The UAE is the easiest place in the Middle East and North Africa to do business, according to the World Bank’s 2014 report.

The UAE has improved its overall ranking out of 189 countries from no.23 last year to no.22 with 77 points, based on the 10 parameters that form the Ease of Doing Business report, now in its fifth year.

But it is only no.58 when it comes to ease of starting a business.

Singapore, with 88 points, is top of the list, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and South Korea.

Across the rest of the GCC, Saudi Arabia was at no.49, Qatar at no.50, Bahrain at no.53, Oman at 66 and Kuwait 86.

The UAE ranks alongside Singapore at no.1 for ease of paying taxes and fourth for getting electricity and building permits. It is eighth for trading across borders.

It is the only Middle East economy to appear in the top 25.

The World Bank’s top 10 countries to do business:

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Denmark
  5. Korea
  6. Norway
  7. USA
  8. UK
  9. Finland
  10. Australia

Improvements introduced in the UAE that affected its score included –

  • The credit bureau: Better access to credit information as the credit bureau began gathering consumer credit reports.
  • Transferring property: A standard contract and new service centers.
  • Protecting investors: A raft of additional approval measures and greater transparency of transactions.

Russia jumped 30 places to no.62; China came in at no.90, India at 142. Eritrea, Libya and the Central African Republic were ranked the three worst countries in which to set up a business.