An overwhelming majority of young Arabs believe Expo 2020 will improve the international image of the Arab world, with 89 per cent agreeing that it will have a positive effect, according to the findings of the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.
When asked if they thought the UAE’s successful bid to host the Expo 2020 would positively impact the way the international community views the Arab world, 62 per cent of respondents said ‘yes it would’ while 27 per cent said ‘possibly’. Only a tiny minority (4 per cent) said they didn’t expect it to have any impact while 7 per cent said they “didn’t know”.
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller’s sister agency, international polling firm PSB completed the largest survey to date for the sixth annual edition of the Arab Youth Survey. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen and, for the first time in 2014, Palestine.
Sunil John, Chief Executive Officer of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “The UAE’s success with Dubai becoming the first city in MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) to host Expo 2020 marked a clear turning point in its vision to become a leading global city and is a true mark of the world’s confidence in Dubai to be able to host world-class events that celebrate its unique mix of cultures, its world-class infrastructure and its clear vision for the future. It is optimistic to see that the region’s youth expect the global event to have a positive effect on the region and its international image.”
In November 2013, the UAE won the right to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, beating off competition from the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Izmir in Turkey, to become the first city from region to host the event. The six-month world exhibition is expected to attract 25 million visitors from around the globe and will create an estimated 277,000 new jobs in the UAE.
Unsurprisingly, young people in the UAE are the most optimistic about the impact Expo 2020 will have on the international image of the Arab world with 85 per cent saying they expect it to be positive; but there was also great optimism about Expo 2020 among youth in Lebanon (67 per cent positive) and Morocco (66 per cent positive). Positive sentiment towards the global event is evenly split across the GCC (63 per cent) and non-GCC countries (61 per cent).
The vast majority of Arab youth are familiar with the UAE’s successful bid with 85 per cent of all those polled saying they are aware that Dubai is to be host city while just 15 per cent were not. Familiarity was evenly split across the region with 88 per cent in the GCC aware that Dubai won the right to host it compared to 83 per cent in the rest of the region.