Safety, security factors prompt Arab youth to choose UAE as ‘Model Nation’ in survey

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The youth of the Middle East have overwhelmingly chosen the UAE as a ‘Model Nation,’ citing factors such as safety and security, work opportunities along with attractive salary packages, a growing economy and also as a good place to raise a family.

This is the ninth consecutive year that Arab youth are picking the UAE for the top spot, according to the findings released on Tuesday from the 12th Annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey.

The results underline the UAE’s reputation in the eyes of the region’s youth as not only as one of the world’s top places to live, but as a development model for the rest of the Arab world to emulate.

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The survey polled 4,000 young Arab nationals aged 18 to 24 from 17 Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa with a 50:50 male female split.

When asked which country in the world they would like to live in, nearly half (46 percent) of all young Arabs select the UAE as their country of choice, followed by the US (33 percent), Canada (27 percent), the UK (27 percent), and Germany (22 percent).

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Asked specifically what they associate most with the UAE, young Arabs cited factors including safety and security (44 percent), wide range of work opportunities (36 percent), generous salary packages (32 percent), a growing economy (31 percent) and a good place to raise a family (25 percent) as the top five reasons.

The UAE also rises to the top (52 percent) when Arab youth across the region are asked which country their nation should emulate.

The US ranks second with 30 percent, followed by Germany (23 percent), Canada (21 percent) and Japan (20 percent).

The opinions of young Arabs in the survey touch upon a range of subjects including last year’s anti-government protests in some parts of the region, gender rights, personal identity, employment, personal debt, foreign relations and media consumption.

Two-phased research

The research was conducted in two phases: The Main Survey with 3,400 face-to-face interviews conducted between January 19 and March 3, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the region; and the second, COVID-19 Pulse Survey, covering 600 face-to-face and online interviews, held between August 18 and 26, 2020, in six Arab states.

According to ASDA’A BCW, with 65 percent of the Arab population under the age of 30, the survey presents evidence-based insights into the attitudes of the over 200 million Arab youth, providing public and private sector organizations with data and analysis to inform their decision-making and policy creation.

Underlining the strong reputation of the UAE across the Arab world, a vast majority (89 percent) of Arab youth also see it as an ally of their country, in addition to being regarded as one of the top three rising powers that have most increased their influence in the Arab world, alongside Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.

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