Why do they love Mohammed bin Salman?

DUBAI; JULY 11, 2018:“We wouldn’t have gone alone, we needed him to be able to go further into the dream,” this is exactly what a young man whom I met in a London hotel lobby told me.

I have seen the enthusiasm of Saudi youth after the kingdom’s Vision 2030 was announced – an enthusiasm which was about to burn out before that. When I delivered a lecture in Columbia University in December 2017, this point was implicit in every question, why do the Arab youth, particularly those from Saudi Arabia, love Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

In terms of my generation, we may describe ourselves as confused; angry because years from our lives were hijacked by religious movements and in the name of nationalism and wars that only ended for new ones to begin. Yes, in the Gulf, we were and we are still more stable and enjoy better welfare than other Arab countries, but we were standing tall without a dream in the distance. We were standing tall as our students went to study abroad, we paved roads that were full of sand and watched Arabic movies in hopes that we’d have screens which we’d see our sons and daughters on, so that we see ourselves. We believed in the arts and we still do. We used to love in silence, walk in silence and stay distant from everyone. We were building the house where the dream will dwell – a dream that awoke with Mohammed bin Salman.

Irish satirist Jonathan Swift, who died in 1745, once said: “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” The ability to dream since the dawn of history continues to awaken the path and empower men. Bright minds are those that see the blessing in productiveness and hard work, not in stillness and inactivity. There’s nothing truer than the determination of a man who experienced staying in his office 18 hours a day to smile and say: “We can go far over there. We have everything. God granted us nature that makes the whole wants to visit. Why don’t we invest in museums? Who are we leaving the coral reefs and the magnificent islands for? For how long will we rely on oil when we have everything? We will not allow the best years of our lives to be hijacked from us.”

Mohammed bin Salman sees the challenge and takes it head on, and he makes rapid progress. It is the walk of a man whose dream will be stopped by nothing except death. How can we not love him, Turki? the young Saudi man said.

You cannot blame Arab and Gulf youths for loving the prince. Our Arab countries have been struggling since the 1960s across the region – with few exceptions that can be counted on the fingers of one hand. They have been through an unprecedented phase of weakness as republics slipped into chaos, some countries’ springs turned into autumns, and violence only produced more violence, all the way to the Levant, where one is distressed from the news of those killed every day. All of this happened because an Iranian cleric saw an Arab soft spot and snuck in from the North and South and in vain wanted to snatch away Yemen, considered the “old house” of the Arab world. He armed the militia of ignorance in Saa’da, but only to create a graveyard. Yemen is the origin of every Arab as bin Salman put it. He’s the one who supplied Yemen with forces and committed to purge Yemen of the defilement of Khomeini and his rogue remnants.

War on corruption

In Saudi Arabia, everyone loves Prince Mohammed bin Salman because his war on corruption surprised those who do not know him and confirmed to those who do know him that his ambitions are higher than first perceived. Where others need a long time to achieve something, Mohammed bin Salman needs less. Since he can deal with all these affairs during this short time, it’s his right to dream and to see the dream approaching him!

Mohammed bin Salman sees the challenge and takes it head on, and he makes rapid progress. It is the walk of a man whose dream will be stopped by nothing except death.

Turki Aldakhil

During his interview with American writer David Ignatius, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “You have a body that has cancer everywhere, the cancer of corruption. You need to have chemo, the shock of chemo, or the cancer will eat the body,” adding that the kingdom couldn’t meet budget targets without halting the looting.

Numbers, which the prince is fond of, do not lie and cannot be embellished. He cites numbers, holds others accountable based on them and is biased to them just like a man of law who trusts laws and regulations. This is why numbers came in his favor when Arab youth were asked about him in the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey. It found that 90% of Saudi youth and 60% of Arab youth view Mohammed bin Salman as a strong and influential leader who will impact the region in the future.

This survey was not random as it included 3,500 youths from both genders and aged between 18 and 24 years old. The survey was conducted face to face with the youths who represent 16 Arab countries.

Whenever I see Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambition, I believe in the honesty of the smiling young man in the lobby at the London hotel when he said: “We wouldn’t have done it alone,” but we needed a man who could turn dreams into reality.

This article is also available in Arabic.

_______________
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Young Arabs say Egypt has the MENA region’s best chance of victory in biggest ever FIFA World Cup for Arab teams

  • Two-thirds of young Arabs say they will closely follow the World Cup competition
  • Saudi Arabia face Russia in opening game – but a third of young Arabs say region’s best hope for progressing lies with Egypt

DUBAI; JUNE 4, 2018: With a record four Arab national teams competing in the FIFA World Cup this year –  Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia – ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s 10th annual Arab Youth Survey reveals that young people across the region think that Egypt has the best chance among the Arab nations of progressing through the tournament.

