GCC residents are more spiritual but less comfortable with people of other faiths than their Arab counterparts, an Abu Dhabi Gallup Center report has found.
Progress and Tradition in the Gulf Cooperation Council States is the first report to survey thousands of Khaleejis on issues including education, opportunities and life satisfaction.
It covers five countries: Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.
A key finding is that despite the overwhelming expat presence in many of the rapidly developing Gulf countries – or perhaps because of it – most GCC residents would not want to live next to someone of a different faith.
Only 26% of Qataris surveyed would not object to a non-Muslim neighbor, while in Egypt and Lebanon, the majority of people surveyed would welcome the diversity.
Other findings include:
- Religion itself plays a more important role in the Khaleej than in the rest of the Arab world. In Qatar, nationals ranked spiritual life first, then family, good government and a good job, in that order.
- About half of all Emiratis and Qataris surveyed report living comfortably, the highest proportions among GCC countries surveyed. Bahrainis are the lowest, as 19% report living comfortably on their present income.
- Only 1 percent Qataris ranked themselves as “suffering.”
- Across the GCC, there is high satisfaction with the educational system, but international achievement scores indicate education is below average and trails other high-income countries.
- Roughly 9 out of 10 GCC residents surveyed said women should have equal educational opportunities. The report states that this point of view is changing the face of education in the region.
Read the full report here.