I am attending a conference about quality assurance in higher education. Great researchers and great results. However I think the arab world lacks the basic criteria of acheiving high ranks and no matter how much we spend on higher education such as hiring noble prize winners or top researchers or have incredible buildings and infrastructure and so on we will never reach the level of those top universities. 
I am not being pesimistic here, trust me I beleive in what we are trying to do to improve the outcome but we do not have the liberty to do any research.  Once this becomes open you will see that at least half of world class universities is from the arab world