The UAE remains the first choice of Arab youth for the 12th consecutive year where they would want to live in, attracted by the job and career-growth opportunities that the emirate offers to young people across the region, according to the annual Asda’a BCW Arab Youth Survey released on Tuesday.

The US and Canada were ranked second and third, respectively, for the third consecutive year. While Saudi and Qatar also appeared in the top five list of model nations. This is the first time that three Gulf countries made it to the top five list.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter and wrote: "The Emirates is an Arab country. It extends its hand to all Arabs. And its land will remain open to achieving the dreams of the Arab youth. Our aspirations are for the entire region to rise to become a land for realising dreams and creating civilisation."

“The UAE continues to be a lodestar for Arab youth seeking jobs, opportunity and the freedom to realise their full potential. The uncertainty elsewhere in the global economy only serves to underline the nation’s winning attributes and the sound vision of its leadership,” said Sunil John, president for Mena at BCW and founder of Asda’a BCW.

The survey covered face-to-face interviews with 3,600 young Arab male and female citizens in 53 cities across a total of 18 Arab states from March 27 to April 12.

The UAE has consistently been maintaining the top position in numerous global studies issued by global institutions in various fields of life, making the emirate a highly attractive destination for youth in the Arab world. Since the UAE tops regionally in most of the ranking, the country is targeting to further strengthen its global rankings as well in terms of attracting foreign businesses, FDI, safety and security among others.

UAE tops again to be emulated by other countries

Moreover, the UAE has again been ranked first for the 12th straight year that Arab youth want their own countries to emulate. The emirate was rated ahead of the US, Canada, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UK in joint fifth place. This is the first time Saudi Arabia has been chosen as a country to emulate since 2017, thanks to reforms taken by the kingdom in the past few years.

The Arab youth consider the UAE as a beacon of hope and award it their favoured-nation status for its safety and security, growing economy, effective and ‘visionary’ leadership, clean environment and ease of starting a business.

The emirate was also rated highly as the best country to raise a family, for its plentiful job opportunities, the quality of its schools, its strong cultural identity and heritage, generous salaries and ease of obtaining a residency visa.

The study found that young Arab men and women now say they would rather live in Qatar than the UK while Saudi Arabia ranks joint-fifth with the UK in their list of countries they most want their own to emulate.

“Young Arabs see these countries as model nations because they appreciate the opportunities for jobs and prosperity being created and the potential to realise a better, more fulfilling life for themselves,” John added.

Qatar benefitted a lot from the hosting of the Fifa World Cup as it had a huge positive impact.

“Without question, the tournament had a galvanising effect on both the regional economy and Arab pride,” he said.

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