x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE residents among the happiest in Mena region

Respondents to the Happiness and Wellbeing in the Mena survey conducted by Bayt.com say the UAE is the safest in the region.

DUBAI //The UAE is among the happiest countries in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a recent survey.

The "Happiness and Wellbeing in the Mena" survey was conducted by Bayt.com, a leading Middle East jobs website, and YouGov, an independent research and consulting organisation. Respondents in the UAE are highly satisfied with life in general. The survey questioned 11,170 people from 14 countries.

The UAE ranks No 1 in the Mena region when it comes to general safety and security and availability of entertainment venues and public utilities.

Other areas the country ranked highly in included the stability of the political environment, opportunities to socialise, access to healthcare facilities, availability of public transport, general infrastructure, and the availability of employment opportunities.

Financial independence ranked poorly among those surveyed across all regions. People also came across as being unsatisfied with their professional lives. Almost half - 45 per cent - said they were "somewhat dissatisfied" with regards to pay. Not enough opportunities for career advancement and job satisfaction were also ranked low.

"Happiness differs greatly on different factors when we're comparing the three main regions in the Mena, North Africa, Levant, and the GCC," said Sundip Chahal, the chief executive of YouGov.

"The survey revealed the UAE as one of the happier countries within the region. This satisfaction can be attributed to the fact that people feel secure in the country with a stable political environment."

The UAE came second in terms of attitude and behaviour of people, the ability to lead a stable financial life, and the ability to maintain healthy personal relationships with family and friends.

However, 60 per cent of respondents in the UAE said they were stressed by everyday life, with a further 17 per cent saying they were extremely stressed.

Three quarters of respondents said the increasing cost of living in the UAE was their main cause of stress. Other leading causes are work-related issues and the inability to maintain a good work-life balance.

In terms of recognition received at work, 17 per cent of UAE professionals are extremely satisfied, while 15 per cent are "extremely satisfied" with working hours.

malkhan@thenational.ae