The UAE jumped into the top 5 of Nabarro infrastructure index, which rates 25 countries across the world in terms of investment attractiveness. The latest index, presented by the international law firm in Dubai on Monday evening, follows the Infrastructure Index 2012, when the UAE was ranked in 12th place.
The new index rates the UAE as a more attractive investment location that European powerhouses France and Germany. Only the UK, Canada, US and Australia are more highly rated.
The index takes into account tax environment, the availability of credit and the country's economic stability, national stability, the ease of doing business, level of private participation, and sustainability and innovation.
The report notes, "The UAE owes its spot in the top five of the index due to its efforts to rebalance its economy. Its tax environment tied with Saudi Arabia for second place. Its credit and stability score tied with Australia.”
The report marked Dubai as "one to watch”, noting that Expo 2020 meant an additional $8.1 billion (Dh29.7 billion) of public investment into new infrastructure, including the 16-lane bridge over the $2 billion Dubai Water Canal.
However, it noted that the emirate now faced serious rivals as the regions financial hub.
Saudi Arabia lies in 13th place, with Qatar at 15, Kuwait at 16, Jordan at 23 and Egypt in 25th place.
The report suggested that although Saudi Arabia still hoped to spend $100b on transport projects over the next 10 years, it could cut investment by up to 10 per cent as a result of low oil prices, which were starting to have a serious impact on Middle East economies.
It said Saudi Arabia still needed better infrastructure to cope with the influx of people making pilgrimage to Makkah.
Nabarro Infrastructure Index 2016
Top 10 (index score)
1. UK (174)
2. Canada (161)
3. US (153)
4. Australia (152)
5. UAE (142)
6. Germany (128)
7. Singapore (121)
8. France (109)
9. Brazil (108)
10. Turkey (107).