The third annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks Oman 55th among 110 countries.
Covering 90 per cent of the global population, the DQL study was conducted by Surfshark, a cybersecurity company which evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars.
However, the Sultanate shows promising results in Internet quality (ranks 39th), e-government (38th), and e-infrastructure (48th) but lags in Internet affordability (74th), and e-security (74th).
Moreover, the Internet has become even less affordable since 2020. People in Oman have to work 6 hours to afford the cheapest broadband Internet package, 1 hour 27 minutes more than in 2020.
Nevertheless, Oman’s Internet quality is around 10 per cent better than the global average, and it ranks 15th in broadband speed growth, surpassing the UAE, Saudi Arabia and even the US.
The global digital wellbeing study shows that Oman has dropped by 3 places since last year and is now surpassed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The study found that Oman lacks Internet affordability as the country ranks 74th in the world, surpassed by neighbouring India.
Oman’s e-government is also slightly better than the global average. Its online services make it to the top 25 worldwide.
Says Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark, “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.”
He explains, “That is why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook into 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, 6 out of 10 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 the US round out the top five of 110 nations that were evaluated.
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 their digital lives, whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.
Investing in electronic infrastructure and the electronic government contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most.
The 2021 DQL research examined a total population of more than 6.9 billion people in terms of five core pillars and 14 underpinning indicators that provide a comprehensive measure.
The study is based on open-source information provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources.