ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 Whitepaper
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ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 Whitepaper

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Young people across the Arab World are embracing modernity as digital technologies and media reshape behaviour, however it is the opinions and influences of family, friends and religion that still ...

Young people across the Arab World are embracing modernity as digital technologies and media reshape behaviour, however it is the opinions and influences of family, friends and religion that still matter most to Arab Youth. These are the headline findings of the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.

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    ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 Whitepaper ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 Whitepaper Document Transcript

    • Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Tunisia UAE Yemen arabyouthsurvey.com asdaabm.com bm.com psbresearch.com #arabyouthsurvey
    • “We want to embrace modern values.” A White Paper on the Findings of the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 Published in 2014 by ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller This White Paper can be obtained from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey website: www.arabyouthsurvey.com Copyright © 2014 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller www.asdaabm.com All rights reserved No part of this document may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey logos are trademarks of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
    • Contents 2 Letter from the CEO 4 Survey Methodology 6 Top Ten Findings 8 In-depth Insights 28 Demographic Data 29 About Us Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Tunisia UAE Yemen
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller2 The substantial investment in this thought leadership platform demonstrates our firm belief in the principle of evidence-based communications. Letter from the Chief Executive officer
    • 3Arab Youth Survey 2014 Every year ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller conducts the Arab Youth Survey because we understand how important it is to access reliable data here in the Middle East, where research is often limited. The substantial investment in this thought leadership platform demonstrates our firm belief in the principle of evidence-based communications. The aim of this annual survey, now in its sixth year, is to present evidence-based insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to inform their decision- making and policy formation. Our first study in 2008 evaluated the hopes and aspirations of 1,500 Arab youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years in six countries; Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan. This year’s edition is a cross section of the opinions of 3,500 young Arabs in 16 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, with insights into the young people of Palestine included for the first time. In the six years since we started the Arab Youth Survey, the region has witnessed dramatic technological, social and political changes, much of which are evident in the findings that we have produced. After decades of living under oppressive dictatorships, thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand change and in doing so toppled two leaders in Egypt, and a further two in Yemen and Tunisia, removed Muammar Gaddafi from power in Libya and plunged Syria into civil war with an enormous loss of life. In the intervening years we have seen Egyptian citizens take part in the country’s first democratic election in decades, only to see the newly appointed president overthrown within the year; we have witnessed Libya continue to grapple with rebel fighters who openly and regularly defy the new state; Tunisia endure months of crisis and Syria enter its third year of civil war. Though thousands of young citizens have taken to the streets to demand change, many more are using the internet and social media platforms to voice their opinions. As the online world becomes an intrinsic part of Arab society, the youth of today are fast becoming the 24-7 social network generation. Youth in Saudi Arabia, which boasts the highest Twitter and YouTube usage per capita of any country in the world, are using sites such as Twitter to demand social change while citizen journalism continues to play a key role in driving the world’s outlook on the ongoing conflict in Syria. The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is an important snapshot of what is happening in the region. One of our top findings in our 2010 survey, for example, was that the single most important priority for young people was living in a democratic society. Three years after the Arab Spring, we are starting to see the optimism felt during the revolutionary years wane and an increasing emphasis on the "here and now" and the role of national governments. Similarly, it is evident in this year’s findings that more youth are turning to social networks as they gain increasing trust in the blogosphere. As the region continues to evolve so does the ambitions of the region’s youth. The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey provides an insight into their hopes and beliefs in what is a defining era for the Arab world. We hope that the results of the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey are informative and that the research will continue to further constructive dialogue on realising the hopes and aspirations of this important demographic – the region’s 200 million youth. Sunil John Chief Executive Officer ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller4 The 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 was conducted by international polling firm PSB to explore attitudes among Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to- face interviews between December 2013 and January 2014 with Arab men and women in the age group of 18 to 24. The aim of this annual survey, now in its sixth year, is to present evidence-based insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to inform their decision-making and policy formation. The survey is the most comprehensive of its kind covering the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen. The survey did not include Syria due to the civil unrest in the country. Participants were interviewed in-depth about subjects ranging from the political to the personal. Topics explored included the concerns and aspirations of Arab youth, their views on the economy and the impact of the Arab Spring, their media consumption habits, and attitudes towards traditional values and the