The United Arab Emirates is the most attractive location in the Middle East and North Africa region for developing the travel and tourism industry, according to a new industry report released by the World Economic Forum.

The U.A.E. ranked 30th out of 139 countries and first within the Mena region in the 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, or TTCI, which measures factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector in different countries.

The rankings were established before the start of political unrest in parts of the Mena region earlier this year, which has since led to the toppling of the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and ongoing violent conflict in countries such as Libya, Syria and Yemen.

The U.A.E., the Arab world’s second-biggest economy, ranked ahead of traditional tourist destinations like Egypt, Jordan and Syria, according to the report. Switzerland retained first position globally, followed by Germany and France.