Muscat – Oman ranks 55th in the world in the 2021 Digital Quality of Life Index. The sultanate does remarkably well in broadband speed growth (15th), mobile affordability (19th) and online services index (24th), while it lags behind in Internet affordability (74th) and e-security (74th).
The third annual edition of Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks 110 countries, covering 90 per cent of the global population.
The DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark and evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars: Internet affordability, Internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-governance. Underpinning these pillars are 14 indicators that are interrelated and work together to provide a measure of overall digital quality of life.
In the GCC, Qatar leads with a global rank of 33rd, followed by Bahrain 39th, UAE 42nd and Saudi Arabia 50th. Kuwait is not part of the Index.
Oman also shows good results in Internet quality (ranked 39th), e-governance (38th) and e-infrastructure (48th). The study found that Oman lacks in Internet affordability (74th rank) when compared with the world. In the GCC, UAE (34th), Bahrain (52nd) and Qatar (65th) do slightly better, while Saudi Arabia (82nd) is placed last in Internet affordability.
Moreover, the Internet has become even less affordable since 2020. People in Oman have to work six hours to afford the cheapest broadband Internet package, one hour and 27 minutes more than in 2020.
Nevertheless, Oman’s Internet quality is around ten per cent better than the global average and it ranks 15th in broadband speed growth, surpassing the UAE, Saudi Arabia and even the US. Oman’s e-governance is also slightly better than the global average and its online services make it to the top 25 worldwide.
“Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,” said Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark.
“That is why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook on how countries excel digitally. The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made.”
In an all-around picture, six out of ten countries holding the highest scores are located in Europe, following last year’s trend. Denmark ranks first in DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks third, while Israel and the US round out the top five. The bottom five countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala and Angola.
Regionally, the US stands out as a country with the highest digital quality of life in the Americas, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia. Among countries in Africa, people in South Africa enjoy the highest quality of digital lives whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.