Two in three young Arabs (65 per cent) say they will closely follow the World Cup competition, which kicks off in Russia on June 14, 2018 with the Saudia Arabia team playing the hosts of the World Cup; and young Arab women (60 per cent) are nearly as likely to follow the competition as young Arab men (70 per cent). Among those who will follow the competition, 14 per cent say that Germany will be crowned the FIFA World Cup 2018 champions, 13 per cent say Brazil has the best chance to win, while another 12 per cent expect Argentina to win.

Among those who will follow the competition, 11 per cent say they will support Egypt, making the Egyptian team as popular as Argentina (12 per cent) and Germany (10 per cent).  Egypt is the clear fan favorite in the GCC countries, with 24 per cent of GCC youth saying they will support Egypt in the competition.

When asked specifically about the four Arab nations taking part in the World Cup, Egypt is the favorite with a third or respondents (34 per cent) saying Egypt will outperform other Arab countries in Russia, followed by Morocco (22 per cent), Saudi Arabia (21 per cent), and Tunisia (19 per cent).

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “The FIFA World Cup is going to be a major event for youth in the Middle East and North Africa. With the highest ever participation from Arab national teams, it’s not surprising that two in every three young Arabs will be following the competition closely. The FIFA World Cup encourages a sense of unity among supporters in the Arab world, and brings feelings of hope and excitement across the region.”

The survey was conducted prior to Egypt’s star player, Mohammed Saleh, suffering a shoulder injury during Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last month.  Saleh’s involvement in Russia is still hanging in the balance but there is hope that he will  make a full recovery and participate in Egypt’s opening match against Uruguay on June 15, 2018.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For this year’s Survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen, between January 21 and February 20, 2018.

Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey at www.arabyouthsurvey.com

-ends-

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2018, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally-driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with ten wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communication practices –  Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com    http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB is a full-service global custom research and analytics consultancy that connects data-driven insights with human experience to help the world’s most admired brands solve their most critical challenges. PSB brings together the lessons from the campaign trail and the boardroom along with a competitive mindset that is fast and focused on winning. Rooted in the science of public opinion and advanced analytics, PSB specializes in providing messaging and strategic guidance for blue-chip political, corporate, technology, healthcare, entertainment, and government/public sector clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London and Dubai. www.psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:
Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

UAE leads by example with youth-focused policies, HE Reem Al Hashimy tells audience at unveiling of 10th ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey

UAE leads by example with youth-focused policies,
HE Reem Al Hashimy tells audience at unveiling of 10th ASDA’A
Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey

Expert panelists debate 2018 findings of landmark Survey, underlining importance of insights into young peoplefz’s hopes, fears and aspirations

DUBAI, UAE; MAY 10, 2018: An expert panel discussed the findings of the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released on Tuesday, underlining the importance of the insights gained from the study for the region’s governments, policymakers and business leaders.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, welcomed the Survey’s finding that ‘the UAE remains the top country Arab youth want to live in and want their own countries to emulate’.

HE Al Hashimy noted that one of the most significant findings in this year’s Survey was the level of support for His Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman among Arab Youth (63 percent of those surveyed) and particularly in Saudi Arabia (91 per cent), and his programme of economic and social development.

She went on to highlight the ambition of Arab youth, adding: “The UAE has launched a number of initiatives that activate hope among youth, which reiterates the desire of the government to open fresh opportunities for young people by working directly with them.”

HE Al Hashimy said it is the UAE’s strategy to integrate and engage with young people, and youth engagement was a priority for Expo 2020 Dubai. “Nearly 30 per cent of the employees Expo 2020 are below the age of 30. We have a department dedicated to youth affairs, Youth Connect, and to promoting Expo 2020 Dubai in schools and universities.Volunteering is another major part of Expo – and a major focus of our volunteers programme are young people.

Turki bin Abdullah Aldakhil, General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, said the finding that ‘Young Arabs see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a strong leader who will shape the next decade’ is very important because its shows that: “Arab youth believe in his role in fighting extremism. They see him as a one of them, someone who thinks like them, and as someone who has broken the stereotype of a rigid political leader.”

Aldakhil added, “It is not only His Highness’ development mindset that inspires youth but also because he wants to present the real Islam to the world, as many Arab youth were embarrassed to express their religion because of the way in which Daesh represented Islam.”

On the observation that an increasing number of Arab youth perceive the Arab Spring to have impacted the region negatively, Dalia Khorshid, former Investment Minister of Egypt, said the Arab Spring was a wave of change – and – “an expression of how youth wanted to dictate their future and create the environment they want”.

She said: “Egypt marked 2016 as the Year of Youth, when the government focused on listening to young people and discussing various issues. There are bound to be differences but it is healthy. The key aspect is to understand that youth aspire to make a difference, and with digital technology, things are going to change faster.”

Professor Tom Fletcher CMG, Visiting Professor of International Relations at NYUAD and Visiting Professor and Special Advisor, Emirates Diplomatic Academy, said the real challenge for governments anywhere is that young people globally are finding it harder to trust the generation in office to leave the world in a better shape than it is today – with the exception of some countries, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

He added that “the magnetic quality of the UAE to attract people is a result of the opportunities that the nation creates”. He underpinned the need for “getting the education system right” to ensure that “women are not just behind the steering wheel of cars but also steering the boardrooms.”

