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

April 12, 2016

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


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
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
For further information, please contact:
Sunil John/ Bashar Al Kadhi
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
T: 971 4 4507600