The global economy will witness significant economic changes in the coming years and the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda aims for the UAE to be at its heart

As a result, it focuses on the UAE becoming the economic, touristic and commercial capital for more than two billion people by transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, promoting innovation and research and development, strengthening the regulatory framework for key sectors, and encouraging high value-adding sectors. These will improve the country’s business environment and increase its attractiveness to foreign investment. 

The National Agenda also aims for the UAE to be among the best in the world in entrepreneurship as this plays a key role in unlocking the potential of nationals and enables them to be a driving force of the UAE’s economic development through small and medium enterprises in the private sector. Furthermore, the Agenda strives to instill an entrepreneurial culture in schools and universities to foster generations endowed with leadership, creativity, responsibility and ambition. This will allow the UAE to be among the best in the world in ease of doing business, innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D indicators.

Moreover, the government aims not only to achieve leading positions in global reports, but to also provide a good life for its citizens. Therefore the National Agenda seeks to place the UAE among the top countries in the world in income per capita and ensure high levels of national participation in the private sector workforce.

National Key Performance Indicators

Competitive Knowledge Economy
Index
Indicator
Definition
Source
Results
Key Sponsor
1
Global Innovation Index
A composite index that measures the performance of innovation in countries. Innovation inputs are measured based on institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication and business sophistication, while innovation output is measured by knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.
INSEAD
Rank 35
(2017 Report)
Ministry of Economy
2
Non-Oil Real GDP Growth
An indicator that measures the real annual economic growth of all sectors except oil. It is one of the most important macroeconomic indicators and reflects the overall state of the national economy over consecutive years. GDP includes the total value of annual production of goods and services.
Federal Cometitiveness and Statistics Authority
 2.7%
(Preliminary 2016)
Ministry of Economy
3
Global Competitiveness Index
A composite indicator that measures the competitiveness of countries based on (12) perspectives: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
World Economic Forum- Global Competitiveness Report
Rank 17
(2017-2018 Report)
Federal Cometitiveness and Statistics Authority
4
Share of UAE Nationals in the Workforce
An indicator that measures the share of employed UAE nationals out of the total workforce (expatriates and nationals), across all sectors (NKPI specific to UAE)
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
7.35%
(2016 Estimate)
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
5
Emiratisation Rate in the Private Sector
An indicator that measures the share of UAE nationals employed in the private sector, as a proportion of the total workers in the private sector (expatriates and nationals) (NKPI specific to UAE)
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
3.35%
(2016 Estimate)
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
6
Ease of Doing Business Index
A composite indicator that measures government procedures around business activity. It is based on (11) sub-indicators: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and labor market regulations
World Bank
Rank 21
(2018 Report)
Federal Cometitiveness and Statistics Authority
7
Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita
An indicator that measures the average income per person in a country. GNI includes the value of all the services and products that have been produced in the country (i.e. GDP) in a given year, in addition to the country's net income from abroad (such as dividends and interest).
World Bank
Rank 10
(2016 World Bank Estimate)
Ministry of Economy
8
Net Inflow of Foreign Direct Investment as % of GDP
An indicator that measures foreign direct investment (FDI) as a percentage of GDP. FDI is defined as the amount of net inflow of investment required to achieve a lasting management interest (10 percent or more of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term and short-term capital, as shown in the balance of payments.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(Unctad)
2.96%
(2015)
Ministry of Economy
9
SME Contribution to Non-Oil GDP
An indicator that measures the share of GDP produced by small and medium-sized enterprises
Ministry of Economy and Federal Cometitiveness and Statistics Authority
Work in Progress
Ministry of Economy
10
Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI)
An indicator that measures 3 sub-indices: Entrepreneurial Attitudes (the general disposition of a country’s population toward entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, and business start-ups), Entrepreneurial Activity (the startup activity in the medium- or high-technology sector initiated by educated entrepreneurs in response to business opportunities in a somewhat competitive environment), and Entrepreneurship Aspiration (the efforts of the early stage entrepreneur to introduce new products and services, develop new production processes, penetrate foreign markets, substantially increase the number of firm employees, and finance the business with either formal or informal venture capital, or both).
Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute
Rank 19
(2017 Report)
Ministry of Economy
11
Share of "Knowledge Workers" in the Labor Force
An indicator that measures the share of highly skilled workers, workers in high-level professions, and workers classified under the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO - 08) of the total workforce. These jobs include: legislators, managers, business executives and specialists and technicians in the scientific, technical and humanitarian fields (i.e. the top levels of the classification of occupations).
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
24.55%
(2016)
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
12
Research and Development Expenditure as % of GDP
An indicator that measures the total domestic expenditure on research and development (in the public, academic, and private sector), as a percentage of GDP
Federal Cometitiveness and Statistics Authority
0.87%
(2015)
Ministry of Education