people who influence them. Respondents, exclusively nationals of each of the surveyed countries, were selected to provide an accurate reflection of each nation’s geographic and socio-economic make-up. The gender split of the survey is 50:50 male to female. The margin of error of the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014 is +/-1.8%. There were 200 respondents for each country represented in the survey, except for the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt with 300 respondents each, and Iraq with 250 and Palestine with 150. The geographic location of respondents was also taken into account by PSB when developing the fieldwork methodology – with, for example, 40% of UAE respondents in Abu Dhabi, 40% in Dubai and 20% in Sharjah. Saudi respondents were drawn from three of the country’s regions; Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam; Palestine’s youth from the West Bank and Gaza; Oman’s youth from Muscat and Batinah; Lebanese youth from Beirut, Saida, and Tripoli; Tunisian youth from Tunis, Sfax and Soussa; Iraqi youth from Baghdad, Irbil and Basrah; Egyptian youth from Cairo, Alexandria and Mansoura, and so on across each country. When analysed, this geographic spread provides a more accurate national picture than findings based solely on the responses of those living in capital cities. Survey Methodology Original 2008-10 countries UAE N=300 Oman N=200 Qatar N=200 Bahrain N=200 KSA N=300 Kuwait N=200 Egypt N=300 Jordan N=200 Lebanon N=200 Abu Dhabi 40% Muscat 50% Doha 55% Manama 100% Riyadh 40% Kuwait City 20% Cairo 50% Amman 50% Beirut 60% Dubai 40% Batinah 50% Al Rayyan 45% Jeddah 40% Al Hawalli 30% Alexandria 25% Irbid 25% Saida 20% Sharjah 20% Dammam 20% Al Ahmadi 20% Mansoura 25% Zarqa 25% Tripoli 20% Farwaniya 30%
    • 5Arab Youth Survey 2014 Newin2011 New in 2012 New in 2013 Newin2014 Iraq N=250 Tunisia N=200 Libya N=200 Algeria N=200 Morocco N=200 Yemen N=200 Palestine N=150 Baghdad (50%) Tunis (50%) Tripoli (50%) Algiers (50%) Casablanca (25%) Sanaa (50%) West Bank (50%) Irbil (25%) Sfax (25%) Benghazi (25%) Oran (25%) Fes (25%) Al Hudaydah (25%) Gaza (50%) Basrah (25%) Soussa (25%) Misrata (25%) Constantine (25%) Rabat (25%) Ta’izz (25%) Marrakech (25%)
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller6 A growing number of Arab youth are adopting modern values as digital technology reshapes behaviour and attitudes. However, family, friends, parents and religion still have the most influence on youngsters and their outlook on life. Arab youth are confident in their governments’ ability to deal with a wide range of issues including living standards, economic stability and unemployment but the positive momentum felt during the Arab Spring is declining. For the fourth year running, Arab youth cite the rising cost of living as their biggest concern, closely followed by anxiety about unemployment, which has been steadily rising year-on-year. Top 10 Findings What do 200 million Arab youth have to say about their future? A growing number of Arab youth are embracing modern values, while family, friends and religion continue to shape their opinions and influence their lives 1 Youngsters are confident in their national governments’ ability to deal with a wide range of issues. Confidence in the long term impact of the Arab Spring is dropping 2 Rising living costs and unemployment are the biggest concerns for youth across the Middle East 3 The majority of Arab youth believe that civil unrest is the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East and will define the region’s ability to thrive in the future. More Arab youth are likely to start a business than in previous generations. Though the government sector remains a popular choice, an increasing number of young Arabs would like to work in the private sector. For the third year running, the UAE remains the most popular country to live in and the country Arab youth would most like their country to emulate. Arab youth believe that civil unrest is the biggest obstacle facing the region 4 entrepreneurial spirit is HIGH and a growing number of young arabs would like to work IN the private sector 5 The UAE is the country that most Arab youth would like to live in and is seen as a model for their country to emulate 6
    • 7Arab Youth Survey 2014 Television remains the most dominant source of information for the sixth consecutive year but a growing number of Arab youth are going online to get their news. 3,500 face-to-face interviews Arab youth in the age group of 18-24 years Sample split 50:50 male/female When asked to think about their country’s biggest ally, Arab youth are choosing their GCC neighbours over traditional western countries as Gulf governments’ political weight grows in prominence. Concern about obesity and diabetes is rising but many young Arabs believe that healthcare in their country has not improved in the last 12 months. Nearly 70% of young Arabs believe they are entitled to subsidised utilities and petrol, and while concern about climate change is rising, it ranks significantly behind other issues in terms of priority. Arab youth consider their country’s biggest allies to be regional neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE rather than TRADITIONAL western COUNTRIES 7 Arab youth are increasingly concerned about obesity and lifestyle diseases and do not believe that healthcare IN THEIR COUNTRY is improving 8 An overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe they are entitled to subsidised energy costs, while concern about climate change is low across the region 9 Television is the most popular source of news for the sixth year running, but a growing number of young Arabs are turning to online and social networks to get their news 10
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller8 A growing number of Arab youth are embracing modern values, while family, friends and religion continue to shape their opinions and influence their lives A rising number of Arab youth are adopting modern values as digital technology reshapes behaviour and attitudes. Nearly half of all youth polled (46%) agree with the statement “Traditional values are outdated and belong in the past; I am keen to embrace modern values and beliefs”, compared to only 17% in 2011. 