Prof. Fletcher added: “What we learn from the digital age is that popularity is easy to gain, hard to hold on to and easier still to lose”, and it is important for leaders to “continue to deliver and take the people with them – thinking of the long-term”.

Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey at www.arabyouthsurvey.com

-ends-

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2017, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally-driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with ten wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communication practices – Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com     http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB Research, a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip corporate, political and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Dubai, which are supported by in-house field capabilities and fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. More at www.psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:
Sunil John/ Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Young Arabs view the UAE as the top country to live in for the seventh year running, far surpassing other countries

  •  Survey finds Arab youth overwhelmingly back Mohammed Bin Salman’s move to allow Saudi women to drive and fully support his anti-graft crackdown
  •  Majority of Arab youth say Daesh (ISIS) and its ideology are heading for total defeat
  •  In a dramatic geostrategic shift over the past two years, U.S. is now seen as an adversary by young Arabs, while Russia cements place as top non-Arab ally

DUBAI, UAE; MAY 8, 2018: In a region they view as having drifted off course over the past decade, young Arabs say action on jobs, education, fighting terrorism and corruption is needed to steer the region in the right direction. Arab youth overwhelmingly support the reforms Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is spearheading and view him as a strong leader who will shape the region over the next decade, according to the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released today.

The survey also reveals that the perception of global power in the region has shifted markedly, with a majority of Arab youth across the region now viewing the U.S. as an adversary and Russia, instead, seen as the top non-Arab ally among young people.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For the 10th annual survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 18-24 in 16 Arab nations and territories, between January 21 and February 20, 2018.

The majority of young Arabs (55 percent) say they believe the region has moved in the wrong direction over the past decade – a period stamped by the Arab Spring and the rise of Daesh. Pessimism is particularly pronounced in the Levant, where 85 percent say the region has moved in the wrong direction. Defeating terrorism, providing well-paying jobs, better education and fighting corruption are all cited by youth as the main action areas to move things back on track over the next decade.

Young Arabs are also throwing their support behind Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, and view him as the Arab leader likely to have the greatest impact on the region over the next 10 years. Asked about the reforms introduced by the Crown Prince, 88 percent of young Arabs support Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to drive and 86 percent (94 percent among young Saudis) support his anti-corruption drive, which saw dozens of leading businessmen and senior royals detained over graft allegations.

“Over the past 10 years, the Arab Youth Survey has provided insights into many momentous changes in the region, and this year is no exception,” said Donna Imperato, CEO, Burson Cohn & Wolfe. “This annual review of the thoughts and concerns of Arab Youth provides an important framework for understanding what is most important to the region’s next generation of business leaders and policy makers.”

An overwhelming majority (78 percent) of Arab youth say Daesh has become weaker over the past year and, furthermore, 58 percent say Daesh and its ideology will be completely defeated. It marks a significant shift from 2015 when only 47 percent of young Arabs expressed any confidence in their government’s ability to deal with the terrorist organisation.

In another dramatic shift, young Arabs now view the U.S. as an adversary, while Russia has taken America’s spot as the top non-Arab ally. A majority (57 percent) of Arab youth say the U.S. is an adversary of their country (up from 32 percent in 2016) versus 35 percent who see America as an ally (down from 63 percent in 2016). When asked to name their country’s top allies, young Arabs are most likely to cite the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, followed by Russia in fourth place and Egypt in fifth. The U.S. has dropped out of the top five for first time in the survey’s history, falling to 11th place.

This finding stands in contrast to the response from young Arabs when asked which country other than their own they would most like to live in, and which they would like their own nation to emulate, where the U.S. ranks second, behind the UAE. Additionally, respondents’ most trusted media brand is CNN.

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “This is a milestone survey for us, marking a full decade of the region’s leading study into its most important demographic.

“This year has produced some striking findings, including more evidence that the region’s youth view the U.S. in a very different light from previous years, and that the majority of young people now envision a future where Daesh and its ideology have no place whatsoever.”

For this year’s survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The sample comprised 50 percent male and 50 percent female respondents.

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018:

  •  The UAE remains the top country Arab youth want to live in and want their own countries to emulate
  •  Youth in the Levant have an increasingly bleak outlook compared with peers in North Africa and the Gulf States
  •  While young Arabs increasingly turn to social media for their news, they see CNN as the most trusted and Al Jazeera as the least trusted news sources
  • Inspired by the digital revolution, future Arab entrepreneurs turn to the tech sector, which offers plentiful opportunities in the region

Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey at www.arabyouthsurvey.com

