and YouGov survey reveals that the UAE is among the happier countries in the MENA
August 5th, 2013, YouGov and YouGov survey reveals that the UAE is among the happier countries in the MENA

The “Happiness and Wellbeing in the MENA” survey conducted by, the Middle East’s number one job site, and YouGov, an independent research and consulting organization, has revealed that respondents in the UAE are highly satisfied with life in general.. The top reasons for satisfaction are safety and security, stability of political environment, availability of utilities (drinking water, electricity, etc.),availability of entertainment avenues, and general infrastructure, with 66%, 60%, 57%, 55% and 45% of respondents respectively, indicating they are “extremely satisfied” with these aspects of general life in the UAE.

How Happy Are People in the Middle East?

With regards to their personal life, respondents from the MENA region are generally satisfied with their current mental and physical health. In fact, 75% claim they are in good overall health, and around half of the respondents say that they are “extremely satisfied” with the current relationship they have with their family.

On the other hand, the highest dissatisfaction noted by respondents is with financial independence across all three regions (GCC, Levant, and North Africa). People in the MENA are also not too satisfied with their professional lives, with 45% of respondents across the region claiming they are somewhat dissatisfied with the remuneration they receive. There is also a sentiment that in general, there are not too many opportunities for career advancement (this is particularly seen in Syria, Jordan, Algeria, and Morocco). When asked about overall satisfaction with current job, generally it is low across the region, with Morocco being the lowest. Only 15% of respondents claim they are “extremely satisfied” with their current work/life balance. When asked about current levels of stress that they have in their everyday life, 4 in 10 respondents claim they are “somewhat stressed”, with the key contributors to stress being the increasing cost of living and current economic situation of the country.

“For life satisfaction, it is pretty clear that employment is an extremely important factor. Stress is a prevalent issue across the region, which is likely reflective of the uncertain economic situation experienced in many MENA countries. However, despite the fact that many professionals seem to be afflicted with stress-related ailments, there seems to be a general sense of happiness with the overall state of life,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, “At, we specialize in empowering job seekers and employers by providing them with the information that makes a difference to their career and everyday lives.”

The general state of the country of residence is also seen to highly affect happiness in the MENA. GCC respondents have much higher levels of satisfaction on most attributes seen as key to happiness aside from cost of living and overall employment opportunities. Respondents in North Africa express high dissatisfaction with the availability of key aspects such as general infrastructure, public transport facilities, opportunities to socialize and entertainment avenues. In the Levant, respondents from Jordan express satisfaction with most aspects measured, contrasting strongly with high dissatisfaction in Lebanon and Syria. Across the Middle East, employment opportunities and cost of living are the two elements that respondents say they are least satisfied with, in their country of residence.

“Happiness differs greatly on different factors when we’re comparing the three main regions in the MENA: North Africa, Levant, and the GCC. The survey reveals UAE as one of the happier countries within the region. This satisfaction can be attributed to the fact that people feel safe and secure in the country with a stable political environment” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov.

13% of UAE Respondents Claim to Be “Extremely Satisfied” with Life in General

In the UAE over 59% of the survey population assert they are satisfied with their life in general, of whom 13% indicating they are “extremely satisfied”. People in the UAE are among the happiest in the region when it comes to many factors related to country of residence. In fact, the UAE ranks number one in the region in many attributes, including general safety and security, availability of entertainment avenues, availability of public utilities, stability of political environment, opportunities to socialize, access to healthcare facilities, availability of public transport, general infrastructure, and availability of employment opportunities . The UAE ranks second in terms of attitude and behavior of people in general, ability to lead a stable financial life and ability to maintain healthy personal relationships with family and friends. Over 73% of the UAE population indicates they are in good to excellent health, with another 20% indicating they are in somewhat average health and 6% citing some degree of health issues which they claim are predominantly under control.

Yet, while 40% of the surveyed employees in the UAE claim to be “somewhat satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their job, 60% of respondents claim to be stressed by everyday life (with 17% claiming to be “extremely stressed” and 43% claiming to be ”somewhat stressed”). Three quarters of respondents indicate the number one cause of stress in the UAE is, as across the rest of the region, the increasing cost of living, Other leading causes are work-related issues (as stated by 60% of respondents) and the inability to maintain a good work-life balance (as stated by 50% of respondents). In terms of recognition received at work, 17% of UAE professionals are “extremely satisfied”, while 15% are “extremely satisfied” with working hours, 14% are “extremely satisfied” with support received from colleagues and 13% are “extremely satisfied” with work-life balance.

Data for the ‘Happiness and Wellbeing in the MENA’ survey was collected online from June 6th -20th 2013, with 11,170 respondents aged 21+, representing Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the UAE.