Dubai: Arab youth in the region who responded to an annual survey said they believe Saudi Arabia is their country’s biggest ally for the fifth year in a row of the 16-country study of issues affecting younger generations in the Middle East.

According to the eighth annual Arab Youth Survey by Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, when asked to think about their country’s top friend, 31 per cent cited Saudi Arabia.

The UAE ranked second with 28 per cent of respondents and the United States placed third with 25 per cent of respondents.

The praise for Saudi Arabi depended on which part of the region youth lived, with respondents in the GCC registering 93 per cent of their responses in favour of the country as top ally.

Younger Arabs in the Levant and Yemen had the least favourable view of the kingdom, with only 45 per cent of responses being cast for Saudi Arabia, the survey reported.

Sunil John, CEO of Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, said youth are keen to stay updated on the changing geopolitical landscape of the region.

“Saudi Arabia has long been a powerful player in the region, and young people throughout the Arab world recognise the key role the kingdom plays in trying to ensure stability and security, not just within its own border but throughout the Middle East and Africa,” John said.