Three countries from the GCC region have been ranked among the top 10 in safety according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
UAE has been ranked as the second safest country in the world behind only Finland, and has a well-developed hospitality and entertainment infrastructure (27th), the report noted.
Oman ranks at the 4th position, while Qatar comes at number 10.
The world’s 10 safest countries
- Hong Kong
UAE continues to be the most competitive economy for developing its travel and tourism sector in the Middle East and North Africa and ranks number two globally for tourism safety.
The UAE, ranked 29th globally overall, well ahead of its nearest regional challenger Qatar (47th), continued to improve its performance with its score rising 1.4 per cent since 2015, the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism (T&T) Competitiveness Report 2017 said.
Spain tops the 2017 edition of the TTCI global rankings for the second time, followed by France (2nd), Germany (3rd), Japan (4th, gaining five places), the UK (5th), the US (6th, losing two places), Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th, up one) and Switzerland (10th, losing four places).
The report said the UAE, which welcomed 14.4 million international visitors in 2015, four million more than two years earlier, continues to offer an outstanding business environment to invest in T&T activities (5th), with advanced ICT readiness (15th) and one of the best air transport infrastructures in the world (3rd), in terms of both connectivity and quality of the service.
Despite significant headwinds, the Middle East has improved its T&T competitiveness. International arrivals continue to grow, reaching 72 million in 2015 compared to 68 million in 2013 and 62 million in 2011, when the region experienced its biggest drop in tourist arrivals.
Better ICT infrastructure, lower prices, partial improvements in international openness and some progress in nurturing cultural heritage have created better conditions to develop the T&T sector overall. Still, natural and cultural resources remain mostly underexploited and international openness is still limited.
Published on 17 April 2017