Saudis are some of the world’s most optimistic people: Survey


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabians are some of the most optimistic people in the world and are particularly positive that their future aspirations can be fulfilled, according to a major new global survey launched on Tuesday.

The world’s first Global Optimism Outlook Survey, conducted by YouGov, commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai, found that 61 percent of the Kingdom’s public identified themselves as ‘optimists’ — five percent more than the global average — and have a bright outlook on their own future (68%).

The news comes as major changes continue across the Kingdom as part of the nation’s roadmap toward Vision 2030, launched in 2016 to diversify the national economy and reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil.

Surveying more than 20,000 people across 23 countries, the Global Optimism Outlook Survey was broken down by geographical region, gender, employment, marital status, and income to track individual, national, and global priorities for the future; namely sustainability, economic development, technology, travel, and climate change.

On a regional level, the survey includes 4,000 participants from five countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, and Jordan) across the Middle East.

The Saudi Arabian public also placed high importance on tolerance and respect as a factor toward creating a better world for the future, closely followed by the conservation of natural resources and the use of alternative energy.

Further findings indicate that Saudi Arabians on average (79%) are some of the most hopeful in the world (72%) about the future of clean and renewable energy and humanity’s ability to combat climate change.

The public sentiment across the Kingdom complements the leadership’s efforts and undertakings, as part of Vision 2030, which include the construction of mega-city NEOM — earmarked to be the largest carbon-free location in the world and a global hub for renewable energy.

Further findings indicate Saudi Arabia’s public (67%) have a positive outlook on the Kingdom’s path toward a sustainable future, also higher than the global average (60%).

Collectively, the Middle East’s hopes on combating climate change are also above the global average, with almost two-thirds of regional respondents (64%) optimistic about humanity’s ability to save the planet.

On a global and regional level, the results highlight nine in 10 respondents believe that individuals and communities can shape the future through greater knowledge-sharing, communication, and collaboration, ahead of technological advances.

Knowledge-sharing, learning, and greater access to education also stood out as dominant themes across all regions: Middle East (55%), Western and Eastern Europe (61%), Asia (61%), North America (63%), South America (68%), and Africa (72%).

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai said: “In just over a year, Dubai and the UAE will be bringing the world together for the World Expo, in a spirit of collaboration, and creating an open global dialogue that allows us to look toward the future with renewed optimism.

“We developed the Global Optimism Outlook Survey to help us understand what the citizens of the world believe will shape a better future. People from around the world have spoken, and we are listening. The results show that we are more connected than we may believe. That dialogue, communication and collaboration are essential, and that we are united in our desire to create a happier, more inclusive, cleaner planet. Whether you’re sitting in South America, China, or here in the UAE, we’re connected in our passions for a better future,” she added.