Saudi Arabia heading in right direction, young Saudis say

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RIYADH — The vast majority of young Saudis say their country is headed in the right direction, the Saudi economy is on the right track, and the government is effectively addressing issues most important to young people, according to the findings of the 11th annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey, released on Tuesday.

The survey is based on 3,300 face-to-face interviews conducted by international research firm PSB between Jan. 6 and 29, 2019, with young Arab nationals aged 18-24 in 15 states in the Middle East and North Africa, with a 50:50 male female split.

More than nine-in-ten (93 percent) of young Saudis say the Kingdom is headed in the right direction and 83 percent say the Saudi economy is on the right track. Saudi youth are significantly more optimistic than young Arabs in many other countries, with just over half (53 percent) of young Arabs across the region saying their country is headed in the right direction, and 53 percent saying their nation’s economy is on the right track.

Young Saudis express strong optimism about their personal future, with three-in-four (75 percent) saying they will have a better life than their parents, while just 10 percent expect to be worse off than their parents.

This strong sense of optimism translates to Saudi youth giving high marks to the Kingdom’s government and its policies. Nearly nine-in-ten (89 percent) are confident that Vision 2030 will succeed in securing the future of the Saudi economy and nearly as many (83 percent) say their government has the right policies to address the issues most important to young people.

Meanwhile, only 54 percent of young Arabs across the region express confidence in their respective government’s policies on issues key to young people.

Among Arab youth across the region, Saudi Arabia is seen as an influential ally. Young Arabs say the Kingdom has increased its influence in the region more than any other Arab country in the past five years (37 percent for Saudi Arabia, compared to 27 percent for the UAE, 11 percent for Egypt, and 21 percent for other Arab countries).

A strong majority (80 percent) of young Arabs across the region say Saudi Arabia is an ally of their country.

Saudi Arabia is widely perceived to be an ally by the majority of young people in Middle East, with 80 percent saying the Kingdom is an ally of their nation. Young Arabs also believe that the Kingdom is the Arab country that has most increased its influence in the Middle East over the past five years.

Sunil John, Middle East president of ASDA’A BCW, said: “Across all indicators Saudi youth are extremely optimistic about their future and share a positive outlook about the direction of their country. This is underlined by their vote of confidence in the Saudi Vision 2030 roadmap, which is transforming the economy and creating job opportunities. It comes as no surprise that an overwhelming majority of Saudi youth say their government has the right policies in place to address the issues most important to the Kingdom’s youth.” — SG


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