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

Young Gulf Arabs more likely to boycott brands over politics than their peers in the region

  • Finding from 8th ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey says more than a third of young people in GCC would blacklist brands over political issues
  • Survey reveals US brands are the most favoured among young Arabs, although youth in Levant have a negative view on American goods

Dubai; UAE. 25th October, 2016: MORE than a third of young Arabs in the Gulf states – and almost 60 per cent of youth in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest market – would consider boycotting a brand for political reasons, according to a finding from the 2016 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.

That is more than for Arab youth as whole, with 38 per cent of GCC youth saying they would boycott a brand, against 29 per cent for Arab youth across the region. In the GCC states, 13 per cent say they would not boycott a brand, while 40 per cent said ‘maybe’, with the rest saying they did not know. In the Levant, only 21 per cent said they would boycott for political reasons, similar to North Africa with 27 per cent. In Saudi Arabia, 57 per cent of young Arabs said they would boycott a brand, against just 8 per cent who said they would not.

Young Arabs are also conscious of where their favoured brands hail from: 52 per cent of all young Arabs say a brand’s country of origin matters to them, while 44 per cent say it does not. This is most pronounced in GCC, where 58 per cent say origin does matter, and least in Levant, where a similar number, 55 per cent, say it does not.

“These findings reveal that young Arabs really think about where a brand comes from, not just in terms of perceived quality, but also in terms of the politics of the country of origin,” said Sunil John, chief executive of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. “The Arab world, with its 200 million youth, is an increasingly important market for today’s multinationals, but in today’s globalised world, the power of that demographic can see them shut out of large parts of this market over developments beyond their control.”

US brands are the most popular among Arabs as a whole, with 17 per cent putting the US at the top of a list of favoured countries of origin, followed by Germany, France, Japan, Italy, China and South Korea. However, while this view is pronounced in the GCC and North Africa (21 and 23 per cent prefer US brands respectively) in the Levant US brands are viewed extremely unfavorably, coming 6th on the list with just 6 per cent picking US brands, putting them behind those from Germany, France, Japan, China and Italy.

This contrasting view is borne out by a more pointed question, which asked: ‘What is your general attitude towards American brands?’ While the overall figure revealed 41 per cent of young Arabs view US brands positively, more than half of Gulf youth (54 per cent) have a favourable view of US brands, with 18 per cent having a negative view, while only 23 per cent of young people in the Levant see US brands in a positive light, with more than a third (36 per cent) viewing US brands negatively.
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 in the region and across the world.

For this year’s 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; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 11 to February 22, 2016.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Note to Editors:

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller:
Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with 11 wholly-owned offices and 10 affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communications practices and two subsidiary firms – Proof Integrated Communications, offering digital marketing services, and PSB Middle East for research projects. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is part of the global Burson-Marsteller network and a WPP company. 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:
Abeer Al-Qadi / Iman Ahmed
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
Email: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey wins In2 SABRE EMEA Award for ‘Thought Leadership in PR’

  • Agency’s work for Ford’s ‘Warriors in Pink’ breast cancer awareness campaign also recognised by the world’s leading PR awards programme

Dubai, UAE, June 7, 2016: ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the leading public relations agency in the Middle East and North Africa, has been awarded the In2 SABRE EMEA Award for Thought Leadership in PR for its work on the Seventh Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2015. The agency was recognised at an awards ceremony in Berlin recently.

The SABRE Awards by The Holmes Report are the world’s biggest PR industry accolades.  The In2 SABREs recognise excellence in various categories of innovation and insight—with an emphasis on content creation—as well as PR agency management and marketing.

“Our thought leadership platform, the Arab Youth Survey, has been recognised as a pioneering initiative for the PR industry across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa” said Sunil John, founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. “The Survey has earned a reputation as a unique piece of work that adds a new dimension to the dialogue in and about the Middle East, providing a valuable insight for policymakers, businesses and civil society.  It is rewarding to see our hard work and investment in this major initiative recognised at the highest level by our peers in the PR industry.”