1 As Arab youth become more global citizens, a growing number believe traditional values are no longer relevant and are keen to embrace a more modern outlook. In 2011, just 17% of youngsters said traditional values are outdated, rising to 35% in 2012 and 40% in 2013. Attitudes towards modernity are similar across the region with 44% of respondents in the Gulf and 46% in the other Arab nations believing that traditional values belong in the past. The significant shift in attitude comes amid a rise in social media consumption, smart phone penetration and exposure to new ideas and beliefs through international media and travel. Though preference for traditional values is declining, youth are still turning to their family, parents, friends and religion for advice and counsel. When asked to consider who is the biggest influence on their lives and their outlook on life, two thirds (67%) of young Arabs cite their parents, followed by 58% family, 56% religion and 46% friends. While there is no doubt that family, religion and friends continue to play a leading role in young people’s lives their influence is falling while external influences are rising. When asked for the first time this year how much influence social media/bloggers and TV celebrities have on their outlook on life, more than a third (35%) cite social media and almost one in five (19%) mention TV celebrities, indicating the growing importance of the internet on youth. Community leaders, music and sports are also playing a more central role in youths’ lives with influence from community leaders rising from 33% in 2013 to 38% and pop stars from 16% to 20%. The significant shift in attitude comes amid a rise in social media consumption, smart phone penetration and exposure to new ideas and beliefs through international media and travel. In-depth Insights
    • 9Arab Youth Survey 2014 values and beliefs by country 2014 Traditional values are outdated and belong in the past. I am keen to embrace modern values and beliefs. Traditional values mean a lot to me, and ought to be preserved for generations to come. Among All Egypt Jordan Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Lebanon Bahrain Iraq Tunisia Libya Algeria Morocco Yemen Palestine GCC Non GCC Which of the following is closest to your view? Traditional values are outdated and belong in the past. I am keen to embrace modern values and beliefs. Traditional values mean a lot to me, and ought to be preserved for generations to come. 8317 65 60 5446 40 35 How far would you say each of the following influence you and your outlook on life? (% Very influential) 2013 2014 Base: Rebased to remove “Don’t know” Parents Family Religion Friends Community leaders Social media/  bloggers Music Media Politicians/ Government leaders Authors/ writers Business leaders Sports figures Pop stars TV  celebrities 73 67 66 58 69 56 49 46 33 38 35 28 32 29 32 30 31 31 29 30 26 19 22 16 20 19 2011 2012 2013 2014 54 46 57 43 51 49 54 46 57 43 55 45 57 43 60 40 55 45 50 50 55 45 55 45 51 49 54 46 54 46 49 51 56 44 56 44 54 46
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller10 2 Confidence is also high in governments’ ability to tackle population change (64%), economic stability (67%) and terrorism (61%). Though optimism is high across a broad spectrum of issues, youth are less confident about long term issues. Over half of youngsters (58%) are ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ confident in their government’s ability to address wealth creation, while a similar number (57%) are uncertain about the ability to tackle environmental issues. While conviction in their national governments’ policies is growing, a rising number of youth are starting to lose confidence in positive outcomes from the Arab Spring. They are more doubtful than last year that the Arab Spring will have a positive impact on their lives, as regional governments - such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya - struggle to cope with the transition of power after their leaders were toppled. In 2014, just over half (54%) agree ‘a lot’ with the statement “Following the uprisings across the Arab world, I feel the Arab world is better off”, significantly down from 70% in 2013 and 72% in 2012. Confidence in the long-term impact of the Arab Spring is also dropping with almost three out of five youth (58%) in 16 countries agreeing with the statement “As a result of the uprising, I feel I will be better off in five years”, compared to three quarters (74%) in 2013 and 71% in 2012. Youth in the Gulf States, where governments have introduced huge spending packages to tackle issues such as unemployment and housing, are more confident than their counterparts in non-Gulf countries. When asked to consider whether or not their country of residence is heading in the right direction following the Arab Spring, 71% of youth in the GCC cite “right direction” compared to 55% in non-GCC states. Arab youths’ confidence in their nations’ ability to tackle issues is likely to be some comfort to regional governments, which are under pressure to deal with a range of socio-economic challenges and to meet the expectations of their citizens following the wave of protests during the Arab Spring. The GCC countries have boosted their public expenditure by up to 60% since 2008 to focus on increasing salaries, providing social aid and creating jobs for nationals in a bid to avoid discontent. Youngsters are confident in their national governments’ ability to deal with a wide range of issues. Confidence in the long term impact of the Arab spring is dropping Arab youth are confident in their national governments’ ability to deal with a wide range of issues including living standards, economic stability and unemployment, as regional governments adopt more inclusive policies in the wake of the Arab Spring. Across the region, more than two thirds (68%) are either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat confident’ in their ability to deal with the rising rates of unemployment while similar numbers are optimistic about their ability to deal with war (67%) and enhance living standards (66%). In-depth Insights
    • 11Arab Youth Survey 2014 How confident are you in your national government’s abilities to deal with the following issues? How far do you agree or disagree with the following? Agree a lot / somewhat Disagree a lot / somewhat Don’t know 722012 2013 2014 24 4 70 24 7 54 34 11 Following the uprisings across the Arab world, I feel the Arab world is better off 71 24 5 74 17 10 58 26 16 As a result of the uprising, I feel I will be better off in five years 2012 2013 2014 Living standards Economic stability War Unemploy- ment Population change Health Urbanisation Scarcity of resources Political stability Nuclear proliferation Terrorism Poverty Climate change Wealth creation 35 31 12 66 63 67 68 57 61 58 22 32 31 17 20 31 36 18 16 30 38 14 18 29 35 13 24 29 21 31 18 29 21 23 28 28 20 19 34 27 26 23 24 26 32 17 25 25 36 20 19 24 30 22 25 23 20 25 32 21 21 26 32 Very confident Somewhat confident Not very confident Not at all confident Arab youths’ confidence in their nations’ ability to tackle issues is likely to be some comfort to regional governments, which are under pressure to deal with a range of socio-economic challenges and to meet the expectations of their citizens following the wave of protests during the Arab Spring.
