Youth in the UAE believe they are happy and healthy, according to the results of a nation-wide survey conducted last year. The survey, with the participation of almost 2,000 young Emiratis from across the UAE, was commissioned in 2014 by Al Bayt Mitwahid Association.
Those surveyed were broken down into two groups; 15 – 17 year olds and 18 – 24 year olds. The survey was representative of the UAE youth in terms of gender and Emirate, with a margin of error of 2.8% for 18 – 24 year olds and 4.9% for 15 – 17 year olds at a 95% level of confidence.
The results of the survey were released in an invitation-only roundtable event, organised in partnership with the Emirates Foundation, a leading philanthropic organisation in the UAE focusing on youth development.
The event was attended by representatives from government entities, private sector and NGOs in the UAE, including representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community, the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation, the Al Jalila Foundation, and youth leaders including Emirati weight lifting athlete Amna Al Haddad and Khalid Al Ameri, the Emirati government employee who received praise from H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, for offering to take unpaid leave from his government job to teach at Abu Dhabi Education Council.
The survey concluded that young Emiratis are happy and optimistic about their future. The group aged 15 – 17 rated their happiness on average at 8.9 out of 10, while 18 – 24 year olds rated their happiness at 8.5 out of 10.
Most young people also perceive themselves to be in good health. 97 % of both 15 – 17 year olds and 18 – 24 year old respondents rated their health as either "very good" or "good." Two thirds of those surveyed exercised regularly; however, young women are much less likely to exercise than young men (36% of females do not exercise compared to 19% of males aged 18 – 24 years old).
Khuloud Al Nuwais, Chief Sustainability Officer at Emirates Foundation, said, "The survey has provided valuable insights on the needs of Emirati youth and confirmed that our 6 core programmes at the Emirates Foundation are addressing many of those needs." Tala Al Ramahi, Programme Director of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association and one of the key authors of the report, said, "We commissioned this survey as part of our desire to understand the hopes and challenges of our youth. The findings provide us with valuable insights, and indicate how important our role is in promoting civic responsibility and volunteering among youth. We also hope that other organisations and entities are able to utilise this information to play a more productive part in addressing opportunities and challenges facing Emirati youth today."