A key finding of the 13th edition of the Arab Youth Survey is the optimism in the future shown by the majority of young Arab men and women. This was a bit of surprise to all who follow the survey, done by the Asda’a BCW agency and released on Tuesday.
With the prevailing tension in the Arab world, the rise of unemployment, the lack of decent services and the dysfunctional system in quite a number of Arab countries would lead someone to think that the Arab youth would be more sceptical about the future.
The key finding however is not so much of a surprise as nearly half of those surveyed chose the UAE as their top choice of residence, for the 10th straight year. Also, half of the Arab youth said they wanted their countries to be like the UAE.
Six in 10 Arab youth, 60 per cent of the 3,400 youth interviewed face to face in 17 Arab states, said they believe “their best days lie ahead.” And the majority say they expect a full economic recovery next year. That is an encouraging sign.
Despite the pandemic worries, economic decline of their countries and, and the political troubles in countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, for example, the youth have high hopes in the future. The hope can be seen in the declined in the immigration rate of the young. The Arab world is in dire need of this energy and spirit.
UAE a model country
Meanwhile, the UAE remains a model country in the eyes of these hopeful youth. Nearly half of them, 47 per cent, say they want to live in the UAE, while only 19 per cent chose the United States and 15 per cent Canada. Also, 46 per cent said they would like their countries to emulate the UAE.
They noted the UAE’s prosperous economy, opportunities, safety, security, clean environment and the job market as main reasons for choosing the UAE as their top choice.
Commenting on this particular point, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said on Twitter that “the UAE is everyone’s country, everyone’s home. Our experience will remain available to all. Our relations will remain constructive with all.”
The finding says a lot about both the UAE and the Arab youth. Hope and the UAE are the key points in the survey and obviously the two are very much connected in the minds of the Arab young men and women. For them, the UAE represents that hope.
The country’s experience, as Sheikh Mohammed noted, can be emulated by other countries. The UAE, home of more than 200 different nationalities who coexist in total harmony, is marking its Golden Jubilee in less than 50 days. And there is a lot to celebrate, countless achievements and milestones in a relatively short time. The Arab youth’s continued faith in this nation is yet another reason to rejoice.