YouGov study reveals positive trends toward greener community among UAE residents

YouGov study reveals positive trends toward greener community among UAE residents | Courtesy of Shutterstock

A recent study by YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm, sheds light on the positive trend among UAE residents to build a greener community. 

The research was conducted online by interviewing members of YouGov’s online research panel in the MENA region, which currently has over 500,000 members across 21 countries in MENA, as well as India and Pakistan.

The study revealed that 79 percent of UAE residents consider themselves to be well informed on topics surrounding the environment and eco-friendliness and only 10 percent of UAE residents think their households are not at all eco-friendly. Of the research participants, 86 percent are actively engaged in household water reduction activities and 64 percent say that they will consider installing solar panels, while the majority (91 percent) claimed that they do recycle at work when there is a system in place.

The study was conducted to assess overall environmental awareness among UAE residents, and to discover environmental trends and behaviors in the UAE.

“The study’s aim was to understand the UAE residents’ daily lifestyle habits and how much they are benefiting the environment,” Lameece Nagib, a researcher at YouGov, told Gulf News Journal. “It also tried to gauge the level of importance UAE residents place on being eco-friendly and evaluate if there is potential for UAE residents to achieve more in this regard.”

A representative sample of the general population in the UAE (1,102 residents) was interviewed from the study to discover their opinions towards green issues in their country of residence.

Nagib said that though awareness about the environment and eco-friendliness is relatively high in the country, the study illustrates converting this awareness into action is still a challenge -- and residents tend to consider the environment more when there is an economic benefit involved in doing so. For example, 86 percent of UAE residents are actively trying to reduce their household water consumption; however, the top reasons for choosing to do this is not only because they are environmentally conscious, but also because it gives them the ability to reduce household costs. 

The study also showed 65 percent of UAE residents would be ready to shop with reusable grocery bags if supermarkets started to charge extra to use plastic bags. And most UAE residents (64 percent) would consider installing solar panels if the government provided monetary compensation.

“Incentivizing the UAE population with economic benefits to entice them to consider the environment more in their daily lifestyles could be the catalyst to a better eco-friendly community,” Nagib said.

Overall, the research indicates that UAE residents are engaging with messages about the environment and have the means to stay well informed about the topic, particularly via online sources, news and government campaigns.

‘However, despite this increased awareness and demonstrable intentions by some to consider a better eco-friendly lifestyle, being well informed doesn’t necessarily equate to taking action,” Nagib said. “There are still large proportions of the community yet to be convinced to change their environmental principles, and the study findings indicate incentives could be the best means to engage them to do so.”

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