Economy banks on law

Rule of Law: UAE tops in region, improves rating globally

United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2018

The economic and financial development of any country largely depends on its regulatory framework and security. Nations around the world lose billions of dollars due to poor law and order and non-implementation of regulations, which badly affect their competitiveness.

But this is not the case with the UAE as the country has the best legal system in the region and the same is reflected in the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index 2017-18, which placed the Emirate at 32nd position among 113 countries, one notch higher over the previous year.

According to industry executives and global institutes, security and strict regulatory enforcement play a vital role in the economic development of the UAE. The UAE stands out in the region for its safe haven status as the country enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Hence, it attracts large foreign direct investments and continues to lead the Arab world in attracting FDI. In 2016 alone, the UAE received $9 billion FDI, accounting for 29 per cent of the total investments in the Arab world.

Essam Al Tamimi, senior partner and founder of Al Tamimi & Company, says the UAE is young, but has realised that if rules and regulations are not based upon international standards, with an independent judicial system, this would significantly impact the country's ability to attract foreign investment as no one would come to a country where law doesn't support investors.

Top ratings in the Middle East

The UAE also maintained its top rating in the Middle East on the Rule of Law index as the safest country, thanks to a world-class legal system, strict imposition of law without any prejudice and very low level of corruption, among others.

Regionally, the UAE achieved first rating in sub-indexes of absence of corruption, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. In order and security, the emirate has been rated 11th in the list of 113 countries.

The country has also scored very high in regulatory enforcement as it has been rated 20th in the global ranking. Similarly, it is also rated high in the civil justice sub-index, ranking 24, ahead of the US, Spain and Italy among others. In the criminal justice sub-index, it scores even better and is rated at 18th, surpassing France, the US, Italy, Spain, Malaysia and some other developed nations.

In the region, the UAE is followed by Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt among the safest nations.

Al Tamimi believes that the UAE's ranking will improve further as the country continues to rule independently under the law, apply laws tailored towards different sectors and maintain international standards and best practices. 'The UAE continues to maintain a high security level and invest in its borders, intelligence and training, the country also avoids crossing the line by ensuring that investments are going towards preventative measures rather than reactive security measures,' Al Tamimi said.

High, low performers

Globally, the top three overall performers in the 2017-18 Index were Denmark, Norway and Finland; the bottom three were Afghanistan (111th), Cambodia (112th), and Venezuela (113th).

The survey is based on more than 110,000 household and 3,000 expert surveys.

Alida Scholtz, CEO and managing director of G4S UAE, said the UAE government has obtained its very high rating in World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index as it spares no expense when it comes to the security of its residents.

She noted that security plays a major role on the economic development of any country and the UAE is a great example of this.

'The UAE has always been at the forefront of order and security. Public institutions in the country are well developed and government officers are held liable for misconduct. The country is also safe from crime and violence which is so rampant around the world,' Scholtz added.