-ends-

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2017, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy and an integral part of top three global firm – Burson Cohn & Wolfe. With 10 wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses, regional corporate clients and institutions. The firm operates five specialist communication practices – Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB is a full-service global custom research and analytics consultancy that connects data-driven insights with human experience to help the world’s most admired brands solve their most critical challenges. PSB brings together the lessons from the campaign trail and the boardroom along with a competitive mindset that is fast and focused on winning. Rooted in the science of public opinion and advanced analytics, PSB specializes in providing messaging and strategic guidance for blue-chip political, corporate, technology, healthcare, entertainment, and government/public sector clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London and Dubai. More at www.psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:
Sunil John/ Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Young Arabs express great hopes for Saudi Crown Prince’s leadership and reforms in a region they see as having drifted off course

  • Survey finds Arab youth overwhelmingly back Mohammed Bin Salman’s move to allow Saudi women to drive and fully support his anti-graft crackdown
  •  Majority of Arab youth say Daesh (ISIS) and its ideology are heading for total defeat
  •  In a dramatic geostrategic shift over the past two years, U.S. is now seen as an adversary by young Arabs, while Russia cements place as top non-Arab ally

DUBAI, UAE; MAY 8, 2018: In a region they view as having drifted off course over the past decade, young Arabs say action on jobs, education, fighting terrorism and corruption is needed to steer the region in the right direction. Arab youth overwhelmingly support the reforms Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is spearheading and view him as a strong leader who will shape the region over the next decade, according to the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released today.

The survey also reveals that the perception of global power in the region has shifted markedly, with a majority of Arab youth across the region now viewing the U.S. as an adversary and Russia, instead, seen as the top non-Arab ally among young people.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For the 10th annual survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 18-24 in 16 Arab nations and territories, between January 21 and February 20, 2018.

The majority of young Arabs (55 percent) say they believe the region has moved in the wrong direction over the past decade – a period stamped by the Arab Spring and the rise of Daesh. Pessimism is particularly pronounced in the Levant, where 85 percent say the region has moved in the wrong direction. Defeating terrorism, providing well-paying jobs, better education and fighting corruption are all cited by youth as the main action areas to move things back on track over the next decade.

Young Arabs are also throwing their support behind Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, and view him as the Arab leader likely to have the greatest impact on the region over the next 10 years. Asked about the reforms introduced by the Crown Prince, 88 percent of young Arabs support Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to drive and 86 percent (94 percent among young Saudis) support his anti-corruption drive, which saw dozens of leading businessmen and senior royals detained over graft allegations.

“Over the past 10 years, the Arab Youth Survey has provided insights into many momentous changes in the region, and this year is no exception,” said Donna Imperato, CEO, Burson Cohn & Wolfe. “This annual review of the thoughts and concerns of Arab Youth provides an important framework for understanding what is most important to the region’s next generation of business leaders and policy makers.”

An overwhelming majority (78 percent) of Arab youth say Daesh has become weaker over the past year and, furthermore, 58 percent say Daesh and its ideology will be completely defeated. It marks a significant shift from 2015 when only 47 percent of young Arabs expressed any confidence in their government’s ability to deal with the terrorist organisation.

In another dramatic shift, young Arabs now view the U.S. as an adversary, while Russia has taken America’s spot as the top non-Arab ally. A majority (57 percent) of Arab youth say the U.S. is an adversary of their country (up from 32 percent in 2016) versus 35 percent who see America as an ally (down from 63 percent in 2016). When asked to name their country’s top allies, young Arabs are most likely to cite the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, followed by Russia in fourth place and Egypt in fifth. The U.S. has dropped out of the top five for first time in the survey’s history, falling to 11th place.

This finding stands in contrast to the response from young Arabs when asked which country other than their own they would most like to live in, and which they would like their own nation to emulate, where the U.S. ranks second, behind the UAE. Additionally, respondents’ most trusted media brand is CNN.

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “This is a milestone survey for us, marking a full decade of the region’s leading study into its most important demographic.

“This year has produced some striking findings, including more evidence that the region’s youth view the U.S. in a very different light from previous years, and that the majority of young people now envision a future where Daesh and its ideology have no place whatsoever.”

For this year’s survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The sample comprised 50 percent male and 50 percent female respondents.

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018:

  • The UAE remains the top country Arab youth want to live in and want their own countries to emulate
  • Youth in the Levant have an increasingly bleak outlook compared with peers in North Africa and the Gulf States
  •  While young Arabs increasingly turn to social media for their news, they see CNN as the most trusted and Al Jazeera as the least trusted news sources
  • Inspired by the digital revolution, future Arab entrepreneurs turn to the tech sector, which offers plentiful opportunities in the region

Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey at www.arabyouthsurvey.com

-ends-

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2017, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy and an integral part of top three global firm – Burson Cohn & Wolfe. With 10 wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses, regional corporate clients and institutions. The firm operates five specialist communication practices – Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB is a full-service global custom research and analytics consultancy that connects data-driven insights with human experience to help the world’s most admired brands solve their most critical challenges. PSB brings together the lessons from the campaign trail and the boardroom along with a competitive mindset that is fast and focused on winning. Rooted in the science of public opinion and advanced analytics, PSB specializes in providing messaging and strategic guidance for blue-chip political, corporate, technology, healthcare, entertainment, and government/public sector clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London and Dubai. More at www.psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:
Catherine Sullivan
Burson Cohn & Wolfe
+1-212-614-4186
Catherine.Sullivan@bm.com

Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: +971 4 450 7672 / +971 55 418 5732
E: margaret.flanagan@bm.com / ays@bm.com

Young Arabs see Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a strong leader who will shape the next decade

  • Youth across the region expect the Saudi Crown Prince to have a bigger impact on the region over the next 10 years than any other Arab leader
  • Survey finds young people in the Kingdom and across the region back the decision to allow Saudi women to drive and fully support anti-corruption crackdown
  • Young Saudis are highly confident that Vision 2030 will be a success

RIYADH; MAY 8, 2018: Arab youth expect Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to have a bigger impact on the Middle East than any other Arab leader, according to the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released today.

Young Arabs throughout the Middle East express a high level of confidence in the Crown Prince and his leadership, with 63 per cent supporting his appointment, 64 per cent viewing him as a strong leader, and 59 per cent saying Mohammed bin Salman will lead Saudi Arabia in the right direction. Support for the new Crown Prince among Saudi youth is overwhelming, with 91 per cent of young Saudis supporting his appointment, 97 per cent considering him a strong leader, and 90 per cent saying Mohammed bin Salman will move the country in the right direction.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For this year’s Survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 18-24 in 16 Arab nations, between January 21 and February 20, 2018.

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “This is a milestone Survey for us, marking a full decade of the region’s leading study into its most important demographic.

“This year’s edition is titled ‘A Decade of Hopes & Fears’ and features insights into young people’s concerns over jobs, education, security and corruption. Looking forward to the next decade, it’s clear that Mohammed bin Salman represents great hope for young Arabs across the region who demand to see clear action on these pressing issues.”

Young Arabs express strong support for Saudi Arabia’s recent reforms, with 88 per cent across the region supporting the decision to allow women to drive and 86 per cent supporting the anti-corruption drive.

Asked about Saudi Vision 2030, the Crown Prince’s roadmap to diversify the Saudi economy, 92 per cent of young Saudis say they are confident that the plan will succeed in securing the future of the Saudi economy.

Young Saudis are also extremely optimistic about their futures, with 91 per cent saying their country is moving in the right direction, compared to 54 per cent of young Arabs across the region, and just 13 per cent of youth in the Levant. More than four-in-five (82 per cent) of young Saudis also say their best days are ahead of them.

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018:

  • Youth say the past decade – shaped by the Arab Spring and Daesh – has left the Middle East drifting off course
  • To steer the region in the right direction, action is needed on jobs, education, corruption and the fight against terror
  • Young Arabs are convinced that Daesh – and its ideology – will be completely defeated
  • While young Arabs increasingly turn to social media for their news, they see CNN as the most trusted and al Jazeera as the least trusted news sources
  • Inspired by the Digital Revolution, future Arab entrepreneurs turn to the tech sector, which offers plentiful opportunities in the region

Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey at www.arabyouthsurvey.com

-ends-

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2017, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally-driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with ten wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communication practices – Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB Research, a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip corporate, political and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Dubai, which are supported by in-house field capabilities and fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. More at www.psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:
Sunil John/ Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy will join experts to debate findings of the 10 th ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey

Dalia Khorshid, Turki Aldakhil and Prof Tom Fletcher to join Her Excellency for discussion which will be livestreamed across social media channels

DUBAI, UAE; MAY 6, 2018: UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, and other leading experts will debate key findings from the 10 th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey when they are unveiled at the Armani Hotel, Dubai, on Tuesday, May 8.

In addition to Her Excellency, the high-profile panel will comprise Dalia Khorshid, Former Investment Minister of Egypt; Turki bin Abdullah Aldakhil, General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel; and Prof Tom Fletcher, CMG, Visiting Professor of International Relations at NYUAD and Visiting Professor and Special Advisor at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. The panel will be moderated by Nadine Hani, Senior Business News Presenter, Al Arabiya News Channel.

Sunil John, Founder, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, of Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting such a high calibre panel at this year’s Arab Youth Survey and we anticipate a thought-provoking debate to follow the unveiling of the findings. The milestone 10 th edition promises to be more insightful than ever as we look at how the events and developments from the past decade have impacted young people across the region and get a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“The Arab Youth Survey is much more than just data, it is a platform for young Arabs to have their voices heard around the world. It reveals the hopes, aspirations and fears of the people who will shape the region’s future. It provides governments and businesses with actionable insights to make more relevant and effective decisions during times of great change.”

Before the debate, the findings of the Survey will be unveiled by Sunil John and Curtis Freet, CEO, PSB Research. The event will be livestreamed across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.arabyouthsurvey.com, where the results of this year’s Survey will be made
immediately accessible to governments, businesses, academics, media and the public.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. For the 10 th annual survey, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 3,500 face-to- face interviews with men and women aged 18-24
in 16 Arab states, between January 21 and February 20, 2018. This year’s findings, marking 10 years of the Arab Youth Survey, shed light on young people’s attitudes on the past decade, which has encompassed the global financial crisis, the Arab Spring, the rise of Daesh (ISIS) and a fall in global oil prices, as well as their aspirations for the next 10 years.

