Discussing the findings, from left: Santo Pane, Managing Director BCW Frankfurt; Member of Parliament Alexander Gamal Radwan; His Excellency Ali Al Ahmad, UAE Ambassador to Germany; UAE-based entrepreneur and founder of Womena, Elissa Freiha; and Sunil John, President, BCW Middle East. Image Credit: Wires

Dubai: Young Arabs believe that religion is essential to their identity but also say that it plays too much of a role in today’s Middle East, according to newly-released findings from the 2018 ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey unveiled in Berlin.

The findings were revealed at a special German-Arab Friendship Association event hosted by Ali Abdullah Al Ahmad, UAE Ambassador to Germany, at the Embassy of the UAE in Berlin.

Held under the theme “Investing in Arab Youth – Fostering Responsible Leadership”, the event welcomed more than 80 guests, including MPs, diplomats, academics and business leaders.

As the only European country to make the top five nations which Arab youth would choose to live in and emulate, the findings from the Arab Youth Survey clearly show an appreciation and recognition of Germany among the region’s youth.

- Sunil John, founder & CEO of ASDA’A BCW and President of BCW Middle East

In his opening remarks, Al Ahmad said: “The UAE is a young country, both in terms of when we were established, and in terms of our population. As we move beyond our dependence on our natural bounty of hydrocarbons, it is youth that will be our biggest asset. We are fortunate that, from our earliest days, our leadership has always focused on the issues most important to youth, especially education and employment, so our young people today are empowered to face the challenges and opportunities of our future diversified economy. Our dedication explains why the UAE is consistently ranked by the survey as the number one country in which young Arabs would like to live, and would like their own countries to resemble.”

Sunil John, founder & CEO of ASDA’A BCW and President of BCW Middle East, who presented the findings, said: “As the only European country to make the top five nations which Arab youth would choose to live in and emulate, the findings from the Arab Youth Survey clearly show an appreciation and recognition of Germany among the region’s youth. What’s more ambiguous in this year’s findings is the attitudes towards religion among young Arabs. Young people across the region clearly believe religion is central to their identity; it’s interesting, though, that a majority also believe it plays too big a role in defining the region itself.”

The survey showed that while the UAE is the country young Arabs would most like to live in, as well as that which they would most like their country to emulate, Germany ranked fifth in both responses, and was the only European nation to feature in this top five.