The UAE was perceived to be least corrupt country in the Middle East, and the 25th globally among 175 countries, according to the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International.
The index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, measures countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
It found that the UAE’s score improved marginally, from 69 last year to 70 this year, and the Gulf state was placed above Qatar (ranked 26), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (both ranked 55), Oman (ranked 64) and Kuwait (ranked 67).
Globally, Denmark topped with a score of 92 while North Korea and Somalia shared last place, scoring eight.
In its report, Transparency International said that the index paints an “alarming picture.”
“Corruption is a problem for all countries,” it said. “Not one single country gets a perfect score and more than two-thirds score below 50.”
The index, in its 20th edition, also found that the biggest falls in score were in Turkey (down by five points), Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda (all down by four points). The biggest improvers were Côte d´Ivoire, Egypt, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (up by five points), Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland (up by four points).
“The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain,” said José Ugaz, the chair of Transparency International.
“Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries,” he added.