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller also received a Certificate of Excellence in the Social Media – Collective category for its Warriors in Pink campaign for Ford Middle East. Warriors in Pink aims to support and maintain a long-term breast cancer awareness and early detection programme across the Middle East. The October 2015 campaign saw breast cancer survivors from the region becoming Models of Courage by taking part in an event to showcase the fundraising 2015 Warriors in Pink apparel and accessories range, inspiring other patients in their battles, and encouraging the region’s women to get regular check-ups.

For the 2015 survey, which the 2016 SABRE EMEA Awards recognised, 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, 2015.

In-depth results from the 8th and most recent Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a White Paper in Arabic and English, are available at www.arabyouthsurvey.com. The White Paper from the SABRE Award-winning 2015 Survey can also be downloaded from the website.

Note to Editors:

About ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller:

Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with 11 wholly-owned offices and 10 affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa.  The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communications practices and two subsidiary firms – Proof Integrated Communications, offering digital marketing services, and PSB Middle East for research projects.  ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is part of the global Burson-Marsteller network and a WPP company. asdaabm.com

For further information, please contact:

Margaret Flanagan / Iman Ahmed
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Over 50% of young Arabs say this generation is more entrepreneurial than the one before, Arab Youth Survey finding reveals

  • 2016 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey also finds more than a third of young Arabs intend to start own business in next five years 
  • Young Arabs say governments can do more to encourage lending, provide training and cut red tape

Young Arabs are increasingly positive about entrepreneurship with more than half believing members of this generation are more likely to start a business than the previous one.

The key finding from the Eighth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey was unveiled by Sunil John, the founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and a panelist at the multi-stakeholder panel on Addressing Youth Unemployment at the Ta’atheer MENA Social Impact and CSR Forum, held in Dubai on May 22-23.

The Survey revealed that when asked “do you feel people in this generation are more likely to start a business than in previous generations,” 54 per cent agreed, with youth in the GCC most enthusiastic at 62 per cent, compared to 54 per cent of North African youth and 44 per cent of youth in the Levant.

In a separate response, the survey found that 36 per cent of young Arabs said they themselves intend to start their own business in the next five years – 37 percent of youth in the GCC, 39 percent in North Africa and 31 per cent in the Levant.

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; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted in the period January 11 to February 22, 2016.

Real estate, technology and retail were the top three sectors in which Arab youth would like to start a new business venture. Real estate is the preferred choice for a start-up in the Gulf states, where 24 per cent of youth said they would opt to launch a property-related company, whereas technology was the top choice for would-be entrepreneurs in the Levant (15 per cent) and North Africa (18 per cent).  Retail is the second most popular choice in Levant and North Africa for 15 per cent and 16 per cent of respondents respectively; however in the Gulf only 9 per cent would opt to start a retail operation.

Across the whole Middle East 34 per cent said they did not intend to launch their own business, while 30 per cent didn’t know.  Lack of financial resources to start a business was cited as the main reason overall, by 20 per cent of young people, however in the GCC only 8 percent believed they lacked the means to go it alone, while in North Africa, 37 percent saw this as the biggest hurdle.

Young Arabs believe governments can do more to support young entrepreneurs, with 39 per cent saying that encouraging affordable lending should be made a priority; 25 per cent calling for education and training to be improved and made more available; and 19 per cent asking for government regulations and red tape to be cut.

“These findings suggest governments in the Middle East have an excellent opportunity to really help kick-start an entrepreneurial culture in the region,” said Sunil John. “With the Arab world needing to provide 80 to 100 million jobs by 2020, according to the World Bank, this represents a rich resource of largely untapped talent who can help drive the Arab world’s transformation to knowledge-based economies, and provide the opportunities of the future.”

