Happiness 2018: Growing up in the UAE

Children have never had it so good - statistically, with parents increasingly and now predominantly positive regarding what the UAE offers to the under 18s. There is always a price to pay however... quite literally.
Happiness 2018: Growing up in the UAE
By David Westley
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Even in 2014 the UAE's safety, child friendliness, and large open spaces made it pretty much a utopia for children. However things have become even better since then. Six percent better in fact, with 56% of respondents now saying the UAE offers more for kids to do than in their home country.

Parents are also less likely to be worried that, long term, their children pay a price for being brought up in the emirates. Today, 58.7% of respondents say they do not feel their children will be less successful by growing up in the UAE, up from 57% in 2014.

The single biggest reason for the rise lies in the quality of schools in the UAE. 50.24% of respondents had cited weak schools as a concern at the time of the first WSA Happiness Survey, a figure falling quite sharply to 43.9% today. That said, there is a concern that schools focus too much on results (up by over a percentage point), that children do not develop sufficient independence, and do not develop a strong support network within their home country.

On the positive side however, parents that believe their children will be more successful pinpoint the global network of peers their children acquire by living in the UAE, and that there is more opportunity for children in the UAE to follow their interests. Over a third of respondents also say children growing up in the UAE have two home countries...

In terms of education quality, the UAE is doing very well with a significant upshot in the number of parents saying UAE schools are better than those in their home country. In terms of pricing however, very few residents are happy.

The most common response to the question 'Compare the cost of education provision in the UAE, with your home country', is Much Worse. What's more the number choosing that option has grown, from 48.6% to 51.4%.

For children there is no doubt whatsoever the UAE has only become an even more happy place since our last survey. Equally, however for parents it has become more expensive. This may be one reason why the number of respondents with families saying they are happy has actually declined since the last survey...


Happiness 2018 - Four years on, are we still as happy?
Happiness 2018, The Infographic - Key Stats
Happiness 2018: How and Why We Did This Survey
Happiness 2018: What You Choose the UAE
Happiness 2018: Who are the Happiest People in the UAE
Happiness 2018: Property Matters
Happiness 2018: Expo 2020 and Happiness
Happiness 2018: Growing up in the UAE
Happiness 2018: The Changing Face of Expats
Happiness 2018: In Search of the Dolce Vita
Happiness 2018: How the UAE is Switzerland

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