November 4, 2021
Emirati Perceptions of Aging and Aged Care in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is facing a significant challenge regarding accessible high-quality aged care and service provisions for its growing senior population. While only accounting for two percent of the current population (165,000 people), the population of Emiratis aged 60 and older is estimated to increase twelvefold by the year 2050. This demographic shift will have major financial, social, and cultural consequences. To provide a knowledge base on seniors in the UAE and expectations about aged care, this policy paper discusses the findings of a recent study about the perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes of Emiratis on aging and senior care in the context of the UAE.
Our findings suggest that younger Emiratis have a limited understanding of aging and their future physical and financial well-being. Moreover, while younger Emiratis prefer family as primary caregivers, younger Emiratis also want to receive secondary support from friends. Older Emiratis prefer to live in their homes or reside in aged care facilities and hospitals to receive care, whereas younger Emiratis tend to prefer living near family and friends for support and care. Overall, this study reveals that amongst both younger and older Emiratis, perceptions about care and support are highly influenced by their existing close relationships and connections with Senior Emiratis.
Recommended citation: Almarabta, S., Smith, T. L., & Ridge, N. (2023). Emirati Perceptions of Aging and Aged Care in the United Arab Emirates (Policy Paper No. 65). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.