The UAE, Doing it for the Kids - Survey 2019

The UAE continues to cement its place as one of the best countries in the world to bring up children, improving on all key metrics in 2019 over 2018 and 2014.
This article is part of an editorial series on Happiness Survey 2019
Happiness Survey 2019
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Happiness Survey 2019
This article is part of an editorial series on Happiness Survey 2019

The UAE continues to cement its place as one of the best countries in the world to bring up children, improving on all key metrics in 2019. Today, you are less worried about bringing up your young ones here than at any time before, while also being more confident in their future because of, not in spite of, their living in the UAE.

A total of 38% of parents say they worry their children will be less successful as adults if they stay in the UAE long term, down from 42.98% when we first asked the question in 2014, and from 41.37% last year.

See chart, Are you worried about your children growing up in the UAE?

You also do not worry that they have enough to do to be occupied. A total of 58.5% of respondents to our survey think there is more for children to do in the UAE than there is in their home country, up from 56.29% last year and from 50.41% in 2014. That is a significant jump, but perhaps no surprise when you consider just how much the UAE has changed over the last five years, and how much more it offers.

See chart, Are you worried your children have enough to do outside school?

That is no less true than the state of schools in the emirates. Today you rate the quality of education in the country at a higher level than at any other time since our survey began. You also think schools offer better value - although improvement here is distinctly more marginal.

For the first time ever, more than 50% of respondents to our survey now say the standard of education provision is either "Much better" (20.12%) or "Better" (31.84%) than that in their home country. Another 37% think education in the UAE is of the same standard as it is in their home country. This leaves barely 10% of respondents thinking a UAE education is worse, a sharp fall from one in four (26%) of respondents last year.

This is a considerable leap from last year, and perhaps explained by the gradual maturing of new schools in the emirates, and the increasing choice that is available, most notably in Dubai.

Respondents are also more likely to look favourably at the cost of an eduction, although here there is a long, long way to go before schools in the UAE are perceived to offer good value. Just 9.98% of respondents think UAE schools offer Better or Much better value than schools in their home country. This compares to 8.43% last year, and 9.89% in 2014.

See chart, Happiness and the Cost of Education in the UAE

What is clear is that education per se is no longer a significant worry or inhibitor to residents staying in the UAE. Just 6.2% of respondents cite it as the principal reason they are concerned about bringing up their children in the emirates. The biggest concern for parents is actually that children growing up in the country are so well looked after and protected, they "do not learn to be self dependent". Other worries, are an awareness that tertiary education in the emirates is an Achilles heel (15.65%), and a concern for the future employment of children post university (12.85%).

See chart for the Biggest Concerns in Raising Children in the UAE

What parents rate the most highly when asked to choose a single reason for why they think the UAE is a good place to bring up their children, is that their offspring develop an openness to the world and other cultures (41%). This is a particularly happy finding in the UAE's Year of Tolerance.

See chart for the Key Benefits of Growing Up in the UAE

The second highest reason given is the quality of education (12.85%), a happy finding for given our focus on trying to promote best practise, and, finally, the extensive network of peers children develop growing up in the country (12.23%).

Next: Property, Stress, Home Ownership, Happiness


Happiness 2019 Index
Happiness Rises Across the UAE
Why You Choose to Live in the UAE
Your Biggest Worries Living in the UAE
Who is the Happiest in the UAE?
The UAE and Kids, a Great Mix
Property Ownership - Happiness and Stress
Happiness and Money in 2019
Happiness and Employment in 2019
Happiness and the Expo Effect

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