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UAE most 'thriving' country in GCC Gallup poll

25.05.2011
Emiratis lead citizens of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by a significant margin on the "thriving" measure in a latest Gallup poll on the region, the results of which were released at Zayed University on Tuesday. The Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre report, titled "Progress and Tradition in the Gulf Cooperation Council States", showed that Emiratis rate their lives at this time and in five years' time significantly better than do citizens of other member states.

When asked to evaluate their lives, 63 per cent of Emirati respondents rated their present and future positively enough to be considered "thriving". The report also showed sizable percentages of GCC citizens (except in Bahrain) holding optimistic views about their lives and rating their present and future lives as "thriving".

Qataris were among the leaders on the "thriving" measure with 56 per cent rating their lives as such, followed by Kuwaitis (44 per cent) and Saudis (43 per cent). Just 27 per cent of Bahrainis rated their lives as "thriving", the study found.

Classification method

Dalia Mogahed, Director of Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre, said Gallup classifies a country's residents as either "thriving", "struggling" or "suffering" based on how they rate their current and future lives on a zero-to-ten scale, with zero representing the worst possible life and ten the best. "However, unlike in other high-income countries, where the younger generations are more likely to be thriving than the older ones, age does not affect life evaluations in most GCC countries, except Kuwait," Mogahed said.

The event was held under the patronage and in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of Zayed University. It included a discussion forum with Dr Hamdan Musallam Al Mazroui, Chairman of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowment, UAE, and Dr Shaikha Aisha Bint Faleh Bin Nasser Al Thani of Qatar's Supreme Education Council. Mogahed presented the Gallup report.

She said that across the GCC countries surveyed by Gallup, people's feelings about their household incomes were the top predictors of whether they are classified as "thriving". Those who said they lived comfortably on their present household income were more likely to evaluate their lives positively than those who described their situations less favourably. The perception that hard work can pay off was also an influential factor, and provided an opportunity to harness citizens' human capital.

Another important finding is that income is related to thriving among men, but does not predict higher life evaluations among women.

Abu Dhabi - Eight in ten Emiratis are satisfied with the quality of their education system, showed the latest Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre report unveiled at Zayed University yesterday. When asked about education, 84 per cent of Emirati respondents reported being satisfied with their education system, the second highest score in the region after Bahrain.

Eighty-seven per cent of Bahrainis are satisfied with their local education system. In contrast, citizens of Saudi Arabia registered the lowest satisfaction with their education system, with just 64 per cent of respondents indicating satisfaction.
Dalia Mogahed, Director of Abu Dhabi Gallup Centre, said despite the results there were certainly opportunities to excel in education. "The best way to do so is to create a competitive knowledge economy that rewards excellence. This is the best way to create public demand for educational improvement and instil its value in young people," she said.

The report is supported with Gallup polling data from 2009 and 2010 and provides in-depth analysis, addressing issues ranging from well-being and education to family and religion. The research reveals that despite relatively high public satisfaction with the education sector, education outcomes lag behind other high-income countries.

Key findings
Education outcomes in the GCC lag behind high-income countries.
GCC women are as likely as women in high-income countries to have education to college level and higher, with Qatar leading the way (26%).
94% of Bahraini women believe women can hold any job they are qualified for - the highest percentage in the GCC.
95% of young Emirati women have completed secondary education or higher.
More women across the GCC are receiving education and to a higher level.

Median GCC life evaluations (classified as "thriving") are on a par with the median (43%) for high-income countries.
1.UAE: 63%
2.Qatar: 56%
3.Kuwait: 44%
4.Saudi Arabia: 43%
5.Bahrain: 27%

Income is related to men's life evaluations in the GCC, but not women's life evaluations.
18% increase in life evaluations for women with higher levels of education, whereas there is no increase for men with higher levels of education.

Religion
Citizens of GCC countries consider faith central to their lives, a view that the young and old share across the GCC.
Women in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait are slightly more likely than men to say faith is involved in all aspects of life.
96% of nationals in Qatar feel respected when practising their religion in public.
Less than half of citizens of GCC countries say they would not object to having a person of another faith move in next door. This is in contrast to other countries in the region, such as Egypt and Lebanon, where majorities would welcome interfaith neighbours.

Family
Family is an essential component in the GCC.
Employed women in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are more likely to work in a professional job than employed men, with women in Saudi Arabia (28%) three times as likely as their male counterparts (9%) to have professional careers.
Four is the ideal number of children for GCC nationals vs. 2.4 in high-income countries.
Highly educated Saudi women are the most likely in the GCC to say they have three or more children in their households.
Qatar (59%) and UAE (52%) lead GCC countries in charitable donations and are more likely to donate than the median for high-income countries (47%). Gulf News
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