A melting pot of nationalities and a new entry visa system to attract professionals has propelled the UAE to the top of the list of the best countries to start a career and study aboard, according to a new survey.
The US News and World Report survey, released this week, ranked the UAE 22nd out of 80 countries surveyed for the best countries in 2017.
The country is ranked first in the “movers” category, which rates attributes such as “distinctive, different, unique and dynamic” and is placed 10th in the list of powerful countries.
Written in association with Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the survey evaluates 80 countries and more than 21,000 business leaders, elites and citizens.
The UAE, which was not featured in the 2016 list, is ranked the number one country to study abroad in the world, by at least 8,000 millennials, or adults younger than 35, who filled out surveys for the 2017 rankings.
Citing UNESCO figures, the survey said the UAE brought in more than 73,000 international students in 2015.
Ranked second on the list of top 5 countries to start a career, the survey said skilled workers were in high demand in the UAE, where there is a significant shortage of local talent.
“High wages coupled with low costs of living have historically attracted professionals to . . . country with the government recently introducing a new programme aimed at bolstering fields such as science, medicine and research,” it survey added.
Launched in February, the government said the new visa system will boost tourism, health and education sectors by enhancing the UAE’s competitive excellence on the global stage by bringing in professional and qualified people.
The survey lists Switzerland at the number one position, with Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan following to complete the top-5 list.
“Switzerland debuts as the world’s top country, in part because of its progressive social systems, protection of human rights and business-friendly environment,” the survey said.