UAE in the lead in gender equality The UAE’s achievements in the field of political and economic empowerment of women have gained widespread and, according to a report issued by the World Economic Forum in October 2013 in Geneva, the UAE now ranks first in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of gender equality in the quality of education, health care, and political and economic contributions.
The report, covering 133 countries, confirmed that the UAE has achieved excellent rates of gender equality. The country has been elected to the membership of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women for a period of three years, from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2015.
The UAE ranked first globally in terms of educational attainment rates for women, according to the 2012 annual report of the World Economic Forum with 10,000 points on the indicator. It also ranked 81st in terms of the political empowerment of women at 1206 points, and 122nd globally in the women’s economic participation index at 4751 points.
The UAE ranked first among Arab countries in the 2012 gender gap index issued by the World Economic Forum in October 2012. The report ranks countries in terms of gender gap based on four key areas: access to health care, education, political participation and economic equality.
The UAE has also been ranked first globally in competitiveness within the travel and tourism sector, based on six indicators included in the World Economic Forum report for 2013, notably the sustainability of development in the travel and tourism sector, the effectiveness of tourism promotion, and infrastructure advancement in international airports, air transport facilities, and airlines and support services. It occupied 8th place globally and first in the Middle East on the list of the most advanced countries in the tourism and aviation sectors, according to the 2013 travel and tourism competitiveness report, having risen two places since 2011.
UAE on the Global Map of Tourism The UAE also ranked 9th in terms of tourism investment in the World Travel and Tourism Council report, covering 181 countries. The report said that the UAE’s investments in this sector reached around AED 92.9 billion in 2013, compared to AED 84.3 billion in 2012, a growth rate of about 10 percent. The report predicted that growth would rise to 7.2 percent, increasing the volume of investment to AED 104.4 billion by 2014, and to AED 137.9 billion in 2022. The report explained that these investments are concentrated in the construction of international recreational facilities and luxurious hotels, along with other tourist services.
The World Travel and Tourism Council noted in its report that the UAE accounts for the highest percentage of investments in tourism development in the Middle East, reaching AED 149.1 billion in 2012.
The UAE ranked 30th globally out of the 139 countries covered in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report for 2011, issued by the World Economic Forum, while it maintained first place in the Middle East in the travel and tourism sector.
11.2 million tourists visited the UAE in 2012, according to the Forum, which predicted a rise to 18.8 million tourists in 2022. Total tourist spending in the UAE reached AED 111 billion, and is expected to reach AED 113.8 billion by 2022.
The UAE ranked 31st globally in terms of tourism revenue and growth during 2012, according to a report by the World Tourism Organisation, covering top 50 global tourist destinations in terms of revenue and growth in the tourism sector. The UAE’s revenue from tourism was reported as AED 192.6 billion in 2012, out of overall global tourism revenues estimated at 1,075 trillion dollars in 2012.
The UAE also ranked 4th globally and top in the Middle East in terms of tourism infrastructure, particularly in terms of the infrastructure of airports and the air transport sector.
A distinguished global presence The UAE’s high rankings in the various global competitiveness reports reflect a 43-year journey packed with major achievements in various fields, and confirm the country’s leading position on a global and regional level and the respect and trust it has gained from the international community. Through the recognition earned from its diplomatic and political activities, the UAE has also come to be elected to the boards of a number of international and regional organisations and authorities.
Now the permanent headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the city of Abu Dhabi is the first Arab capital to host an international organisation and a global leader in the field of renewable energy.
The country also hosts, in Abu Dhabi, the International Centre for Countering Violent Extremism, Hedaya, in addition to the Muslim Council of Elders, which brings together Muslim scholars from around the world.
Further, the UAE hosts a number of other regional and international offices and organisations, including the Regional Office of the United Nations Development Group, the Regional Office of the United Nations Development Programme, the Regional Office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Arab Monetary Fund, and the office of the Arab Trade Financing Programme. The International Air Transport Association is to open a regional office in Abu Dhabi while the World Organisation of Family Doctors in the Middle East also chose the UAE to be its permanent headquarters.
With the support and trust of the international community, the UAE was elected to host a number of international conferences and exhibitions, including Expo -2020, which will be held in Dubai, becoming the first city in the Middle East to host it, and the World Energy Summit 2019, which will also be the first time it is held in the Middle East, as well as the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2018.
The UAE was also elected to the membership and boards of many regional and international organisations. Amongst these are: The election of the UAE on 27 October 2014 to the membership of the ITU for the third consecutive year.
The UAE becoming a member of the World Tourism Organisation The unanimous election of the UAE by the International Atomic Energy Agency to membership of its board of governors in September 2013.
On 12 November 2012, the UAE was elected, by a large majority of the UN General Assembly, to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the third consecutive year, which ends in late 2015.
The UAE gained membership in the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) Council.
The election of the UAE to the membership of the UN Executive Council of UN Women for three years, from 2013 until 2015.
Selecting the UAE in November 2011 to participate in the Group of Twenty meetings.
The election of the UAE in October, for the third time, to the membership of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Election of the UAE in 2012 to the membership of the International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation advisory committee.
UNESCO selected the UAE in November 2013 for the position of Vice President of the Executive Council of the Arab Group.
Selection of the UAE in November 2013 to be a member of the Executive Council of the World Organisation for Educational Evaluation and Grading, which regulates international examinations on a global level.
The election of the UAE in 2013 to host the headquarters of the General Trust of the International Network of the Academic Certification Authority.
The UAE won the presidency of the permanent Arab Parliament in its first session elections.
On 26 November 2012, the Arab Women Organisation executive council, based in Cairo, elected Dr. Sheikha Saif Al Shamsi from the UAE as its General Director.
Journey of Achievements continues The UAE continues its journey of national achievements by completing all the goals of the UN Millennium Sustainable Development Index, thus becoming one of the first countries to complete the timeline set out by the UN Millennium Summit, which was held in 2000 at UN headquarters in New York.
The UAE achieved more than 95 percent of the UN goals by the year 2012, finishing three years before the deadline of the end of 2015.
In celebration of the UAE’s ranking among the top 10 countries in global competitiveness and its ranking first in government efficiency, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said on 3rd May 2013 that the UAE, thanks to its wise visions, its prudent policies, its unique government, and the efforts of its male and female citizens, is reaping the fruits of empowerment in the form of international respect and acknowledgement of its political efficiency and its economic and management capabilities, along with the wellbeing, security, reassurance and optimism enjoyed by its citizens.
In his 41st National Day statement he added that, “The wellbeing of our citizens and residents has always been at the core of our strategic vision and what drives all our vital programmes and initiatives, which have placed our nation at the top of the world in terms of stability, prosperity and wellbeing, and have made it a cultural, economic and tourist destination, according to all reports and international indices.”