Join us live on May 8, 11.00am UAE time on Facebook: @ArabYouthSurvey, Instagram:
Arab_Youth_Survey, or Twitter @ArabYouthSurvey
Read the full findings and expert insight and commentary on this year’s Survey from Tuesday May
8 th on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About the Arab Youth Survey
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth. It provides governments, the private sector and civil society with insights into the hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth. For the 10 th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, PSB Research, an international polling firm, conducted 3,500 face-to- face interviews with Arab national men and women aged 18-24 between January 21 and February 20, 2017, in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The margin of error is +/-1.65%. In-depth results from the Survey, including a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy and an integral part of top three global firm – Burson Cohn & Wolfe. With 10 wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses, regional corporate clients and institutions. The firm operates five specialist communication practices – Consumer & Healthcare, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof IC – and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering.
www.asdaabm.com    http://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/

About PSB Research:
PSB is a full-service global custom research and analytics consultancy that connects data-driven insights with human experience to help the world’s most admired brands solve their most critical challenges. PSB brings together the lessons from the campaign trail and the boardroom along with a competitive mindset that is fast and focused on winning. Rooted in the science of public opinion and advanced analytics, PSB specializes in providing messaging and strategic guidance for blue-chip political, corporate, technology, healthcare, entertainment, and government/public sector clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London and Dubai. More at www.psbresearch.com

About Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) is one of the world’s largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications, across all industry sectors. The agency combines expertise in digitally driven, creative content and integrated communications – across the consumer, healthcare and technology sectors – with deep strength in public affairs, corporate reputation, crisis, and research and analytics. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a network of more than 4,000 employees across 42 countries.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Flanagan
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: +971 4 450 7672 / +971 55 418 5732
E: margaret.flanagan@bm.com / ays@bm.com

UAE surges ahead as country in which most young Arabs would like to live and want their countries to emulate

  • 9th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey reveals one in three young Arabs would choose to live in the UAE, up from one in four in 2016, and ahead of US, Canada, and Germany
  • UAE also strengthens position as the model country for other countries to emulate
  • Young Arabs increasingly view UAE as a top ally

Dubai, UAE; May 3, 2017: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sprinted ahead of the pack as the country which most young Arabs would like to live in, according to the findings of the ninth annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017.

While the Arabian Gulf nation retains its position as the top choice for young Arabs to live in for the sixth consecutive year, there has been a significant increase in the nation’s popularity this year. When asked ‘Which country in the world, if any, would you like to live in?’ more than one in three young Arabs (35 per cent) cited the UAE as their choice, an increase of 13 percentage points over last year, when just under a quarter (22 per cent) put the UAE in the top spot.

Preference for the UAE was so strong this year it left other nations trailing, with the US a distant second at 15 per cent, Saudi Arabia and Canada at 14 per cent, and Germany rounding out the top five at 13 per cent.

Further asked ‘which country they would like their own country to emulate,’ the UAE again comes on top, with more than a third (36 per cent) of young Arabs saying the UAE is their model country, compared to one in four (23 per cent) last year. The US is in second place, dropping to 15 per cent from 19 per cent last year, while Canada (14 per cent) has gained 5 percentage points to rank third. Germany and Saudi Arabia complete the top 5, with 13 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Looking at the geopolitical situation, a third of young Arabs (36 per cent) surveyed across 16 countries say the UAE is the top ally of their country, an increase of 8 percentage points from 2016 and putting the UAE slightly ahead of Saudi Arabia (34 per cent).

Sunil John, Founder & CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said that the Survey has consistently reported the UAE as the most desired place for young Arabs to live in and to emulate. “This is a strong statement on the success of the nation’s model of economic diversification and its focus on creating job opportunities and driving the entrepreneurial skills of young people. Young Arabs see the UAE as a beacon of hope and by endorsing its development model, they are applauding the vision of the country’s leadership.

“Arab youth value a sense of security, economic growth potential, job opportunities and high quality education. With all those factors found in abundance in the UAE it’s no surprise that the UAE’s position as a regional success story is viewed so positively by young Arabs,” added John.

Roy Haddad, Director, WPP MENA, said: “The Arab Youth Survey provides a voice to the voiceless, and allows young Arabs to be heard around the world. It allows us to hear what Arab youth think and feel about their past, present and future. As such, it is an invaluable tool for businesses and governments, and civil society in general, who need accurate data and insights about this most important demographic.”

Among Arab youth, the UAE is most strongly associated with safety and security (31 per cent), having a growing economy (25 per cent), wide range of work opportunities (23 per cent) and generous salary packages (22 percent). A high quality education system (17 per cent), being a good place to raise a family (17 per cent) and ease of starting a business (14 per cent) are other positive attributes associated with the UAE.

