The UAE has been ranked among the world’s top 10 soft power superpowers for the first time and is the only nation from the Middle East in the top 10 positions, according to the Global Soft Power Index 2023 released on Thursday.
The index is a research study conducted annually by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance on a representative sample of over 100,000 respondents in more than 100 markets worldwide, measuring perceptions of 121 nation brands.
With otherwise little change in the top 10, the performance of the UAE is a standout. For the fourth year running, the Emirates achieved the highest score of any Middle Eastern nation brand, but this year’s increase of +3.2 to 55.2 has meant a jump of five ranks to allow it to claim 10th position in the global ranking for the first time.
Alongside the three key performance indicators of Familiarity, Reputation, and Influence, the Global Soft Power Index also measures perceptions of nation brands across 35 attributes grouped under 8 Soft Power Pillars. Both the Reputation and Influence of the Emirates have seen notable increases this year.
“The UAE was one of the first economies to roll out mass vaccination and open during the Covid-19 pandemic, giving it a head start ahead of others and allowing it to maintain positive perceptions across the business and trade pillar with a particular improvement on the ‘future growth potential’ attribute, where it ranks 3rd globally,” said David Haigh, chairman and CEO of Brand Finance.
Perceptions of the UAE’s Governance and International Relations are on the up too and the nation’s salience is only expected to grow.
The Emirates Mars Mission has landed the UAE at 8th for “invests in space exploration” while hosting the world’s most high-profile climate conference, COP28, which will put the nation firmly in the spotlight in 2023.
The historically oil-heavy economy continues to increase its commitment to diversification, innovation, and investment in a more Sustainable Future.The UAE already scores relatively high on the new soft power pillar of that name, placing 19th globally.