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A Dubai Health Authority staff guides people at a coronavirus drive-through screening center at Al Nasr Club in Dubai. 100 per cent of young Emiratis approve the UAE’s handling of COVID-19 crisis. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News/Archive

Dubai: The UAE has received a perfect score from its Emirati youth for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the ‘12th Annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey’ released on Tuesday.

All 100 per cent of those polled in the UAE strongly approved when asked how “your government is handling the response to the COVID-19 outbreak”. This year, the ‘Main Survey’ had a second part called ‘COVID-19 Pulse Survey’, with 600 face-to-face and online interviews held in August among young Arab nationals of six countries in the region — UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. These additional interviews were conducted to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Arab youth and to validate the findings of the Main Survey.

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The COVID-19 related findings show that, following UAE’s perfect lead, 91 per cent of Saudi youth gave a stamp of approval to their country’s management of the outbreak, followed by Jordanians (80 per cent). Meanwhile those who “disapproved” the most were in Lebanon (68 per cent), Algeria (49 per cent) and Egypt (21 per cent).

Arab Youth Survey Image Credit: Seyyed Llata

Pandemic impact

The pandemic appears to have worsened the economy of the region, with 20 per cent saying someone in their family has lost their job due to the pandemic, 30 per cent reporting higher household debt, and 72 per cent saying the pandemic has made it more difficult to find a job.

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UAE still easiest job market

However, the UAE again seems to have been spared the most among the six countries in the second survey, with comparatively few youth (41 per cent) saying finding a new job has now become “little more” to “much more” difficult. More than two-thirds of youth in Algeria (67 per cent) followed that sentiment, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt (both at 69 per cent) close behind. Meanwhile nine in 10 youth in Lebanon and Jordan said its harder to find work in coronavirus times.

Arab Youth Survey Image Credit: Seyyed Llata

With two-thirds of the Arab population under the age of 30, the survey presents insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to guide their policies. This year, the main survey covered 4,000 young Arabs aged 18 to 24 in 17 Arab countries in the Mena region.