DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the Gulf countries entering an international trade and tourism ranking.
Bloom Consulting, a branding firm specializing in region, country, and city, released its trade and tourism country rankings for 2022-23.
The trade ranking revealed that the UK was No. 1 despite Brexit, pushing the US down to the second spot.
India continued its upward journey to rank third. France and Germany were in fourth and fifth place.
“This year’s country brand rankings illustrate that purposeful, focused actions lead to impactful, long-term results,” Jose Filipe Torres, CEO and nation and place branding global director at Bloom Consulting, told Arab News.
In Asia, Saudi Arabia moved one spot up to 12 while the UAE dropped five positions to 13.
Other Gulf countries in the ranking were Jordan at 22, Oman at 25, Qatar at 27, Bahrain at 29, and Kuwait at 36.
Torres said that Saudi Arabia was continuing to implement its Vision 2030 framework aimed at diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil.
Oman’s improvement in the rankings was indicative of the “impact of policymaking on a country’s performance,” he said, referring to the country’s launch of commercial company and foreign capital investment laws.
The tourism ranking saw Spain take the lead for the first time, overtaking the US.
Despite suffering the worst effects of the pandemic, Spain and Italy were this year’s leaders, pushing the US down to the third spot. Europe dominates the top five countries, with Germany coming in fourth and pushing the UK down to five.
Gulf countries had a significant presence within Asia in the ranking. Saudi Arabia ranked 17, Qatar was 18, Jordan was 19, the UAE was 21, Oman was 22, and Bahrain was 24.
Bahrain climbed four places on the list, mostly due to the tourism strategy it launched in 2015, which was reviewed and updated in 2021, Torres said.
The UAE’s ranking was expected to improve in the next edition.
“As the host of Expo 2020, the UAE benefited from global press coverage and international visitor arrivals in the COVID-19 recovery period. Combined with the return of travel, this is likely to bring good news for the country in the next edition of the ranking,” he added.