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.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Note to Editors:

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:

Sunil John/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE

T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Arab youth see Saudi Arabia as their country’s biggest ally for fifth consecutive year

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Findings From 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey Released

  • Support for Kingdom highest among youth in the Gulf states
  • Arab youth split over whether US is ally or enemy
  • Iran’s influence is on the rise in Levant and Yemen

For the fifth consecutive year, Arab youth consider Saudi Arabia to their country’s biggest ally, highlighting their continued trust in the Kingdom as regional tensions peak, according to the findings of the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, released today.

When asked to think about their country’s biggest ally, Arab youth cite Saudi Arabia (31 per cent), followed by the UAE (28 per cent), and the United States (25 per cent). The Kingdom is viewed particularly strongly by youth in the other Gulf states, where 93 per cent consider it an ally. Young Arabs in the Levant and Yemen have the least favourable view of the kingdom, with only 45 per cent viewing it as an ally. Overall, 70 per cent of young Arabs see Saudi Arabia as an ally.

Commenting on the survey findings, Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey provides a unique insight into the hearts and minds of the region’s largest demographic – its 200 million youth. This year’s survey reveals once again that young people are acutely aware of the changing political realities in the region.

“Saudi Arabia has long been a powerful player in the region, and young people throughout the Arab world recognise the key role the Kingdom plays in trying to ensure stability and security not just within its own borders but throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

The UAE is also seen favourably by the majority of Arab youth, with 72 per cent viewing it as an ally and 28 per cent saying it is their top ally. Again, support for the UAE is particularly high in the neighbouring Gulf states, where 93 per cent of youth see it as an ally.

Arab youth are increasingly polarised in their views of the US. While two-thirds (63 per cent) of young Arabs view the country as an ally, a third of youth see the country as an enemy, especially in Iraq (93 per cent), Yemen (82 per cent) and Palestine (81 per cent).

A small majority of Arab youth (52 per cent) view regional rival Iran as an enemy, although, 38 per cent of young Arabs see it as an ally and, for the first time, a small number (13 per cent) see Iran as their country’s biggest ally in the region.

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; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 11 to February 22, 2016.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com.

ENDS

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, 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. For more information visit www.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 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/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Young Arabs Overwhelmingly Reject Daesh (ISIS) and Believe the Group Will Fail to Establish an Islamic State

Findings From Eighth Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey Released

  • Lack of jobs and opportunities seen as the number-one recruitment driver for Daesh
  • Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) are top allies in the region but Iran’s influence is on the rise
  • Arab youth split over whether the U.S. is an ally or enemy
  • Five years after fighting for political freedom during the Arab Spring, today most young Arabs prioritise stability over democracy
  • The UAE is viewed as a model country for the fifth straight year, and is the most favoured nation to live in and set up a business

Arab youth say the rise of Daesh (ISIS) remains the single biggest challenge facing the Middle East, but young people in the region overwhelmingly reject the extremist group and believe it will fail to establish an Islamic state. That is the headline finding of the eighth annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, released today.

While three in four Arab youth are concerned about the rise of Daesh, just one in six believes the terrorist group ultimately will succeed. Though concern is rising – with 50 per cent of youth citing it as the biggest obstacle in the region, up from 37 per cent last year – tacit support for the group is declining with just 13 per cent agreeing they could see themselves supporting Daesh even if it did not use so much violence, compared with 19 per cent in 2015.

A quarter of young people believe that a lack of jobs and opportunities are the main recruitment drivers for the terrorist group, although one in four of those surveyed also said they could see no reason why anyone would want to take up with Daesh.

Arab youth cite Saudi Arabia as their biggest ally for the fifth-year running (31 per cent), followed by the UAE (28 per cent) and the U.S. (25 per cent). But views on the U.S. are increasingly polarised. While two-thirds of young Arabs view the country as an ally, one third see the country as an enemy, especially in Iraq (93 per cent), Yemen (82 per cent) and Palestine (81 per cent).

Iran’s increasing regional influence is reflected in the survey, with 13 per cent of young Arabs now viewing the country as their biggest ally – although a small majority of young Arabs (52 per cent) view it as an enemy.