Arab Youth Survey reveals drop in optimism in region increasingly divided between Gulf states and the rest

Findings from ninth annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey released

  • Young Arabs said unemployment and extremism are the biggest problems holding the Middle East back, with the region increasingly divided by access to opportunity
  • Trump’s election victory said to be the most consequential recent event for region over next five years, and a majority said the new U.S. President is anti-Muslim
  • Russia overtakes U.S. as region’s top international ally, and in many countries U.S. increasingly seen as an enemy

Dubai, UAE; May 3, 2017: Findings from the ninth annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey reveal optimism has dropped among young Arabs across much of the region, and indicates a widening divide over hopes for the future between those living in the wealthy GCC states and those living elsewhere. The survey highlights a growing polarisation of views, inspiring its main theme, “The Middle East ­– a region divided.”

Just over half of those surveyed (52 per cent) said their country is headed in the right direction – a substantial decrease from just one year ago, when almost two-thirds (64 per cent) said they thought their country was going in the right direction.

In the GCC member states, an overwhelming majority (85 per cent) of young people said their country has been heading in the right direction over the past five years, but in the Levant and Yemen, which face mounting social, political and economic challenges, the same number, 85 per cent, said their country is headed in the wrong direction –  bringing the division of views into the spotlight.

Looking at long-term optimism, three-quarters (78 per cent) of youth in the Arabian Gulf countries said their best days are still to come, while, conversely, two thirds (66 per cent) of young Arabs in the Levant and Yemen said their countries’ best days are behind them.

Most (81 per cent) young Arabs said that their government could do more to address their problems and issues, though 86 per cent of Gulf youth said their governments are putting policies in place that will benefit young people ­ – a response shared by just a quarter (24 per cent) of young people in the Levant and Yemen.

“The stark divide between the responses of youth in the GCC nations and those in the Levant and North Africa is clearly related to the huge differences in access to opportunity,” said Sunil John, Founder & CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. “The findings from this year’s survey are profoundly troubling. In the nine years we have conducted this important research – the biggest study of its kind into the region’s most important demographic – we have always seen geographic differences, but never have they been so pronounced. Optimism should be the default attitude for youth, and the fact that so many young people, in so many nations, today said that their countries’ best days are behind them should be a real cause for concern for policymakers across the region.

“It would be easy to dismiss this divide as the result of the widening income gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ – those that have oil, and the prosperity that should come with it and those that don’t. But that’s too simplistic – Iraq and Libya, for example, are oil-rich states, but are among those countries in which youth are most concerned about unemployment, and least confident in their government’s ability to address that issue,” John continued.

Roy Haddad, Director, WPP MENA, said: “The Arab Youth Survey provides a voice to the voiceless, and allows young Arabs to be heard around the world. It allows us to hear what Arab youth said about their past, present and future. As such, it is an invaluable tool for businesses and governments, and civil society in general, who need accurate data and insights about this most important demographic.”

The threat posed by Daesh – viewed last year as the number-one issue facing the Middle East –   is seen as diminishing, this year tying with unemployment as a top concern for 35 per cent of the region’s youth. Most young Arabs (61 per cent) also said the terror group is getting weaker and, across the region, young people responded that education reform and well-paying jobs are just as important as military action in defeating terror and extremism.

When asked specifically about unemployment, one out of two young Arabs (51 per cent) said that they are ‘very concerned’ about the jobs situation, an increase of 9 percentage points over last year, with youth in Iraq (69 per cent), Algeria (64 per cent) and Bahrain (60 per cent) most concerned about unemployment.

Looking further afield, attitudes towards the election and presidency of Donald Trump are largely negative among Arab youth. Despite having been in office for just weeks before the survey was conducted (from February 7 to March 7, 2017), President Trump is viewed less favorably than Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Among the 3,500 young Arabs surveyed across the Middle East and North Africa, 83 per cent responded that they view President Trump unfavourably, compared to 77 per cent unfavourable for President George W. Bush and 52 per cent for President Barack Obama.

Seventy per cent of young Arabs said President Trump is anti-Muslim and 49 per cent said that if the travel ban President Trump has sought were imposed on Muslim-majority countries, it would make it easier for terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit young Muslims.

Young Arabs also said President Trump’s election is the development that will have the biggest impact on the Middle East over the next five years, eclipsing the recovery in crude oil prices, Daesh’s loss of territory in Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia breaking off diplomatic ties with Iran and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.  Two-thirds (64 per cent) said they are either “concerned”, “scared” or ”angry” about the Trump presidency, while one in five (19 per cent) said they are ”excited”, “optimistic” or ”hopeful” about the new U.S. president.

The survey also reveals that anti-American sentiments are on the rise, with 49 per cent of young Arabs saying America is somewhat of an enemy or a strong enemy (up from 32 per cent in 2016) versus 46 per cent who said the U.S. is an ally (down from 63 per cent in 2016). In 2017, a majority of youth in eight Arab nations said the U.S. is their enemy, up from four nations in 2016.

