UAE leads the world with the highest well-being scores

A report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that the United Arab Emirates has outshone the world with its high well-being scores in areas including employment, income, income equality, civil society, education, environment, infrastructure and governance. 

All of these factors sum up to a Sustainable Economic Development Assessment (SEDA) score, and the UAE 's was the highest score for nations around the world.

“The UAE must focus on reversing the recent backward trend on a number of its dimensions or risk falling behind other (Gulf Cooperative Council) states,” Douglas Beal, a partner and managing director at BCG Middle East and a report co-author, said. “The UAE’s strong and improving governance score serves as a basis to support future progress and advancements. Overall, SEDA provides a powerful diagnostic foundation which can be used to help identify policy priorities.

“As the world finally emerges from the global recession, policymakers are focusing on how to sustain and accelerate their country’s growth rates,” Beal said. “Leaders must now embark upon a new era and actively pursue well-being – not just GDP – as the primary goal. They can and should measure well-being, and hold themselves against it. Our assessment shows that you don’t necessarily need high GDP growth to improve the lives of citizens, and the countries that focus on well-being seem to succeed on more fronts.”

Economic stability is the only category in which the UAE did not have the highest score. The region did demonstrate the best recent-progress score for its governance.

“Looking at growth through the lens of well-being that we have proposed sheds new light on a number of global patterns beyond what can be seen by looking at GDP alone,” Enrique Rueda-Sabater, a BCG senior economic adviser and a co-author of the report, said. “Some of these patterns raise fundamental global questions about what needs to be done so that we can make the most of wealth and economic growth to achieve sustainable development that is inclusive within and across countries.”

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