Complex Made Simple

Who is the one leader the majority of Arab youth are hinging their hopes on?

At a time when Arab youth is looking for leadership in a region ripe with conflicts, one man emerges to settle down their fears of an uncertain future.

He  isn’t just any person, but rather a young, articulate, technology-enabled, and extremely powerful individual that nations are still scratching their heads over his sudden and rapid emergence on the regional and global scene.

Arab youth expect Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to have a bigger impact on the Middle East than any other Arab leader, according to the 10th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2018, released today.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic – its youth.

“This year’s edition is titled ‘A Decade of Hopes & Fears’ and features insights into young people’s concerns over jobs, education, security and corruption. Looking forward to the next decade, it’s clear that (Saudi Crown Prince) Mohammed bin Salman represents great hope for young Arabs across the region who demand to see clear action on these pressing issues.”

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A strong leader indeed

Young Arabs throughout the Middle East express a high level of confidence in the Saudi Crown Prince and his leadership, with 63% supporting his appointment, 64% view him as a strong leader, and 59% saying he will lead Saudi Arabia in the right direction.

Support for the Crown Prince among Saudi youth is overwhelming, with 91% of young Saudis supporting his appointment, 97% considering him a strong leader, and 90% saying he will move the country in the right direction.

Sunil John, founder of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President, Middle East, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said: “This is a milestone Survey for us, marking a full decade of the region’s leading study into its most important demographic.

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Thumbs up for cinemas and women driving

Young Arabs express strong support for Saudi Arabia’s recent reforms, with 88% across the region supporting the decision to allow women to drive and 86% supporting the anti-corruption drive.

Asked about Saudi Vision 2030, the Crown Prince’s roadmap to diversify the Saudi economy, 92% of young Saudis say they are confident that the plan will succeed in securing the future of the Saudi economy.

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Young Saudis are also extremely optimistic about their futures, with 91% saying their country is moving in the right direction, compared to 54% of young Arabs across the region, and just 13% of youth in the Levant.

More than four-in-five (82%) of young Saudis also say their best days are ahead of them.