Arab youths choose UAE as favourite place to live for 10th year

The UAE remains the top choice of residence for Arab youth for the 10th consecutive year, according to the 13th edition of the annual Asda’a BCW Arab Youth Survey released on Tuesday.

Not just that, nearly half of the Arab youth also want their countries to emulate the UAE.

The survey findings revealed that nearly half (47 per cent) wanted to live in the UAE, while 19 per cent chose the US and 15 per cent opted for Canada. Around half (46 per cent) also said the UAE was the nation they most wanted their own country to emulate, followed by the US (28 per cent), and Canada and Germany (both on 12 per cent).

The UAE remains the most preferred country ever since young Arab men and women were first asked the question in 2012. Youths from Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Algeria topped the list who have the highest preference to live in the UAE.

The annual survey was conducted among 3,400 nationals of Mena countries across 17 Arab countries aged between 18 and 24 years. Conducted between June 6 and June 30, 2021, the survey was split 50:50 between males and females.

In the UAE, 90 per cent of Emirati youth said their “best days lie ahead.”

Nearly half of young Arabs (47 per cent) selected the UAE as their favourite place to live, more than double the number of votes the poll’s second-ranked country, the US received. Almost the same proportion (46 per cent) said the UAE was the country they most wanted their own to be like, followed by the US (28 per cent), Canada, Germany and France.

Highlighting the key characteristics of the UAE, Arab youths noted that the country’s growing economy, the wide range of opportunities it offers, clean environment, safety and security, generous salary packages make the country stand out among the Arab world.

“These findings will be particularly gratifying as the UAE celebrates its half-centennial this year and looks forward to the next 50 years of its prosperity and success. With the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic now receding thanks to the leadership’s proactive efforts, and Expo 2020 Dubai underway amidst huge fanfare, a spirit of positivity and optimism is clearly detectable in this year’s findings, while the trust of Emirati youth in their nation’s economic vision remains universally high,” said Sunil John, president, MENA, BCW and founder of ASDA’A BCW.

99 per cent of Emiratis say economy heading in right direction

The annual survey results found that nearly two-thirds, 62 per cent, of Emirati youth expect to have a better life than their parents while a staggering 99 per cent believe their country’s economy was heading in the right direction, up from 97 per cent last year.

Moreover, all the young Emirati men and women polled this year said their voice mattered to the country’s leadership, another inspiring finding to mark the nation’s Jubilee year.

“National pride is clearly a theme of our findings in the UAE, with 41 per cent of Emirati respondents saying their nationality is central to their identity, more than double the regional average. This shows just how powerfully the message of national unity conveyed by the UAE’s leadership has resonated with its young citizens,” added John.

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“They also acknowledge the UAE’s efforts to promote gender equality, with more than eight in 10 saying that men and women have the same rights and equal access to employment; again, this is far above the regional average,” he said.

Despite the positivity of UAE youth overall, nearly nine out of 10 – 87 per cent – young Emiratis say they remain “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the Covid-19 pandemic, while 82 per cent are worried about rising living costs. The quality of education was their third-ranked concern.

Waheed Abbas

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