics, the index found.

All were regarded as having high incomes, while six of the ten had a population of under 10 million. The population of the UAE is generally believed to be around 11 million.

Only two of the top ten are regarded as being rich in natural resources. The UAE has oil reserves of around 98.6 billion barrels, the seventh highest in the world.