The Arab Youth Survey shows the UAE is the most preferred nation for the fifth time. Image Credit: Gulf News File

Dubai: Young Arabs across the region view the UAE as a model country that provides  safety, security and well-paying jobs, according to this year’s Arab Youth Survey 2016 released on Tuesday by Asda’a Burson-Marsteller.

According to survey findings, the “UAE’s popularity is likely a reflection of its status as a model country and regional political and economic safe haven.

The Gulf state has developed a global reputation for its robust and diversified economy, which encourages a ‘can-do’ attitude among its residents and is respectful of religious and cultural diversity.”

For the fifth year in a row of a sweeping annual survey of 3,500 Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East, the UAE has emerged as the number-one country in which young people in the region want to live.

Twenty-two per cent of respondents aged 18-24 said in Tuesday’s release of the eight annual Arab Youth Survey that the UAE is “the top country to live in” placing the emirates a full seven per cent ahead of second-place finisher, the United States which pulled in 15 per cent of responders votes.

Top 10 Arab Youth Survey findings are here

Both Germany and Saudi Arabia placed in third place with 11 per cent of the survey vote while Canada and France placed fourth with 10 per cent of the survey responses for best country.

The UK was ranked fifth.

“Arab youth believe the UAE is a safe and secure country with a thriving economy that offers good job opportunities and as such, is the country most would like to live in and their own country [23 per cent] to be like,” stated the survey authors in its Arab Youth Survey companion White Paper.

“The top associations with the UAE revolve around safety, security and economic opportunities with “safe and secure” the most associated phrase with 36 per cent of youth, followed by “growing economy,” a “wide range of opportunities” and generous salary packages (all 29 per cent.”

Sunil John, Chief Executive Officer of Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, said this year’s survey efforts included for the first time, questions for young business-minded youth for their thoughts on the UAE’s business environment.

“This year, for the first time, the survey also asked potential entrepreneurs -- young Arabs who said they intend to start their business in the next five years -- in which Arab country they would like to set up their business. The UAE ranked as the most preferred country with one in four (24 per cent) citing is as the top business destination in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia (18 per cent) and Qatar (13 per cent).”


The UAE also scored high marks with youth for other positive attributes in the survey.

Twenty per cent of respondents said the UAE offers a high-quality education system, 19 per cent said the UAE respects cultural traditions while 17 per cent said the UAE is a good place to raise a family.

Author and expert on global geo-political risk and geo-economics Ashfin Molavi had good things to say about the youth survey responses to UAE’s unbridled opportunity.

“There is nothing more tragic than stifled potential, of watching young, talented hard-working Arabs unable to succeed in their homelands, lining up outside Western embassies, dreaming of a visa, an exit, a way out and up,” said Molavi.

“Clearly, the UAE has emerged as a lodestar for young Arabs and while the UAE has given them an opportunity, it has also benefited from the combined efforts of the most talented, cosmopolitan, hard-working men and women of their generation.”