Residents of Qatar are satisfied with life in general and are among the happiest in the Mena region, a new survey has revealed.
According to the “Happiness and Wellbeing in the Mena” survey conducted by job site Bayt.com and independent research and consulting organisation YouGov, 17% of the respondents in the country have indicated that they are “extremely satisfied” with life in general while 61% have said they are “satisfied”.
The top reasons for their satisfaction are general safety and security, availability of utilities (drinking water, electricity, etc) and stability of the political environment, with 62%, 60% and 54% of the respondents respectively.
The survey has also revealed that 91% of the respondents are “satisfied” with the availability of utilities, 90% with general safety and security and 79% with the stability of the political environment. Furthermore, 70% are “satisfied” with the ability to maintain healthy personal relationships.
More than 74% of Qatar’s population have indicated that they are in “good-to-excellent” health, with another 19% saying they are in somewhat “average” health and 6% citing some degree of health issues which, they claim, are predominantly under control.
While 46% of employees in Qatar have said they are “somewhat satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with their job, 62% of the respondents have claimed to be stressed by everyday life (with 24% saying they are “extremely stressed” and 38% “somewhat stressed”).
According to seven out of 10 respondents, the biggest cause of stress in Qatar is, like the rest of the region, the increasing cost of living. Other leading causes are work-related issues (as stated by 56% of the respondents) and the inability to maintain a good work-life balance (as cited by 50%).
In terms of recognition received at work, 21% of Qatar’s professionals are “extremely satisfied”. Sixteen per cent of them are “extremely satisfied” with working hours and 18% “extremely satisfied” with support received from colleagues.
Respondents from the overall Mena region are “generally satisfied” with their current mental and physical health. In fact, 75% claim that they are in good overall health and around half the respondents say they are “extremely satisfied” with the current relationship they have with their family.
On the other hand, the highest levels of dissatisfaction noted by respondents pertain to financial independence across all three regions: GCC, Levant and North Africa. People in the Mena region are also not too satisfied with their professional lives, with 45% of respondents across the region claiming that they are somewhat dissatisfied with the remuneration they receive. There is also a sentiment that in general, there are not too many opportunities for career advancement (particularly in Syria, Jordan, Algeria and Morocco).
Overall satisfaction with the current job is generally low across the region, with Morocco being the lowest. Also, only 15% of the respondents say they are “extremely satisfied” with their current work-life balance. When asked about the stress levels they face in their everyday lives, four out of 10 respondents say they are “somewhat stressed”, with the key contributors to stress being the increasing cost of living and current economic situation of the country they live in.
“For life satisfaction, it is pretty clear that employment is an extremely important factor. Stress is a prevalent issue across the region, which is reflective of the uncertain economic situation experienced in many Mena countries. However, despite the fact that many professionals seem to be afflicted with stress-related ailments, there seems to be a general sense of happiness with the overall state of life,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of sales at Bayt.com.
The general state of the country of residence is also seen to highly affect happiness in the Mena region. GCC respondents have much higher levels of satisfaction on most attributes seen as key to happiness aside from cost of living and overall employment opportunities. Respondents in North Africa express high dissatisfaction with the availability of key aspects such as general infrastructure, public transport facilities, opportunities to socialise and entertainment avenues. In the Levant, respondents from Jordan express satisfaction with most aspects measured, contrasting strongly with high dissatisfaction in Lebanon and Syria.
Across the Middle East, employment opportunities and cost of living are the two elements that respondents say they are least satisfied with in their country of residence.
“The survey shows Qatar as one of the happy countries within the region. The satisfaction can be attributed to the fact that people feel safe and secure in the country with a stable political environment,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO of YouGov.
Data for the survey was collected from 11,170 respondents, representing Qatar, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the UAE.
Reported by: Caye Global News, Gulf Times
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