Emiratis proud of identity, religion and leaders on National Day, YouGov survey finds

Almost six in 10 (57 per cent) of those surveyed believe leadership is what makes the country different, while about half say it is vision of its Rulers that sets the UAE apart from other Gulf countries.

ABU DHABI // A sense of identity and religion is what makes Emiratis feel most proud on National Day, while the leadership and vision of the UAE’s Rulers set the country apart from its neighbouring states, the survey finds.

Of those questioned, Emirati respondents are mostly proud of their identity, religion and Rulers.

“It is easy for my generation to forget about the struggles of our founding fathers,” says Fawzia Ahmed, a 25-year-old public sector worker in Abu Dhabi. “But it is very important to remember where we came from.

“We are a country that has always thrived and still prospers at a time when our neighbours struggle to maintain safety,” she says. “When I look back at how far we have come in a relatively short period of time, I feel proud.

“We are only 43 years old, but have come a long way.”

Almost six in 10 (57 per cent) of those surveyed believe leadership is what makes the country different, while about half say it is vision of its Rulers that sets the UAE apart from other Gulf countries.

“I love how we all are loyal to the country and to the President,” says Asma Saleh Al Mahri, a 25-year-old Emirati who works in Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company.

“We all share the love of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Khalifa.”

Jamal Iqbal, a 35-year-old creative director living in Dubai, agrees there is pride in the country’s leadership.

“Simple,” he says. “They are doers. They inspire. They don’t boast. They do. They are humble yet determined. They ride private jets yet stay rooted to their simple life. They radiate positivity. Yet do so quietly.”

Others cited UAE’s achievements (11 per cent), culture (10 per cent), unity (8 per cent), and education and infrastructure as reasons to be proud.

“It is not a surprise that Emiratis are very proud of their identity, religion, Rulers and all the achievements they have done on many fronts; what I find more interesting is they admit that some areas like education still need to be improved and developed,” says Lara Al Barazi. “This only shows that Emiratis are very open to change.”

Many expatriates also spoke of their pride in the UAE.

“The interaction and joy in everyone”, “living in a country that allows me to work at a job I very much enjoy”, “that everyone is treated equally irrespective of caste or creed”, are among the reasons given.

jbell@thenational.ae

arizvi2@thenational.ae

Published: December 1, 2014 04:00 AM

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