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller12 3 Concern ABOUT KEY ISSUES-GCC/NON-GCC split Rising cost of living Unemployment 62 63GCC Non-GCC 39GCC Non-GCC How concerned would you say you are about each of the following issues? (% Very concerned) 55 In-depth Insights This is in line with the last three years, in which almost identical levels of respondents said they were very concerned in 2013 (62%) and 2012 (63%) just slightly up from 57% in 2011. Youth are more concerned about the rising cost of living than they are about their national economy, opportunities for women and the threat of terrorism. Concern about rising living costs is evenly split across the Arab world with 63% of respondents in GCC - where inflation is expected to rise this year - saying they are ‘very concerned’ compared to 62% in the remaining Arab countries surveyed. Young people in Bahrain and Morocco are the most concerned about living costs (67%) while young citizens in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Oman, Yemen and Palestine are equally concerned (all 61%). With rising unemployment rates across the Arab world, it will come as little surprise that youth cite unemployment as their second biggest concern. Higher wages and favourable working hours have resulted in a disproportionate number of citizens working in the public sector but a surge in population has left many governments unable to keep up with demand for these jobs. Across the region, nearly half (49%) are concerned about the issue, demonstrating a steady increase over the last four years, up from 44% in 2013 and 2012 and 42% in 2011, in line with growing unemployment rates. Concern about unemployment is strongest in the non-GCC countries, where governments are struggling to provide jobs for their growing populations with 55% citing it as their biggest concern. Though still high at 39%, youth in the Gulf are less concerned than their counterparts in the rest of the Arab world, their oil-rich governments providing some reassurance. Egyptian youth are the most concerned about unemployment at 62%, followed by Algeria (59%), Jordan (56%), Iraq, Tunisia, Libya (55%) and Lebanon (54%). Rising living costs and unemployment are the biggest concerns for youth across the Middle East Arab youth cite the rising cost of living as their greatest concern as inflationary pressures rise across the region, increasing the need for government stimulus. Across the 16 countries polled, more than three in five (63%) are very concerned about rising living costs.
    • 13Arab Youth Survey 2014 49 24 20 4 42 26 24 8 54 18 22 6 55 17 21 6 62 18 18 3 39 32 21 9 46 26 21 8 59 19 19 3 56 24 16 4 36 26 25 12 55 27 12 6 47 22 22 9 38 29 24 10 34 29 28 9 55 24 14 8 50 27 16 7 55 18 23 4 CONCERN about key issues? concern ABOUT the rising cost of living by country Concern about unemployment by country Rising cost of living 57 63 62 63 Unemployment 42 44 44 49 Opportunities for women 43 40 43 49 Threat of terrorism 48 47 46 2011 2012 2013 2014 *New category in 2014 Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not very concerned Not at all concerned Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not very concerned Not at all concerned How concerned would you say you are about each of the following issues? (% Very concerned) (Top 5) All Egypt Jordan Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Lebanon Bahrain Iraq Tunisia Libya Algeria Morocco Yemen Palestine All Egypt Jordan Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Lebanon Bahrain Iraq Tunisia Libya Algeria Morocco Yemen Palestine 63 25 8 4 62 24 9 5 62 26 8 4 63 28 4 6 61 27 8 3 62 26 7 5 67 20 9 4 62 30 7 2 61 27 8 4 61 22 12 5 64 24 9 3 67 22 9 2 64 22 10 4 61 30 5 4 63 29 3 4 61 25 11 3 61 25 12 2 National economy * 49
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller14 4 In-depth Insights That said, concern is evenly split between GCC and non-GCC countries, both at 55%. It is felt most strongly in Tunisia, which has struggled to contain civil unrest and form a new government in the wake of the Arab Spring, with three in five (62%) respondents citing it as the biggest obstacle facing the region, and least in Qatar and Libya, at 50%. Across the 16 countries polled, lack of democracy is widely viewed as the second biggest obstacle with almost two in five (38%) citing it as the biggest impediment to the region, down from 43% in 2013 and 41% in 2012. The last few years’ results indicate a significant shift in terms of priorities for Arab youth. In 2009, nearly 100% of young people in six Arab countries said living in a democratic country was either very or somewhat important to them, ranking democracy as a priority ahead of being paid a fair wage and living in a safe neighbourhood. Though the importance of “living in a democratic country” is falling, youth are placing an increasing emphasis on the “here and now” and the role of government, with 30% citing lack of strong leadership as the third biggest factor affecting the region’s ability to prosper, up from 19% in 2013. Fear of terrorism in the wake of the regional political turmoil that continues to affect much of the region is also rising, ranked joint third, with 30% of Arab youth citing it as one of their biggest concerns, up from 21% in 2013 and 2012. Youth in Libya and Oman (21% and 24%) are the least concerned about terrorism while those in Palestine (35%), Qatar (34%) and Bahrain (34%) are the most worried. Though the importance of “living in a democratic country” is falling, youth are placing an increasing emphasis on the “here and now” and the role of government, with 30% citing lack of strong leadership as the third biggest factor affecting the region’s ability to prosper, up from 19% in 2013. Arab youth believe that civil unrest is the biggest obstacle facing the region When asked what they believe to be the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East, more than half (55%) of Arab youth agree that civil unrest will define the region’s ability to thrive in the future. This year’s results show a steady rise over the last three years with 44% citing civil unrest as the biggest obstacle in 2013 up from 41% in 2012. Civil unrest is considered the biggest obstacle after lack of democracy, threat of terrorism and lack of strong leadership. Outside of the GCC, much of the region continues to experience political turmoil as Syrian violence spills into neighbouring countries and Egypt grapples to contain the popular uprisings that have plagued the country since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011.
