UAE ranks 8th globally and 1st regionally in UN’s 2016 e-Smart Services Index

UAE ranks 8th globally and 1st regionally in UN’s 2016 e-Smart Services Index

UAE eyes topmost rank by 2021

The UAE has moved up by four ranks in its position in the e-smart services index of the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) issued by the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs (UNDESA)--ranking 8th (0.8913) globally with the Republic of Estonia. The EGDI is an important component in the overall index used to determine growth in e-government development.

The current ranking consolidates the UAE's regional leadership in the e-services index--ranking 1st place in the Gulf, the Arab World and the West Asian region. The UAE is also ranked 3rd in Asia and 8th globally. For the e-participation index, the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain are ranked number 1 in the Arab World and are also tied at the 32nd place globally.

The report shows that the UAE is listed among the world's leading countries in terms of the level of progress in e-governance. The UAE is also among the world's leading countries in terms of e-participation.

The report indicates that the UAE has achieved full marks in the second level of the services provided by the government. The overall index is composed of three indexes; e-services, human capital, and communications infrastructure. The UAE ranked 29th globally, jumping up three positions from 2014, ranking 32nd. The report has listed the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain as among the global leaders in e-government development index, where the United Kingdom came first, followed by Australia and South Korea.

His Excellency (H.E.) Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, TRA, said, “We are very thankful for the positive results that the UAE has achieved in this report, particularly the achievement of being ranked third in the smart e-Service Index. We are coming close to our goal is to be number one in the world. We are aware that when we get closer to the summit, the competition becomes fiercer and accordingly, we promise our wise leadership to exert more efforts in order to continue working tirelessly and not lose direction in our quest no matter how intense the challenges will be. Today, we are ranked 8th place and we look forward to being ranked first place in 2021—this is not an option but a commitment for us to achieve and live up to.”

Mansoori added, “On this occasion, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to all government entities for their efforts. The bright image of the UAE across the whole world can be attributed to the collective efforts of various parties and not just that of an individual or a small team. This achievement shows that we can obtain positive results through perseverance, cooperation and hard work. We, the people of the UAE, have a track record in in creating achievements that are still reverberating in the world. Our journey to get the 1st place in the Smart services index is only one of the tests that seeks to demonstrate how worthy we are of belonging to the UAE and its wise leadership.”

The report throws the spotlight on the development of e-government across 193 countries from all over the world, through the measurement of EGDI, which is a composite index. The results are based on calculations of the average of the three sub-indices--online service (OSI), telecommunication infrastructure index (TII) and human capital index (HCI).

The evaluation of the United Nations for e-government 2016 focuses on the ability of countries to employ the programs of the e-government to serve the 17th development goals, including good education, good health and well-being, gender equality, clean energy, decent work and growth of the economy, industry and innovation and main infrastructures, cities and sustainable communities, climate among others.

The UN e-government 2016 evaluation measures how well ICT is used to reform and develop the public sector in the states, by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and accessibility to public services. It also measures the participation of the populations in each member country of the UN, in all developmental levels.

The UAE government placed the e-smart services as one its main indicators within its national agenda. This indicator measures the development of e-government smart services in terms of availability, quality, and number of channels. It also measures how much these services are being used by the general public, as a contribution to the overall happiness and lifestyle of its users.

Graph number 1 shows UAE’s pioneering website in the E-smart Service Index report 2016


The smart e-services indicator is made up of 4 levels. The first level includes developing information services, which entails providing all e-government information on the internet in basic and limited picture. The second level, enhanced information services, the government provides general policy and more present and saved information, such as policies, laws, listings, reports, news, and up-loadable databases. The third phase which looks into transactional services, is a two-way interaction between citizens and the government or vice versa. The fourth phase is the connected services, the most advanced e-government initiative on the internet. The UAE improved in all four levels, as it retained 100 per cent on developing information services, 100 per cent on enhanced information services, compared to 77 per cent in 2014, and 87 per cent in level of transactional services compared to 67 per cent in 2014. In addition, the UAE achieved 66 per cent in connected services as compared to 71 per cent in 2014.

Graph number 2 shows the progress made by the UAE between 2010 and 2016


The graph shows progress achieved at all four levels / stages between 2010 and 2016, as the UAE has jumped from 68 to 100 in the first level; from 22 to 100 in the second level; from 1 to 87 at the third level and from 10 to 66 in the fourth level. The index measures the maturity of Smart/ e-Services according to four levels / stages--emerging, enhanced, procedural and connected.

On a GCC level, the UAE achieved first place in smart e-services followed by Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, and Oman respectively.

Graph 3 shows UAE ranks 1st among GCC for 2016


It is noted that the GCC countries in general, have made higher rates than the overall average, which shows the interest of all Gulf governments to provide their services online, in order to make customers happy and achieve prosperity.

According to the report, the UK held the first position globally when it came to smart e-services, followed by Australia, Singapore, Canada and North Korea.

Graph number 4 shows the ranking of the top countries in the smart e-services index 2016


The e-participation index shows that the UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain tied in the top spot in the Arab world and also tied at 32nd place globally. The e-participation index is a complementary index of the UN’s survey on the e-government. The index expands the scope of the survey by focusing on the participation of citizens in making public decisions by facilitating the provision of information from governments to citizens, interacting with the beneficiaries, and the cooperation in the electronic decision-making processes.

The report revealed that the UAE advanced 18 places when it came to ICT wired and wireless infrastructure (TII) to hold 25th position worldwide. The index is an average of five sub-indexes. The sub-indexes refer to the number of internet users, number of DSL WIFI Fixed users, number of WIFI wireless users, and the number of fixed line subscribers as well as number of mobile subscribers.

The value of the ICT wireless and wired infrastructure index is a result of the average of all these five sub-indexes and the final country result is tallied in comparison with the value of the most advanced country and the most under-developed country.

As for Human Capital Index, the UAE advanced 10 positions in comparison with 2014 report, the UAE now holds 107th position worldwide. This index is a combination of four sub-indexes. The four sub-indexes are the number of expected school years, average HCI human capital schooling, and percentage of registered students, in addition to percentage of adults who can read and write in the country.

The combined value of HCI for the country is an average of all four sub-indexes with special emphasis on each sub index, and the final result is achieved by comparing the country result with countries with the highest value and countries with lowest value.

The UNDESA periodical index provides a periodical report that sheds light on the status of e-government development for 193 member states. The report is a global reference for e-government sector and is gaining more importance because it is issued by the UN directly. It has continued to be published since its first report in 2003 and is now published every two years since 2008.