91% of young Emiratis say UAE's best days still ahead: Survey

Abu Dhabi - 78 per cent expect to have a better life than what their parents had.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 15 Mar 2021, 1:03 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Mar 2021, 12:34 AM

Nine in 10 young Emiratis believe that the best days of the UAE are yet to come and 78 per cent expect to have a better life than what their parents had, a new survey has found.

Commissioned by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations (MBZMFG), the survey was the largest evidence-based study that explored the views of the Emirati youth on the future. Results have been released on Monday.

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Young Emirati women are particularly optimistic about their lives, with 83 per cent expressing confidence of having a better life than their parents, according to the survey.

The study further revealed that for the country’s youth, personal success is closely linked with the success of the nation. Nearly one-third (28 per cent) say that contributing to the UAE’s prosperity is their most important goal, more so than creating a stable and happy family (23 per cent) or pursuing a successful and fulfilling career (15 per cent).

Ninety per cent of the Emiratis currently studying abroad also plan to return home to start their professional career.

“The findings of the study, highlighting the confidence of Emirati youth in the future of the nation, reflect the positivity and clearly articulated vision of our leadership,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Nuaimi, director of the Education Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court.

“With a focus on nurturing youth talent and enabling them to realise their full potential, the UAE has outlined a strategic course of action to provide world-class higher education to the youth and prepare them for the jobs of the future. Alongside, there is a strong emphasis on building a local innovation ecosystem and boosting entrepreneurial abilities. All these lay the foundation for building the next 50 years as we march towards the Centennial 2071 goal to be the best nation in the world.”

The survey was conducted in two phases by PSB Insights, a global research and analytics consultancy. The first was an online quantitative survey, completed between October 25 and November 9, 2020, covering 2,974 young Emirati students — 2,629 in the UAE and 345 pursuing degrees abroad. The second phase included four qualitative focus groups conducted with Emirati university students, including undergraduates, postgraduates, and members of the Emirates Youth Council.

Conducting this study was a key part of the third Majlis for Future Generations, Al Nuaimi said. “Through data analytics, we have gained informed views on areas that the Majlis discusses under the theme ‘Thriving in the Next Normal’. The optimism of our youth inspires us further as our leadership brings new and dynamic platforms to accelerate the nation’s progress.”

The virtual Majlis event took place on March 14, where participants delved deep into topics ranging from the skills that will be most in-demand in the future to tactics that young people could implement to face these pressures, adapt to their new surroundings, and strive to innovate and excel.

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