A new study exploring social issues in Dubai revealed that Dubai residents ranked among the happiest in the world. The findings were announced on Monday by the Community Development Authority in Dubai (CDA).
Focusing on life in Dubai, social cohesion, social needs, human rights, national identity, personal values and social empowerment — the third social study revealed interesting insights on living in Dubai.
Westerners happier than Emiratis
Western expats were found to be the happiest in Dubai, ranking above Emiratis in the study conducted by CDA in partnership with Dubai Statistics Centre.
The report read, “The highest percentage for satisfaction with family life is among Westerners (99.7 per cent), followed by Arabs (99 per cent), then Emiratis (97.3 per cent) and finally Asians and Africans (97 per cent).”
Announcing the results at a press briefing, Khaled Al Kamda, Director-General of CDA, said he wasn’t surprised by the findings. “We are a country for all people and we think UAE and Emirati people in particular are good hosts. It shows people are happy to live with us.”
Explaining the importance of such studies, Khaled added: “The social study is done to highlight how well people in Dubai perceive services enjoyed by them and whether they enjoy their life. People feel happy, safe and included in the society. Our society has high levels of tolerance for people from different nationalities and religion.”
On a scale of 1 to 10, average happiness of Dubai residents was recorded at 8.08. Safety also ranked high with 96 per cent of Dubai residents reporting a sense of being ‘protected and safe’.
The study has shown that the feeling of protection and safety has increased from 92.80 per cent in 2011 to 96 per cent in the recent survey among all Dubai residents. Average happiness during the year prior to the survey reached 8.08 out of 10, compared to 7.9 the year 2011.
However, the study also noted that a quarter of Dubai’s residents struggled to meet ‘housing needs’ (26 per cent).
The study covered 3,796 families of which 1,328 were Emirati households, 1,504 non-Emarati households, 464 collective families and 500 individuals from labour camps. The sample was selected randomly in multiple phases and included 56 per cent males.
Khaled Al Kamda, Director-General of CDA, said: “We share all our findings with government organisations and it can help different entities improve their services. It’s good to see Dubai compete with big countries and not just cities. That’s something we look forward to.”
In the results related to the social needs and services, the study findings revealed that 37 per cent of Emiratis with disabilities are completely independent and do not need any special help, while 35 per cent need some help, and 28 per cent are dependent and need complete help.
The total number of people with disabilities among Dubai Emirati residents is 2.3 per cent out of which 28 per cent are motor impaired, 16 per cent chronically diseased, 14 per cent mentally retarded and 9 per cent speech disabled. While seeing disabilities is about 8 per cent, hearing disabilities is 6 per cent, physiological/mental illness 4 per cent and hand using 2 per cent.
On the human rights side, 77.5 per cent of the total studied population said they feel able to obtain their rights through legal channels; the highest was among Emirati families with 94 per cent, followed by non-Emirati families with 84.4 per cent, then comes the collective families with 78.2 per cent and finally labour camps 66.4 per cent.
Additionally, 67 per cent of the study population working in Dubai feel they are safe from stringent work practices; with the highest percentage among Emiratis being 83.1 per cent, followed by non-Emiratis 75.5 per cent, collective families 71.4 per cent and finally labour camps recording a satisfaction of 56.9 per cent.
Khaled noted that the main objective of the study is to measure key performance indicators both on CDA and social sector levels and to discover any possible social issues in Dubai.
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