    • 15Arab Youth Survey 2014 Biggest obstacles facing the middle east What do you believe is the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East? (Top 5) 2012 2013 2014 Civil unrest Lack of democracy Threat of terrorism Lack of strong leadership * Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist movements 41 21 18 44 21 19 55 30 30 28 41 43 38 top two obstacles-GCC/non-GCC SPLIT What do you believe is the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East? (Top 2) Civil unrest 55 55GCC Non-GCC Lack of democracy 38 38GCC Non-GCC Outside of the GCC, much of the region continues to experience political turmoil as Syrian violence spills into neighbouring countries and Egypt grapples to contain the popular uprisings that have plagued the country since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011. *New category in 2014
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller16 5 In-depth Insights While favourability towards the private sector is steadily rising in the Gulf amid extensive government-backed programmes, it is declining in the non-Gulf states as economies are static or shrinking and private sector jobs become more difficult to find. Favourability towards the private sector rose to 31% in the GCC, up from 24% in 2013 and 19% in 2012. In contrast, preference towards the private sector in the non-GCC countries was 31% in 2014 up from 28% in 2013 and 36% in 2012. Unemployment in the Middle East is twice the global average with women and youth bearing the brunt of joblessness. While the unemployment rate across all age groups was 11.3% last year, a total of 28.1% of youth and 19.3% females were unemployed in the Middle East, according to the International Labour Organization. The Middle East and North Africa needs to create 80-100 million jobs just to maintain current unemployment rates, according to the World Bank. Governments, burdened by rising unemployment rates and growing populations, are encouraging more citizens to establish their own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), recognising their role in creating much needed job opportunities. For example, the UAE has said it is looking at ways to provide SMEs with funding outside its banking system while Jordan is fostering an environment for technology entrepreneurs by investing through privately managed funds. In parallel to the growth in entrepreneurial spirit, a rising number of youth are favouring private sector employment over working for the government. Regional governments have embarked on a range of programmes aimed at encouraging more citizens to enter the private sector. Saudi Arabia, the most active country in terms of labour reforms, introduced the Nitaqat system, which rewards companies that provide jobs to a higher percentage of Saudi nationals, in 2011. The raft of measures being adopted across the region appear to be having a positive effect on the way youth view employers with three in ten (31%) across all 16 countries saying they would like to work for a private company, up from 26% in 2013 and 28% in 2012. Though government is still the preferred employer for many, preference is declining, with around two in five (43%) of all young Arabs citing the public sector as their preferred employer, down from 46% in 2013 and 55% in 2012. Entrepreneurial spirit is high and a growing number of young Arabs would like to work in the private sector Entrepreneurial spirit across the Arab world is high as access to higher education improves skills of young Arabs, and governments and banks provide much-needed funding to help set up private companies. Following decades of reliance on the public sector for employment, more youth are keen to start their own company with two thirds (67%) of youth agreeing that people of this generation are more likely to start a business than in previous generations. The split is fairly equal across the Arab world with 66% agreeing with the statement in the Gulf and 68% in non-GCC countries.
    • 17Arab Youth Survey 2014 Entrepreneurship by country Do you feel people of this generation are more likely to start a business than in previous generations? Yes No Don’t know 67 12 21 71 12 18 71 10 18 64 16 20 64 15 20 65 16 20 67 11 22 68 12 20 67 13 20 66 13 20 70 10 20 59 14 26 62 14 24 69 16 16 71 8 21 72 12 16 66 14 21 66 6 27 68 12 21 Among All Egypt Jordan Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Lebanon Bahrain Iraq Tunisia Libya Algeria Morocco Yemen Palestine GCC Non GCC Work sector preference-GCC/NON-GCC SPLIT Would you prefer to work in government or for the private sector? (% Private sector and % Government sector) 2012 2013 2014 GCC Non-GCC GCC Non-GCC 50 64 43 46 43 43 19 24 31 36 28 31 Government Private Sector Though government is still the preferred employer for many, preference is declining, with around two in five (43%) of all young Arabs citing the public sector as their preferred employer, down from 46% in 2013 and 55% in 2012.
