Three-quarters of UAE residents (74%) expect 2020 to be better than 2019 while one in twelve (8%) envision it to be worse than the year gone by, new YouGov research reveals.
Unsurprisingly, when asked what they are looking forward to in 2020, three in five (61%) UAE residents picked the Dubai Expo as the most anticipated event. This was closely followed by the anticipation for better jobs prospects (57%). Interestingly, a higher number of women than men are seeking better employment opportunities in the new year (67% vs 51%).
Close to a quarter (24%) are looking forward to the opening of iconic structures in the country such as the Dubai Creek Tower and Zayed National museum. A smaller proportion of people anticipate improvements in the UAE real estate market (23%), next-gen technological inventions (20%) and solutions for environmental challenges (18%).
Apart from this, few residents are interested in politics and international affairs in 2020. One in six respondents (17%) hope for more stable geo-politics and only 8% are interested in the future of Brexit and the US Presidential elections.
YouGov data shows that not only are people eagerly awaiting the Dubai Expo, many also considered the preparatory events associated with it to be the best part of 2019. More than half of UAE residents (54%) consider improvements to infrastructure such as the construction of the new metro line connecting the Dubai Expo venue as the main highlight of 2019.
Following that, the global outreach of Emiratis in various fields (46%), the various events marking the year of tolerance (45%) and the allocation of long-term UAE visas (45%) are also believed to be the shining moments of 2019. Those above forty years of age especially appreciated Emiratis’ global achievements (63%) and the introduction of long term UAE residence visas (60%).
Many also consider opening of new attractions like the Coca-Cola arena (35%), cultural events such as Sharjah World Music Festival (29%) and initiatives for health (28%) as the spotlight events of 2019.
Overall, about two-thirds of the respondents (65%) are happy with the way the year turned out and believe their expectations from the UAE in 2019 have either been met or have been fulfilled beyond expectation. One in five (19%) feel their hopes were met a little while one in twenty (5%) said they were not met at all.