Meanwhile, Russia’s influence is on the rise across the region, taking the lead from the U.S. as the leading non-Arab ally among Arab youth. When asked who are their country’s top allies, 21 per cent of young Arabs said Russia (up from 9 per cent in 2016) and 17 per cent said the United States (down from 25 per cent last year).

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017:

Many young Arabs say their education system falls short of preparing students for jobs of the future
The quality of education is a cause of concern for young Arabs, particularly in non-GCC nations. Nearly half the Arab youth said they are not satisfied with the current level of preparation of students for jobs of the future. Of the 51 per cent who said they are satisfied the current education system is preparing them for future roles, most are from the GCC nations (80 per cent) while those least satisfied hail from North Africa (33 per cent) and the Levant and Yemen (34 per cent).

The UAE sprints ahead of the pack as the country in which most young Arabs would like to live and want their countries to emulate
The United Arab Emirates cemented its position as the country most young Arabs said they would like to live in and would most like their own countries to take after. This year, one in three (35 per cent) young Arabs said they would most like to live in the UAE, a significant increase of 13 percentage points from last year. Asked which country they would like their own country to emulate, the UAE again comes on top, with more than a third of young Arabs (36 per cent) saying the UAE is their model country, compared with one in four last year.

Despite their pride in the Arabic language, most young Arabs said they are using English more than Arabic in their daily lives
Eighty per cent of young Arabs agree with the statement “Arabic is central to my national identity.” Yet, 60 per cent of young Arabs said that Arabic is losing value and, for the first time, more than half of young Arabs (54 per cent) said they are using English more than Arabic in their daily lives (up from 46 per cent in 2016).

Among young Arabs, Facebook is the number one medium for daily news
More than a third (35 per cent) of young people in the Arab world said they get their news on Facebook daily, compared with 31 per cent for other online news sources, 30 per cent for TV news channels and just 9 per cent read newspapers daily. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of young Arabs said they use Facebook to share news stories, up from 52 per cent in 2016 and 41 per cent in 2015.

Environment and climate change a low priority for Young Arabs

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016 says concerns over global climate change listed 26th out of 27 topics

Dubai, UAE – November 17, 2016: Global climate change ranks almost bottom of a list of concerns for young Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa, according to findings in the eighth annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016.

Of the 27 key issues raised in the Survey, concerns over “climate change and the environment” placed at 26, above only “personal debt”. “The rise of Daesh” resonated the most with young people and was listed as their top-most concern. Just 54 per cent of young Arabs cited “climate change and the environment” being of concern, compared with 77 per cent of respondents for “the rise of Daesh”.

In the shadow of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), held in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7-18, 2016, the Survey’s findings suggest the UN still has much to do to encourage Arab Youth throughout the Middle East to become engaged with the environmental agenda.

The Survey shows a marked geographic variation over the level of concern: in the GCC, for example, 51 per cent of young Arabs said they were not concerned about the environment and climate change. In North Africa, however, youth appear to be more more engaged on the issue, as 65 per cent of young people there expressed concern over the issue. In the COP22 host country, 70 per cent of young Moroccans said climate change was a concern.

Arab youth are also ambivalent about their leaderships’ ability to tackle climate change. When asked how confident they were in their national government’s ability to deal with climate change, the percentage of young people in the GCC who expressed belief in their country’s leadership was very high, at 78 per cent, against 50 per cent for all Arabs, and just 36 per cent for young Arabs in North Africa and 29 per cent for youth in the Levant.

“It is clearly worrying that young Arabs put such a low priority on climate change – something that has the potential to have a major impact on the Arab world,” said Sunil John, Founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. “From the Sahara encroaching on farmland in North Africa; this year’s heatwave in Iraq and the huge carbon footprints of GCC states, climate change and threats to the environment pose a very real danger to the region’s future.

“While it is encouraging that youth in North Africa are taking the issue seriously, more needs to be done to get the message across to young people in the wealthier Gulf states that climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.”

Now in its eighth year, the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey has established itself as a key referral source for businesses and policymakers across the world.

For the 2016 survey, international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; as well as Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 20 to February 12, 2016.

In-depth results from the eighth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016, including survey highlights and a White Paper in Arabic and English, are available at www.arabyouthsurvey.com.

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller:

Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with 11 fully owned offices and 10 affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa. A WPP company within the global Burson-Marsteller network, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is a member of the MENACOM Group. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients through its seven practices in the sectors of Technology, Finance, Healthcare, Energy & Environment as well as Consumer Marketing, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. The firm’s services include reputation management, digital communications, media relation, media monitoring & analysis, design services and event management.

asdaabm.com

About Penn Schoen Berland:

Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dubai, Singapore, Delhi, Madrid and Denver, which are supported by an in-house fielding capability and are fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB client needs.

psbresearch.com

For further information, please contact:

Margaret Flanagan / Iman Ahmed
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 450 7600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com