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller18 6 In-depth Insights Likewise, when asked to think about what country they would most like their home country to emulate, the same percentage (39%) of all respondents cite the UAE. This is felt most strongly by young people in Algeria (46%), Bahrain, Qatar and Iraq (42%). The popularity of the UAE is likely a reflection of the country’s strong economic outlook and status as a safe haven amid the regional political turmoil. The Gulf state, the Arab world’s second largest economy with a GDP of nearly $390bn, is expected to grow 4.5% in 2014 on the back of a number of factors including its successful bid to host Expo 2020. Its moderate government coupled with the ease of doing business has placed the country in a unique position to be able to attract foreign direct investment. The country’s commitment to female empowerment, investment in the arts and cultural scene through projects such as Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, the growing arts and culture sector investment in Dubai and positioning of Sharjah as the cultural capital of the Arab world have singled it out as a beacon of inspiration to young people in the region. The Gulf state is the happiest Arab country and the 17th happiest in the world, according to 2013 World Happiness Report, commissioned by the United Nations. UAE nationals ranked the highest out of all 16 countries in terms of optimism about the future of their country with almost seven in ten (69%) agreeing with the statement “I feel optimistic about what the future holds for my country” compared to just more than half (55%) overall. Young Emiratis are also the most confident about their future prospects with half (50%) believing they have more opportunities now than they did a year ago, compared to two in five (40%) overall. While preference towards the UAE continues to grow, favourability towards most non-Arab countries has declined. Just 14% of youngsters cite France as the country they would most like their country to emulate (down from 17% in 2013) while 10% cite Turkey (down from 16% in 2013) and 7% China (down from 13% in 2013). Favourability towards the United States, however, increased to 25% from 16% the previous year. The UAE is the country that most Arab youth would like to live in and is seen as a model for their country to emulate When asked to name a country, anywhere in the world, where they would like to live, Arab youth continue, as they did in 2013 and 2012, to cite the UAE as their top choice ahead of 20 other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Germany. Across the 16 countries polled, two in every five (39%) young people would like to live in the UAE, up from three in ten (31%) in 2013. Youngsters in Qatar are the most favourable towards the UAE with 42% of youngsters citing it as the country they would most like to live in while respondents in Tunisia (30%), Bahrain (33%) and Lebanon (33%) are also favourable towards the UAE.
    • 19Arab Youth Survey 2014 2014 2014 2013 2013 Model nations Which country in the world, if any, would you like to live in? Desired country to emulate Which country in the world, if any, would you most like your country to be like? UAE UAE UAE UAE United States France United States France China China Qatar United States Turkey Turkey France Turkey France United States Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 39 39 31 30 21 25 18 17 14 14 16 16 13 10 16 16 13 7 14 13
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller20 7 In-depth Insights When asked to think about their country’s biggest ally, Arab youth are choosing their GCC neighbours over traditional western countries as Gulf governments’ political weight grows in prominence. Arab youth cite four of the Gulf’s six member states in their country’s top five allies with more than a third (36%) saying Saudi Arabia is their country’s biggest supporter, followed by the UAE (33%), Qatar (25%) and Kuwait (25%). The United States is the only western country to feature in the top five allies at 22%. The split across the Arab world is similar with the same percentage of respondents in the GCC and non-GCC countries citing Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait. There are only minor variants towards Qatar and the United States with 24% of GCC respondents citing Qatar as their biggest ally compared to 26% in the non-Gulf countries, and 21% of Gulf respondents choosing the United States and 22% in non-Gulf states. Gulf governments are starting to play a more prominent role in the Arab world, having been increasingly pressured to take a position in a region where political turmoil has bought down regimes in neighbouring countries and threatened to harm national security. Regional issues such as the Arab Spring, which stemmed from internal factors rather than external influences, coupled with western allies’ decisions not to intervene in issues such as the Syrian civil war, is signaling an end of the traditional model of foreign relations with a prominent western nexus. Regional issues such as the Arab Spring, which stemmed from internal factors rather than external influences, coupled with western allies’ decisions not to intervene in issues such as the Syrian civil war, is signaling an end of the traditional model of foreign relations with a prominent western nexus. Arab youth consider their country’s biggest allies to be regional neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE rather than traditional western countries
    • 21Arab Youth Survey 2014 biggest allies-GCC/NON-GCC split Who would you say is your country’s biggest ally? (Top 5) GCC Non-GCC 35 35 33 33 25 25 24 26 21 22 Saudi Arabia UAE Qatar Kuwait United States Country’s biggest allies Who would you say is your country’s biggest ally? Among all 2012 Among all 2013 Among all 2014 3637 35 333333 25242525 30 32 18 22 19 Saudi Arabia UAE Qatar Kuwait United States
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller22 8 In-depth Insights As the Middle East grapples to contain rising rates of lifestyle diseases, a growing number of Arab youth are becoming more concerned about health. For the second consecutive year, Arab youth cite obesity as their biggest health issue with more than a quarter (26%), up from 12% in 2013, saying they are more concerned about being overweight than they are about diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Regional governments, particularly in the Gulf, are spending millions of dollars to tackle obesity and lifestyle diseases as levels reach epidemic proportions. Oil wealth and high household incomes have prompted a surge in overeating and poor diets, which has led to an explosion of obesity and lifestyle-related illnesses. Three out of the ten countries where diabetes is most prevalent in the world are the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, according to the International Diabetes Federation. Across the Arab world, youngsters cite diabetes as their second biggest health concern with around one in six (17%) saying it is the biggest issue in terms of health, up from 11% in 2013. Concern about cancer is also rising, with 14% saying it is their biggest health issue, a small rise year-on-year. While concern about health issues is on the increase, decades of reliance on foreign healthcare has left many young Arabs skeptical about the level of healthcare they receive in their home country. When asked to describe the current state of healthcare available in their country in the last 12 months, two thirds (66%) believe it has either stayed the same or got worse. The split between GCC and other Arab countries is almost identical, with 66% in the Gulf countries and 67% in the non-Gulf countries saying it has not improved or worsened. While concern about health issues is on the increase, decades of reliance on foreign healthcare has left many young Arabs skeptical about the level of healthcare they receive in their home country. Arab youth are increasingly concerned about obesity and lifestyle diseases and do not believe that healthcare in their country is improving
