Development Indicators a Matter of Pride

  • 21 August 2014

The high ranking achieved by the UAE in the Deloitte Social Progress Index (SPI) released recently highlights facts on the ground with regard to state of development in the country. The index refers to the high standard of living and quality of life enjoyed by its residents compared to people in the MENA region. The UAE tops the region in this important ranking, which comprehensively measures the level of development in these countries. It measures economic development and also covers social progress in addition to monitoring the effects of quantitative economic progress on social life.

Development, in its complete sense, means progress, sustainable economic growth, and transformation of growth into tangible revenue that improves lives of people. If a country wants to achieve this objective, its development programs must meet several objectives. First is the balance between quantitative growth and social development, which cannot be achieved without adequate development of education and health sectors and equitable distribution of income. These programs should create a balance between economic growth and environment protection so that progress doesn’t come at the expense of natural resources and environmental imbalance.

The program is based on a philosophy that development brings prosperity and gives decent living to the current population but not at the expense of future generations. It should guarantee the rights of future generations to enjoy the same quality of life, if not a better one. It will not be inaccurate to say that these factors are balanced in the UAE’s development model. This is evident in the achievements made by the country in international development indicators. Occupying top rankings in the region in terms of economic and social progress index is one of its manifestations.

We cannot, however, overlook the fact that UAE occupies high ranks in the region and internationally on many other indicators including quality of life – by several international organizations such as The Economist, NatWest International, Nambio and others. This shows the country’s development, prosperity and quality of life enjoyed by its residents. Leading the region on many indicators and competing at the highest levels on the UN’s World Happiness Report is proof of the country’s economic development that has turned into advanced level of services. These services meet the aspirations of its people who are happier than in many places around the world.

Finally, the current UAE ranking in terms of Very High Human Development, in the UNDP Human Development Report, is a clear sign of the UAE’s overall development achievements. The ranking is inclusive and assumes great significance among all other development rankings around the world. We must maintain that the UAE’s achievements are a result of related factors, especially its wise leadership that continuously makes efforts to understand the needs of its people, and gives top priority to its welfare, improving the standard of living and improving quality of life.