This is an important survey of how Arab youth – the largest and arguably most important demographic in the region – think about the evolving and challenging environment in which they live,” said Donald A. Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller.  “Today’s Arab youth are tomorrow’s leaders, business owners, workers and consumers, and the information in this survey helps all of us to reach and understand this group better.”

Five years after the Arab Spring, most young Arabs today are prioritizing stability over democracy. In 2016, just 36 per cent of young Arabs think that the Arab world is better off following the uprisings, down from 72 per cent in 2012 at the height of unrest. The majority of young Arabs (53 per cent) agree that promoting stability in the region is more important than promoting democracy (28 per cent).  At the same time, two thirds are calling for their leaders to do more to improve their personal freedoms and human rights.

Twenty-two per cent of young Arabs, nearly one in four, cite the UAE as the country they would most like to live in, and just as many say it is the country they would most like their country to emulate. The UAE is also the most attractive country for potential entrepreneurs: Of the young Arabs who intend to start their own business in the next five years, a quarter would choose to set up shop in the UAE if they could.

International polling firm and Burson-Marsteller subsidiary 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 including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 11 to February 22, 2016.

“With 60 per cent of the population below the age of 30, the Arab world is characterised by its vast youth population,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey serves as a barometer of the overarching social, political and economic trends that define the Arab world through the eyes of its youth.”

Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “Now in its eighth year, the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey has established itself as a key referral source across the world, and we hope that by providing this data – which we share as part of our commitment to evidence-based communications and our social responsibility – will add to further dialogue about this important segment of society.”

Other key findings from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016:

Young Arabs believe Sunni-Shia relations are deteriorating and that religion plays too big of a role in the Middle East
Nearly half (47 per cent) of young Arabs believe that relations between the two sects have worsened in the last five years.  More than half of young Arabs (52 per cent) agree that religion plays too big of a role in the Middle East – a notion that extends across the Arab world, with 61 per cent of youth in the GCC, 44 per cent in the Levant (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine) and  Yemen and 47 per cent in North Africa agreeing.

Young Arabs are divided on the Iranian nuclear deal and the Syrian conflict
While 45 per cent of young Arabs support the Iranian nuclear deal, 39 per cent oppose it. There are also sharp differences as to whether the Syrian conflict is a proxy war, a revolution or a civil war. Overall, a plurality (39 per cent) of Arab youth view the conflict in Syria as a proxy war fought by regional and global powers, while 29 per cent view it a revolution against the Bashar Al-Assad regime and 22 per cent believe it is a civil war among Syrians.

Arab Youth are increasingly concerned about falling oil prices, but most still believe they are entitled to subsidised energy
Two in three young Arabs (66 per cent) say they are concerned about falling energy prices, up from 52 per cent in 2015. Nearly four in five Arab youth (78 per cent) still believe they are entitled to subsidised energy costs, and, if their government were to stop subsidising energy, nearly half (49 per cent) believe the subsidies should be stopped only for ex-pats.

More young Arabs get their daily news online than from TV or print media
While 32 per cent say they get their daily news online, 29 per cent say they watch TV news and just seven per cent read newspapers daily (down from 13 per cent in 2015). The growing role of social media as a news platform is also apparent, with 52 per cent saying they use Facebook to share interesting news articles they read, up from 41 per cent in 2015.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com.

ENDS

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, 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. For more information visit www.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 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/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

Young Arabs look up to ‘model country’ UAE as most desired place in which to live for fifth consecutive year

Findings From 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey Released

  • United Arab Emirates ahead of US and Germany
  • Safety, security and economic opportunity cited as main reasons
  • UAE also seen as best place in which to start a business

For the fifth consecutive year, the United Arab Emirates has been named as the country in which most Arab youth would like to live and the country they would most like their own nation to emulate, according to the findings of the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey released today.

The UAE is also viewed as a model country that is economically secure and is the most favoured nation to set up a business in the Arab world.

