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Arab youth rank the UAE as most desirable Arab country to live in


ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s survey reveals third consecutive year of top rankings for the UAE

April 7, 2014 5:39 by

For the third consecutive year, the UAE has been named the country that most Arab youngsters would like to live in, as well as the country they would most like their own nations to emulate, according to the sixth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, which was released today (Monday, April 7). Conducted by international polling firm PSB, the survey canvassed 3,500 Arab youngsters, aged between 18 to 24 years, in 16 countries across the Mena region.


Thirty nine per cent of Arab youngsters cited the UAE as their most preferred country to live in from a list of 20 nations that included the US, the UK, France and Germany, up from 31 per cent in 2012. The UAE is followed by the US (21 per cent), Saudi Arabia (14 per cent), France (13 per cent) and Qatar (13 per cent). When asked which country they would most like their own nations to emulate, the UAE ranked first again, retaining the number one spot as a model nation among young Arabs for the third consecutive year. Thirty nine per cent named the UAE, followed by the US (25 per cent), with France (14 per cent), Turkey (ten per cent) and China (seven per cent) completing the top five places. Again, the UAE showed a strong year-on-year increase, up from 30 per cent in 2013.


Joseph Ghossoub, chairman and CEO of the MENACOM Group, the regional parent company of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, says: “The vision and wisdom shown by the UAE’s leadership – with an emphasis on economic diversification, free market reforms, technological innovations and investments in human capital – resonate around the world and clearly continue to strike a chord with the Arab youth. This vote of confidence from young people across the region strengthens the UAE government’s resolve to continue to provide the best possible environment for living, working and doing business.”


The UAE was also named number one happiest country in the Middle East region and number 17 in the world in the 2013 World Happiness Report, commissioned by the United Nations. These findings are echoed in the sixth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, with UAE nationals ranking highest among all of the other participants from 16 countries, when asked about a sense of optimism in the future of their country. Sixty nine per cent of young Emiratis agreed with the statement, ‘I feel optimistic about what the future holds for my country’, more than the others.


Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, says: “The popularity of the UAE is likely a reflection of the country’s strong economic outlook and status as a safe haven, amid the regional political turmoil. The Gulf country, which is the Arab world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $390 billion, is expected to grow by 4.5 per cent in 2014 on the back of a number of factors, including its successful bid to host Expo 2020. Its moderate government, coupled with the ease of doing business, has placed the country in a unique position to be able to attract foreign direct investment.”


Regional confidence among Arab youngsters in their national governments was notable in the survey’s findings. More than 68 per cent was either ‘very confident’ or ‘somewhat confident’ in their governments’ abilities to deal with rising rates of unemployment, while similar numbers were optimistic about their administrations’ abilities to deal with war (67 per cent) and enhance living standards (66 per cent).


The 2014 Arab Youth Survey, which has received the largest polling since it began in 2008, canvassed respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen – with Palestine added for the first time this year.


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