Out of 143 countries, the UAE ranked 23rd, moving up one place and leading the Arab World in the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index in the Global Information Technology Report 2015 (GITR).
In the UAE, despite having one of the highest mobile phone subscription rates (171.9%), the lack of access to the Internet is depriving many UAE citizens of the opportunity to take full advantage of e-learning as well as online financial, data, and health services, says Cisco in a statement.
In order to embrace the IoE, the UAE’s government and businesses must be fully digitised, supported by a highly robust and secure network, according to the company.
The GITR report suggests that investing in infrastructure and education; supporting the development of local content; and creating an enabling environment by promoting competition through sound regulation will correct the imbalance in the UAE.
Rabih Dabboussi, general manager at Cisco UAE, said: “We believe there has never been a better time to combine human ingenuity and technological innovation to improve the lives of all Emirati citizens. As home to the world’s second-fastest employment growth, the wider Middle East is ripe for transformation and is an increasingly attractive environment for global business investments. Technology is at an inflection point and the UAE’s economy needs to prioritise ICT adoption to take full advantage of the benefits that embracing digital transformation strategies will offer.”
Robert Pepper, vice president, global technology policy at Cisco, said: “The UAE can make massive strides in connecting more citizens and bringing about positive social and economic change by improving its Networked Readiness. With political will and commitment from the private sector, progress can be made in bringing the benefit of ICTs to more people. We are already facing the next wave of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) –the UAE needs to prioritise ICT development if it is to benefit from the new experiences and efficiencies that the IoE will bring.”