Respect, love and family...the top priorities in UAE

It is official! We’re a peaceful, respectful bunch in the UAE and we value living in harmony above anything else, according to the findings of a global study.
The National Values Survey, carried out by the UK-based Barrett Values Centre, asked 4,100 people in the UAE over the age of 20 what they valued most about life in the country.

Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents were UAE nationals and 43 per cent expats. And despite the UAE being a multicultural melting pot of more than 200 nationalities, harmony came out as the thing both expats and nationals cherish.

In fact, the UAE was the only one of the 18 countries studied that considers peace among its top 10 values.

“The survey showed that in spite of the significant diversity existing in the UAE, the community is enjoying remarkable harmony,” said Richard Barrett, founder and chairman of Barrett Values Centre.

“It also reflects the efficiency of the existing engagement of cultural mechanisms that facilitates the relationship between the nationals and expatriate residents in the country.” Meanwhile, the top personal
values of residents were found to be caring, family, respect, honesty, ethics, achievement, ambition and commitment, cooperation and being liked.

The UAE was also found to have the second lowest level of ‘cultural entropy’ of countries studied, which included the UK, US and France.

Cultural entropy, which is the level of dysfunctional, toxic or destructive energy people feel in a country, was at just 12 per cent in the UAE compared to 72 per cent in Venezuela, 63 per cent in Iceland and 60 per cent in Argentina. The UK, France and the US witnessed cultural entropy levels of 59 per cent, 57 per cent and 56 per cent respectively. Elements that contribute to cultural entropy, according to the service was people’s view of bureaucracy, blame, corruption, materialism, environmental pollution and aggression in their country.

Explaining the thinking behind the survey, Barrett said: “Values represent our needs and motivate our actions and determine our behaviours.

“We believe that shared values connect human beings beyond race, religion, politics and gender. We believe that human societies grow and develop to the extent that we are able to reduce fear, build trust and increase love by reaching a common understanding of our shared values.”

The low level of cultural entropy and high level of similarity currently experienced signals that people in the UAE feel that the society is on the right track, he said.

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