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60% of young Arabs want to emigrate, survey finds

High unemployment rates, conflict and lack of strong government policies in North Africa and the Levant are making young Arabs want to emigrate, the latest edition of the Arab Youth Survey has found.

At 26 percent, the region has the highest unemployment rate in the world. As a result, 60 percent of young Arabs want to emigrate to the Gulf and western countries, according to the annual report, now in its 15th year. 

“In certain populous, conflict-ridden countries like Egypt and Libya, the unemployment rate is nearly 50 percent,” said Sunil John, founder of public relations firm ASDA’A BCW – which commissioned the survey – during an exclusive video interview. “That’s why the frustration rises.

“The fact that the youth want to leave their country is something that politicians and governments should look at seriously,” he added. 

Nearly one in four Arab youths (24 percent) named the UAE as the country they would most like to live in

The next favourites were the US (19 percent), Canada (19 percent), Qatar (14 percent) and the United Kingdom (13 percent). 

Ease of doing business was one of the reasons why the UAE is seen as a model nation.

This year’s survey revealed that nearly half (42 percent) of young Arabs said that they plan to start their own business in the next five years.

“The fact that there is an opportunity to start a business in the UAE, where the bureaucracy and red tape is much less compared to their own countries, made them choose it as a model nation,” John said. 

Watch the full video to learn more about the findings of the Arab Youth Survey