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DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the Gulf countries entering an international trade and tourism ranking.

Bloom Consulting, a branding firm specializing in regions, countries and cities, has released its Trade and Tourism Country Rankings for 2022-23.

The trade rankings revealed the UK was No. 1 despite Brexit, pushing the US down to second place.

India continued its ascent to rank third. France and Germany occupied the fourth and fifth places.

“This year’s National Brand Rankings illustrate that focused, targeted actions lead to impactful long-term results,” Jose Filipe Torres, CEO and Global Director of Country and Territory Branding at Bloom Consulting, told Arab News.

In Asia, Saudi Arabia moved up one place to 12 while the United Arab Emirates fell five positions to 13.

The 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 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 is indicative of “the impact of policy-making on a country’s performance”, he said, referring to the country’s launch of company laws trade and foreign capital investment.

The tourism ranking saw Spain take the lead for the first time, overtaking the United States.

Despite the worst effects of the pandemic, Spain and Italy have been the leaders this year, pushing the United States to third place. Europe dominates the top five, with Germany claiming fourth and pushing the UK to five.

The Gulf countries had a significant presence in Asia in the ranking. Saudi Arabia ranked 17th, Qatar 18th, Jordan 19th, United Arab Emirates 21st, Oman 22nd and Bahrain 24th.

Bahrain moved up four places on the list, mainly thanks to the tourism strategy it launched in 2015, which was reviewed and updated in 2021, Torres said.

The UAE ranking is expected to improve in the next edition.

“As host of Expo 2020, the UAE has enjoyed global media coverage and international visitor arrivals during the COVID-19 recovery period. Combined with the return of travel, this should bring good news for the country in the next edition of the ranking,” he added.