According to a recent opinion-based ranking conducted in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, Saudi Arabia is seen globally as a powerful nation, so powerful it made its way into the top 10 list. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the US News and World Report’s 2019 Best Countries poll asked 20,000 people about their opinions of 80 countries, and based on their answers, Saudi Arabia came in at number nine.
The ranking, which looks at a country's political and financial influences, as well as its international and alliances, the strength its military, and how it acts as an international leader, placed the US at the top of the list, followed by Russia, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom. According to the report, “Saudi Arabia is a large and wealthy country, with US News describing it as the giant of the Middle East […] The Kingdom also the home of Mecca, to which millions of Muslims travel every year, and has vast oil reserves which it exports around the world.”
The top ten countries also included France, Japan, and South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates taking the eleventh spot. In addition to this list, Saudi Arabia made headlines in another way this week, as its nationals were once again ranked as the second largest group in Gulf Business’ annual Arab Power list for 2019. According to the publication, three of the new additions from Saudi Arabia are women: the country’s first female filmmaker Haifa Al Mansour, the CEO of the Samba Financial Group Rania Mahmoud Nashar, and the founder and CEO of Falak Business Hub Adwa Al Dakheel.