23 May 2024 22:23

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Young Arabs view the UAE as the top country to live in for the seventh year running, far surpassing other countries

The United Arab Emirates retains its position as the top country Arab youth would like to live in and want their own countries to emulate for the seventh year running, according to the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released today. 

The 10th annual Survey also reveals that young Emiratis are extremely optimistic about their futures and that young Arabs across the region view the UAE as the top ally of their respective countries. 

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For this year’s Survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 18-24 in 16 Arab nations, between January 21 and February 20, 2018.

More than one-in-three (35 per cent) respondents across the 16 Arab countries, say the United Arab Emirates is the country they would most like to live in, far surpassing global powers like the US, Canada (both 18 per cent), Germany (12 per cent) as well as Saudi Arabia (16 per cent) and other Arab countries. More than a third (37 per cent) of Arab youth also say the UAE is a model country for their own, once again far surpassing the US, Canada (both 17 per cent), Japan (15 per cent), and others.   

Young Emiratis agree with the positive perceptions of the UAE across the region, with 99 per cent of the UAE’s youth saying their country is heading in the right direction and more than four-in-five (85 per cent) saying their best days are ahead of them. The Survey’s findings correspond to the UAE’s position in international rankings. The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2018 World Happiness Report ranks the UAE as the happiest Arab country and 20th out of 156 countries overall. The UAE also leads the region in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business table, and, according to the World Economic Forum, is first among the GCC states for gender equality. 

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “Throughout the Survey’s history, the UAE has consistently been chosen by Arab youth as the nation that best fits their aspirations. As one of the first countries in the region to focus on diversifying the economy to create better opportunities for its young people, the UAE continues to inspire the region with its future-focused vision.” 

Among young Arabs across the region, the United Arab Emirates also remains the top ally, with 37 per cent saying the UAE is their country’s top ally, followed by Saudi Arabia (35 per cent), Kuwait (22 per cent), Russia (20 per cent), and Egypt (19 per cent). Young Emiratis view Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait as their country’s top allies. 

Young Emiratis also expressed strong support for the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT). Nearly three-in-four (71 per cent) young Emiratis say they support the five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), introduced by the UAE government in January 2018. Only 27 per cent say they oppose the new tax.   

For this year’s Survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. 

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018:

•Youth say the past decade – shaped by the Arab Spring and Daesh – has left the Middle East drifting off course

•To steer the region in the right direction, action is needed on jobs, education, corruption and the fight against terror

•While young Arabs increasingly turn to social media for their news, they see CNN as the most trusted and al Jazeera as the least trusted news sources

•Inspired by the Digital Revolution, future Arab entrepreneurs turn to the tech sector, which offers plentiful opportunities in the region

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