Qatar youth ‘most optimistic’ in region about their future: Ooredoo survey

February 11, 2014 - 5:46:29 am

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo, releasing the findings of the survey in his lecture at CMU-Q.,

Doha: Young people in Qatar are ‘most optimistic’ in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region about their prospects in the coming year, according to an online survey commissioned by Ooredoo. 

The ‘New Horizons: Young, Arab and Connected’ survey aimed at providing a snapshot into digital attitudes and aspirations of young people across the region. “Despite reporting significant economic and educational hurdles, our respondents expressed high levels of optimism about their immediate futures across all the countries we surveyed,” said the survey. 

“Reflecting high optimism for economic prosperity in the GCC and leading those across Mena is Qatar in first position with 57 percent, followed by Kuwait (55), the UAE (44), Saudi Arabia (37), Bahrain (35) and Oman (30),  trailed by non-GCC countries,” it said.

According to the survey, eight out of 10 young people in Mena are optimistic about their prospects in the coming year although 45 percent of employed young people said they were not doing the work they would like to do.

“Young people in Mena have embraced technology as a means of transforming their lives. This research shows they are optimistic despite challenges they face and are using technology to proactively seek out new opportunities for self-development,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo, said, releasing the findings of the survey at Carnegie Mellon University Qatar (CMU-Q). 

“Companies, governments and organisations need to recognise this creative spark, and find new ways to nurture it, so that we receive the full benefit of young people’s contribution to our societies,” he said.

As per the survey, nine in 10 young Mena citizens believe that access to the Internet and mobile digital technology can help them realise their aspirations for employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, education, banking and healthcare. 

Around 91 percent also believe that technology is the basis of a modern, forward-thinking and functioning society, but its potential as an economic tool has not yet been realised for young people across Mena. 

The survey said 81 percent of young Arabs are optimistic about their immediate futures, despite reporting significant economic and educational hurdles. 

More than 80 percent of youth believe the Internet enables them to continue their education beyond what is possible in their countries and 72 percent of men and 77 percent of women agree that women should be given equal business opportunities. 

The survey covered more than 10,500 young adults in 17 countries in Mena.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Sheikh Abdullah to speak in the Dean’s Lecture Series, which offers our students and the wider community a chance to hear from leaders in the government and industry,” said Ilker Baybars, Dean of CMU-Q.

“Following our memorandum of understanding this spring, Carnegie Mellon looks forward to collaborating with Ooredoo on other projects relating to Qatar’s future development,” he added.

The Peninsula