When asked to think about the country they would most like to live in, nearly one in four (22 per cent) of young Arabs cite the UAE, ahead of the United States (15 per cent), Germany (11 per cent), Saudi Arabia (11 per cent) and Canada (10 per cent). Likewise, when asked to think about the country they would most like their own to emulate, 23 per cent cite the UAE, ahead of the US (19 per cent), Germany (12 per cent), France (10 per cent) and the United Kingdom (10 per cent).

Commenting on the survey findings, Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “The UAE’s popularity among youth is likely a reflection of its status as a model country and regional political and economic safe haven. The nation has developed a global reputation for its robust and diversified economy, which encourages a “can do” attitude among its residents and is respectful of religious and cultural diversity.”

To help better understand why the UAE consistently polls highest, the survey provided respondents a series of positive and negative phrases and asked them to choose the ones they associate with the UAE most. The top associations with the UAE revolve around safety, security and economic opportunities, with “Safe and Secure” cited as the number one reason by 36 per cent of youth, followed by “Has a Growing Economy”,“Wide Range of Work Opportunities” and “Generous Salary Packages”, which were each cited by 29 per cent of respondents.

This year, for the first time, the survey asked potential entrepreneurs – young Arabs who said they intend to start a business in the next five years – in which Arab country they would like to set up their business. The UAE ranked as the most preferred country with one in four (24 per cent) citing it as the top business destination in the Arab world, followed by Saudi Arabia (18 per cent) and Qatar (13 per cent).

For this year’s 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; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 11 to February 22, 2016.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, are available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com.

ENDS

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, 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. For more information visit www.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 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/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com

UAE’s Minister of Youth to speak at unveiling of 8th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey

The UAE’s first Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Shamma bint Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, will be the keynote speaker at the unveiling of the 8th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey on Tuesday, April 12.

At 22, Al Mazrui became the youngest minister in the UAE Cabinet when she took up the post announced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a reshuffle in February.

Sunil John, CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “We are delighted, and honoured, that Her Excellency Shamma bint Sohail Faris Al Mazrui will be delivering the keynote at the event. There are 200 million people under the age of 30 across the Middle East and North Africa. Understanding their hopes and aspirations is extremely important for policymakers, and businesses, across the region. It is clear the at the leadership of the UAE understands this, and the appointment of such a qualified person to this newly-established post is a testament to how seriously the government is taking youth issues.

The UAE’s first Rhodes Scholar, Al Mazrui holds a Masters of Public Policy with Distinction from Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, and a Bachelors degree from NYU Abu Dhabi, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in the university’s inaugural class.  At NYU Abu Dhabi, Al Mazrui conducted extensive research on Emirati females’ perceptions of the labour market.

Al Mazrui, who worked as an equity analyst prior to her appointment as Minister is a recipient of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Distinction Award, the Coutts Future Leader 2015 Award, the UAE Distinguished Student Scholarship of His Highness the President of the UAE, and the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Scholarship for Exceptional Emirati Students.

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller will unveil the results of the 2016 Arab Youth Survey at a gala client event at the Ritz-Calton, Dubai International Financial Centre. The findings will be debated by a high level panel comprising  Khaled Al Maeena, former editor in chief of Arab News and the Saudi Gazette; Sara Al Sarah Yousef Amiri; Head of the Council of UAE Scientists, and Science Lead, Emirates Mars Mission (Hope Mission); Faisal Al Yafai, Chief Columnist, The National newspaper; and Chaker Khazaal, writer, spokesperson, reporter, and Huffington Post contributor. The panel will be moderated by Alaa Shahine, Editor for politics and macroeconomics in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey at Bloomberg.

Launched in 2008, the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey presents evidence-based insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to inform their decision-making and policy formation.

For this year’s 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; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 11 to February 22, 2016.

In-depth results from the 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, including survey highlights and a white paper in Arabic and English, will be available on www.arabyouthsurvey.com after the findings are unveiled.

ENDS

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, 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. For more information visit www.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 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/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600
E: ays@bm.com
www.arabyouthsurvey.com