Congratulations UAE — You Are the Most Innovative Arab Nation in the World

Today I finished delivering nearly two weeks of training and consulting in Dubai, topping it off with a wonderful ceremony featuring the Director General of one of Dubai’s most prosperous and innovative agencies handing out innovation awards to several teams who had successfully pitched their new ideas. It was a great example of the sort of “ritual” I like to see where CEOs and other executives tangibly demonstrate their support for innovation in the organization — sending a clear message of the value the business places on innovation and thereby reinforcing their innovation program.

At this same event, I also had the honor and privilege of sharing with this group the news that just this week the UAE had been confirmed to be the most innovative Arab nation in the world, and had raised its standing on the Global Innovation Index by 6 places — keeping pace with its goal of becoming one of the 10 most innovative nations on earth by 2021. I honestly believe that with the right grit and determination the UAE will achieve that goal.

I also see signs of much of this happening as the nation prepares to host the World Expo in 2020. As I have witnessed firsthand, the influx of new visitors and trade this expo will bring to the nation will place new strains on its infrastructure — strains that are inherently forcing it to have to search for and find innovative new means of meeting those demands. From all I have seen over the past few months here, the nation seems to be stepping up to the challenge. I do not doubt that it will continue to do so. Even as I sit here on the 40th floor of the hotel I am staying in and gaze across the street, I see the large pit being dug that will soon become home to the Museum of the Future. I think much of our future will take place and happen in this city.

So, to all of the UAE, I say congratulations on these milestones and best wishes on the journey to 2021. I, and the Global Innovation Institute, are fully behind you all the way.

Anthony Mills is the Executive Director of the Global Innovation Institute ( as well as the CEO of Legacy Innovation Group ( The Global Innovation Institute has no affiliation with the Global Innovation Index.