Synonymous with sky-high buildings, the proud owner of several Guinness world records and the destination for over-the-top activities, the UAE truly is a bustling hub in the Middle East. And although New Year's Eve is still a few days away, the nation is celebrating early as it has just been crowned the most generous country in the world. 

According to data and numbers gathered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UAE has made up 1.21 percent of its gross national income by providing development aid worth Dhs15.57 billion. In perspective, the United Nations has previously recommended economically stable countries tackle at least 0.7 percent of their gross national income, a figure which the UAE (in true style) has surpassed.

It comes as no real surprise considering this year was marked as the Year of Giving and saw the UAE's royals increase their humanitarian efforts as a result. 

For example, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of DubaiHH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, together with HRH Princess Haya, sent Dhs1.3 million worth of emergency supplies to hurricane-hit Haiti. Also, a government report has stated that more than 275,000 volunteers have already dedicated 2.8 million hours to charitable work.

We can't wait to see what the country will achieve in 2018 — we have no doubt it will be worth talking about. Now, discover Dubai's latest initiative to encourage expats to learn Arabic