Pam King Sams
UAE once again chosen as the ‘top country to live in’ by Arab youth.
The UAE has been chosen as the top country in the world to live in by nearly half of all Arab youth for the ninth consecutive year, according to the annual Arab Youth survey conducted by Asda’a BCW.
While 46 per cent of the young Arabs surveyed selected the UAE as their country of choice, the US came second (33 per cent), followed by Canada (27 per cent), the UK (27 per cent), and Germany (22 per cent).
The survey polled 4,000 young Arab nationals aged 18 to 24 from 17 Arab states across the MENA region, with a 50-50 female and male split.
Seen as a ‘model nation’, the UAE also came first (52 per cent) when Arab youth were asked which country their nation should emulate. The US ranked second with 30 per cent, followed by Germany (23 per cent), Canada (21 per cent) and Japan (20 per cent).
Asked specifically what they associate most with the UAE, young Arabs cited factors including safety and security (44 per cent), wide range of work opportunities (36 per cent), generous salary packages (32 per cent), a growing economy (31 per cent) and a good place to raise a family (25 per cent) as the top five reasons.
A vast majority (89 per cent) of Arab youth see the UAE as an ally of their country, in addition to being regarded as one of the top three rising powers that have most increased their influence in the Arab world, alongside Saudi Arabia and the US.
However, the survey also found that nearly half of young Arabs across the region have considered leaving their country, frustrated with lack of opportunities and corrupt governance. Up to 77 per cent said there was government corruption in their country while 87 per cent expressed concern about unemployment.
Taking to Twitter, the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said it was “painful” that young Arabs were looking to emigrate from their home countries.
“It is painful that half of our Arab wealth wants to emigrate. It is painful when the Arab youth does not find a homeland, safety and livelihood in his homeland,” he said.
“If governments are corrupt, the country is ruined and its security diminished and its people will leave it. Every official will be responsible before God,” he added.
Talking about survey results related to the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We say to them [Arab youth]: The UAE is everyone’s country. We have tried to build a successful model. Our experience and our doors and books will remain open to all.”
Sunil John, president – Middle East of BCW and founder of Asda’a BCW, said: “In a defining year that witnessed the UAE marking historic firsts, including the first interplanetary mission from the Arab world to Mars with the successful launch of the Hope Probe, and signing the Peace Accord with Israel, the national pride of young Emiratis is surging, as our survey findings show.
“This also reflects in other key findings of the survey in which Emirati youth express an almost diametrically opposed view to the majority – especially in relation to their confidence in their government’s ability, desire to emigrate, and their nationality defines their personal identity, rather than religion.”