    • 23Arab Youth Survey 2014 Health issues Which of the following health issues concerns you most? Healthcare services-GCC/NON-GCC SPLIT In the last year do you feel that the healthcare in your country has…? 2013 2014 Improved Stayed the same Got worse 12 26 11 17 2 3 11 14 11 10 28 20 Obesity Diabetes Cancer Heart disease Other I am not concerned about health issues Among All GCC Non-GCC 33 53 14 34 52 14 34 52 14 Three out of the ten countries where diabetes is most prevalent in the world are the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller24 9 In-depth Insights The split between GCC and all other Arab countries is similar with 73% believing they should be entitled to subsidised fuel in the GCC and 75% in all other countries. The cost of energy is heavily subsidised across the region, giving little incentive to citizens to reduce their energy consumption and as a result the Arab world is amongst the least energy-efficient markets in the world. The rise in population growth and artificially low energy prices has seen many countries ramp up their investment in renewable and nuclear energy in recent years. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have embarked on extensive nuclear energy plans to cope with rising demand. Jordan was forced to lift its fuel subsidies in 2012 to reduce its budget deficit, a move that sparked public protests, which many other regional governments fear. Saudi Arabia last year launched a public campaign to build public opinion on the need to review subsidised energy pricing, especially to industry. Similarly, concern about climate change appears to be low across the region. When asked what they think is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East today, climate change and the environment ranks at the bottom of a choice of 27 categories. Just 6% of all youth polled believe climate change is the biggest challenge facing the region. The cost of energy is heavily subsidised across the region, giving little incentive to citizens to reduce their energy consumption and as a result the Arab world is amongst the least energy-efficient markets in the world. An overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe they are entitled to subsidised energy costs, while concern about climate change is low across the region The majority of Arab youth believe they are entitled to reduced-cost fuel, despite subsidised programmes threatening economies and encouraging prolific use of precious energy reserves. When asked about whether or not they think energy, electricity and transport fuel such as gasoline and diesel should be subsidised by their government, three quarters (74%) of respondents agree while just one in four (26%) believe they should pay the market rate.
    • 25Arab Youth Survey 2014 Yes No 74 26 70 30 74 26 75 25 75 25 75 25 74 26 68 32 78 22 69 31 79 21 73 27 77 23 74 26 78 22 72 28 73 27 78 22 75 25 Among All Egypt Jordan Kuwait Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE Oman Lebanon Bahrain Iraq Tunisia Libya Algeria Morocco Yemen Palestine GCC Non GCC Rising cost of living National economy Corruption in government and public life Pan-Arab economy Israel Palestinian conflict Personal debt Unemployment The loss of traditional values and culture Threat of terrorism Human rights Unrest in Syria Standards of living Crime / law and order The gap between the rich and the poor Opportunities for women Road safety Impact of the events of the Arab Spring The quality of education Shortage of affordable housing Rise of Islamist movements/role of Islam in political life Lack of political franchise/right to vote Shortage of good quality health care Access to clean water Increasing militarisation and/or nuclear proliferation in the Middle East Reliable electricity supply Censorship/lack of press freedom Climate change and the environment Energy subsidies BY COUNTRY Do you think energy, electricity and transport fuel such as gasoline and diesel should be subsidised by your government? BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING THE MIDDLE EAST Which of the following would you say is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East today? 51 40 37 32 27 23 23 22 22 21 20 19 19 19 18 17 17 15 15 15 13 11 11 10 10 9 6
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller26 10 In-depth Insights Though television retains its top position, a growing number of young Arabs are sourcing their news online amid a growth in smartphones, which has produced a generation that is online 24-7. As more youngsters go online to seek their news, the number opting to read newspapers is declining. While three in five (59%) of youngsters cite online as their preferred platform of choice, three in ten (31%) say newspapers. The popularity of social media is also gaining traction as access to internet via smartphones and tablets grows, with 29% saying they get their news from sites such as Facebook and Twitter, just up from 28% in 2013. As online influencers and bloggers gain in prominence, so too has trust in social media risen with two in five youth (39%) now believing social media to be the most trusted source of news, up from just more than one in five (22%) the previous year and just one in ten (9%) in 2012. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are ranked first and third globally in terms of smartphone penetration, both at over 70%. Saudi Arabia - where the youth account for 20 million among the country’s 27.34 million people - is the biggest consumer of YouTube content per capita and one of the world’s most active Twitter users, while young people across the region are adopting smartphones at a rapid rate. In line with global trends, the popularity of radio and magazines is declining across the Arab world as youngsters move online. While two in five (41%) respondents across the region said their primary source of news was radio in 2010, just 7% say the same in 2014. While trust in radio and magazines both rose slightly in 2014, it remains significantly low for both media at just 2% for radio and 1% for magazines. Trust in television rose slightly in 2014 to 43% from 40%, though remains significantly below the 60% peak in 2011. While still high by global standards, the percentage of Arab youth who say they update themselves on news and current affairs on a daily basis has not yet surpassed the peak seen in 2012. Nearly half (47%) of young Arabs update themselves on news and current affairs on a daily basis, up from 46% the previous year but down from 52% in 2012. Television is the most popular source of news for the sixth year running, but a growing number of young Arabs are turning to online and social networks to get their news Television remains the primary source of news for three quarters (75%) of the region’s youth for the fifth consecutive year, cementing its position as the most popular choice of news media. The popularity of television has been steadily increasing over the last three years, after peaking at the height of the Arab Spring in 2011 (at 79%) rising from 72% in 2013 and 62% in 2012.
