The survey, which was released yesterday, shows that despite increasingly hard times, most of us (about 75%) are happy in Dubai.
The majority of Dubai's residents, including Emiratis, were found to have a high level of tolerance and trust towards various cultures and nationalities in the emirate, according to the findings of what is considered the largest social snapshot of the attitudes of various communities living in the city.
The Community Development Authority (CDA), which aims to introduce an approach to social development that encompasses socio-cultural and religious sensitivities and fosters national identity and community wellbeing, conducted the Dubai First Social Study to evaluate the social needs and lifestyle of Dubai's citizens as well as expatriate residents.
The study, which concluded in 2008, surveyed members of 2,561 households from different nationalities - Emiratis, Arabs, Asians and Westerners - on social attitudes and lifestyle. More than 85 per cent of those surveyed said they experience a high level of freedom to practice their own religions and more than 90 per cent feel that Dubai is a safe place, according to the findings.
The majority of those surveyed felt that Islamic and Arabic cultures are preserved and respected in the emirate. There are 1.5 million residents in Dubai out of which 1.1 million are males, according to the 2007 Dubai government census.
The study will be the platform for the CDA's strategic plan 2009-11, according to Dr Mariam Mattar, Director General at CDA. "This social study formed an integral part of our efforts to establish the extent of social needs in Dubai, in particular those related to enhancing the national identity, social coherence, protection, inclusion and empowerment.
The study also delivered a reference point for the current state of the social sector in Dubai which will enable us to evaluate the success of the future CDA programmes and projects," said Dr Mariam.
The authority has set up a separate department to encourage volunteerism in the community as the survey revealed a low level of participation across different nationalities in charitable activities. Only 15 per cent of those surveyed took part in charity activities, according to the findings.