The UAE is one of the “happiest” countries in the MENA region, with up to 59 per cent of the country’s residents claiming they are satisfied with life in general, according to a new survey by Bayt.com and YouGov.
The country ranks first in the region in factors such as general safety and security, political stability, access to healthcare facilities, general infrastructure and availability of entertainment avenues, public utilities, public transport and employment opportunities.
However, the survey also found that 60 per cent of the respondents were stressed by everyday life, with 17 per cent claiming to be “extremely stressed” and 43 per cent claiming to be ”somewhat stressed”.
The number one cause of stress in the UAE is the rising cost of living, followed by work-related issues and the inability to maintain a good work-life balance.
The survey results also found that across the MENA region, the highest dissatisfaction among respondents was with financial independence. People are also not too satisfied with their professional lives, with 45 per cent stating they are somewhat dissatisfied with the remuneration they receive.
“For life satisfaction, it is pretty clear that employment is an extremely important factor,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com.
“Stress is a prevalent issue across the region, which is likely reflective of the uncertain economic situation experienced in many MENA countries. However, despite the fact that many professionals seem to be afflicted with stress-related ailments, there seems to be a general sense of happiness with the overall state of life,” he said.
The UN-commissioned World Happiness Report for 2013, released earlier this year, also stated that the UAE, at 17th position on the list, ranked highest among the GCC countries. The report indicated that the happiest countries “tend to be high-income countries that also have a high degree of social equality, trust, and quality of governance”.
Data for the Bayt.com survey was collected online from June 6th to June 20th, with 11,170 respondents representing 14 countries across the MENA region.