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Arab youth name the UAE as the top country to live in for the 11th year in a row

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Arab youth have named the United Arab Emirates as the country in the world they would most like to live in for the eleventh straight year.

This was one of the major findings of the 14th Annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey released on Wednesday.

The survey, which was commissioned to IDS Research & Consultancy, carried out face-to-face interviews with 3,400 Arab citizens, equally split between men and women, aged 18 to 24 in 50 cities across 17 Arab countries from May 13 to June 16, 2022.

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Around two-thirds of the participants, 57 percent, selected the UAE as their top choice while their other choices included the US (24 percent), Canada (20 percent), France (15 percent) and Germany (15 percent).

Most Arab youth also selected the UAE as the country which they would like their own country to emulate for the eleventh year in a row.

With a 37 percent of the participants selecting the UAE, the latter ranked ahead of the US, Canada, Germany, France and Turkey.

According to the survey, over 80 percent of young Arab women and men in the Middle East and North Africa think that promoting stability is more important than promoting democracy.

“Most of the so-called Arab Spring generation, which entered adulthood after the momentous events of the early 2010s, say they have more freedoms today because of the protests,” the survey said, adding that 59 percent of the respondents believe that women have equal rights.

“While this year’s study arguably paints the most enigmatic picture of Arab youth in its 14-year history, some characteristics of the so-called Arab Spring Generation are clear to see. They are united by their faith, their roots, their resourcefulness, and their demand for a fair chance to succeed,” Donna Imperato, Global CEO, BCW, said.

Sunil John, President, MENA, BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, said the research provided further valuable insights about the thoughts of Arab youth across MENA, and the issues decision-makers must address to utilize their potential.

“These evidence-based insights inform governments, businesses, multilateral institutions and academics on policymaking and strategy. At ASDA’A BCW, we believe that to understand the Arab world, we must first understand the hearts and minds of its largest demographic, its youth. Once again, this year’s survey pinpoints critical themes in their outlook,” John added.

According to the survey, 35 percent said the rising living costs is one of the major obstacles facing the region, with 32 percent citing unemployment as another obstacle.

The quality of education seems to be a concern for youth as 83 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about it.

Regarding job opportunities, 49 percent of those surveyed said it would be difficult to land a job in their country, with 45 percent saying they were constantly trying to emigrate or considering the option.

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