Press release

19 Feb 2024

For 3rd year in a row, Gulf States top the ranking in the ESCWA Government Electronic and Mobile Services Maturity Index

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Beirut, 19 February 2024--In this year’s edition of the Government Electronic and Mobile Services (GEMS) Maturity Index in the Arab Region, issued annually by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) since 2019, Gulf States continue to top the ranking for the third year in a row, as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar secured the first three ranks.

This year’s Index measured the maturity of government services in 17 countries through three dimensions: service availability and sophistication, service usage and satisfaction, and public outreach. A comparison of results with last year’s edition shows that most Arab countries have made progress in the three dimensions.

According to ESCWA GEMS project lead Nawar Al-Awa, wide gaps remain among Arab countries in the maturity of digital services. “We need to support the countries that are still in the early stages of digital transformation through leveraging cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and experiences. This will help them to accelerate digital transformation and maximize the positive impact of digital technologies in government services,” Al-Awa underscored.

The increase in the number of assessed digital services between the two last Index editions indicates a growing uptake of digital transformation among Arab countries. The  number of evaluated Arab government entities also increased in the same period in turn reflecting an interest in implementing digital transformation across public sectors. In this regard, the utilities and education sectors topped the list in terms of assessed digital services. However, these results point to the need for intensifying efforts towards service digitization in other sectors, such as justice and tourism.

“We are continuously improving the GEMS Index,” assured Al-Awa, “be it to ensure that the list of assessed services is in line with the rapidly evolving needs of individuals and businesses, or in terms of the key performance indicators (KPIs) considered.” “This year’s KPIs included use of artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality and cloud computing to improve services and entities’ cybersecurity,” he concluded.

The GEMS Index is an important tool to assist decision makers in the Arab region in advancing efforts towards digitization of government services and monitor progress in digital transformation.



One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.


For more information and to arrange interviews:

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:

- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email:

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