    • 27Arab Youth Survey 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 NEWS SOURCES Where do you get your news? Trusted news sources In your opinion what is the most trusted source of news? 76 79 62 72 75 52 60 49 40 43 47 42 51 59 59 9 22 39 65 62 32 34 31 26 19 18 9 14 20 28 29 31 15 14 16 21 4 1 3 1 2 41 29 10 6 7 25 17 6 8 7 3 1 2 0 1 Television Online Newspapers Social media Friends and family Radio Magazines Television Social media Newspapers Radio shows Magazines NEWS consumption How often do you update yourself on news and current affairs? Daily Nearly every day 2-3 times a week Once a week Once every 2-3 weeks Once a month Never 2011 2012 2013 2014 18 10 46 47 22 52 13 18 22 19 15 9 15 6 6 7 6 1 4 3 11 2 3 2 8 5 9 8
    • ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller28 Country Population (million) GDP-PPP (USD billion) Contribution of Oil to GDP (%) Youth unemployment (15 to 24 yrs) (%) Internet Users (million) Internet Penetration Rate (%) Facebook Users (million) Facebook Penetration of population (%) GCC Saudi Arabia 27.34 927.8 45 28.3 14.7 54 7.8 28 UAE 8.26 381 25 12.1 7.02 85 4.26 51 Qatar 2.05 198 50 1.3 1.8 88 1.14 55 Kuwait 3.25 173.4 50 11.3 2.56 79 1.38 42 Oman 3.31 95 45 15 2.1 63 0.84 25 Bahrain 1.3 35 11 28 1.14 88 0.52 40 Levant and the other Middle East Iraq 32.57 210 90 20 7.9 25 6.4 19 Lebanon 4.43 64.3 NA 17 2.7 61 1.9 43 Jordan 6.5 40 NA 29 3.5 54 2.65 40 Palestine 4.48 7 NA 27 1.5 33 1 23 Yemen 26 61.6 25 33 4.4 17 1.4 5 North Africa Egypt 86.9 551.4 NA 24.8 38.2 44 18.6 21 Algeria 38.8 284.7 30 28.4 5.8 15 4.32 11 Morocco 33 180 NA 18.6 18.1 55 5.25 16 Tunisia 10.9 108.4 NA 42.3 4.5 41 3.4 31 Libya 6.24 87.9 80 30 1.18 19 1.6 25 NOTE: Source for Population, GDP and Youth Unemployment figures is: Global Finance Country Economic Reports, UAE Ministry of Economy, Kuwait News Agency, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Trading Economics; Source for Internet: Internet World Stats and World Banks; Source for Facebook: Social Baker, Allin1social.com & Internet World Stats; Source for data on Palestine: Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics Population figures are largely fair estimates given the lack of scientific and timely census in most countries, and are estimates for 2013; the internet penetration and Facebook penetration rates in the region have been revised based on the new population figures available GCC, LEVANT AND NORTH AFRICA: ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC AND IT INDICATORS
    • 29Arab Youth Survey 2014 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, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is a member of the MENACOM Group. 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 relations, media monitoring & analysis, market research, design services and event management. asdaabm.com Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and programme execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and web-related strategies. BM’s seamless worldwide network consists of 75 offices and 85 afiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. bm.com MENACOM, part of WPP and Y&R Group, with headquarters in Dubai, is the Middle East and North Africa region’s leading communications conglomerate. The group includes, in addition to ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, advertising agencies Young & Rubicam, Intermarkets and Partnership; direct marketing specialists Wunderman; media specialist firm MEC; and interactive firm Tattoo. With over 900 employees in its network of 37 offices, MENACOM provides marketing communications services in 12 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. 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 political, corporate 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 in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Seattle, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dubai, Beijing, Austin and Denver, which are supported by an in-house fielding capability and are fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. psbresearch.com