UAE Among the World’s Top 10 Most Connected Countries

UAE Among the World’s Top 10 Most Connected Countries

UAE secures the top spot for rising connectedness in DHL’s Global Connectedness Report

The UAE has surged ahead in DHL’s Global Connectedness Report to occupy the No. 8 spot among the world’s top 10 most globalized countries.

It has also registered the maximum increase in performance since 2001, securing the top spot for rising connectedness among 181 countries analyzed.

This demonstrates a heightened pace of physical and digital connectivity aimed at strengthening global supply chains and facilitating international trade.

According to the report, the MENA region remains well-connected to much of the rest of the world, not only through trade but also investment, immigration, and tourism.

Even as Europe leads on trade and people flows, and North America leads on capital and information flows, MENA ranks second on trade.

This reflects the importance of the oil trade, the rising prominence of the Gulf countries in trade networks more generally, and the close ties many North African countries have to Europe.

DHL’s Global Connectedness Report draws on nearly 9 million data points and provides a unique and comprehensive picture of how goods and services, capital, information, and people are moving around the world.

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This year, for the first time, the report used a methodology that measures the world’s depth of globalization on a scale from 0% (nothing crosses national borders at all) to 100% (a “frictionless” world where borders and distance have ceased to matter).

It currently stands at 25%, which means a fully globalized world is still far from a reality.

The findings also suggest that despite global economic headwinds and political turmoil, global flows have proven highly resilient, growing faster than domestic activity and stretching out across greater distances. As such, there continue to be many avenues for countries to participate in international business.

The Middle East region, including the UAE, has seized this opportunity and accelerated its digital connectedness to facilitate international trade and flows of capital, information, and talent.

Amadou Diallo, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa, said: “Despite the economic turbulence over the past few years, DHL’s Global Connectedness report shows that globalization reached a record high in 2022 and remained close to that level in 2023.

"Companies expanded their international presence and earned more sales abroad. More specifically, the UAE has invested in expanding the scope of its connectivity by harnessing technology and introducing national-level policies that facilitate global trade and exchange and attract the right talent pool.”

The report also highlights a healthy appetite for international expansion, with a rise in the value of announced greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) and publicly traded companies from most countries earning more of their sales abroad. People flow, which was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, continued a strong recovery trend in 2023.

International travel globally reached 88% of pre-pandemic levels and was on track for a full recovery by the end of 2024.

The Middle East was leading the travel recovery, with international arrivals already 23% above pre-pandemic levels in 2023, according to data from the UN World Tourism Organization.

The report demonstrates that there is not – at least yet – a clear global shift underway from globalization to regionalization. In fact, most international flows are taking place over stable or even longer distances, with a declining share happening inside major geographic regions.

In the realm of trade, only North America shows a clear shift to more regionalized trade patterns. In the UAE and wider MEA region too, new trade connections are progressing and evolving very quickly, playing a key role in contributing to and accelerating overall globalization.

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