A survey that was jointly conducted by Bab Al Shabab, a unique and interactive online engagement platform for university students across the UAE, and Fitness First examined consumer behaviour and lifestyle of college-goers.

The survey administered to 300 students from different universities based in Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV), interestingly unveiled that respondents sporadically used college e-forums. However, they welcomed the creation of an exclusive online youth forum such as Bab Al Shabab expressing a keen interest to register forthe platform’s membership.

The survey further revealed that 59% of the youth in the UAE are fitness enthusiasts.The research also showed that 80% of the respondents like sports, with the highest preferencefor cricket (42%), followed by football (29%) and badminton (15%) among games.

Fast food emerged as a popular choice with 71% of the respondents indicating that they ate fast food on a daily basis. Furthermore, 42% enjoyed eating out on weekends. Shopping was another popular weekend activity among the respondents (29%) in addition todoing the mall-trawl(22%). A staggering 93% said theyenjoyed movie-going, while 88% of students displayed an interest in charity work and events.

On preferred means of travel, a majority of the respondents indicated their preference for a car over a motorbike with 39% of the students owning or using cars, while only two per cent used motorbikes. Additionally, the survey explored SmartPhone penetration (93%) and identified the preferred mobile phone models among the youth.

Rayne Botha, Project Director, Bab Al Shabab, said: “The survey provides an in depth understanding of the choices made by the youth in the country. It will act as an ideal guideline to position Bab Al Shabab as an exclusive virtual platform that makes their preferred retail and lifestyle choices easily accessible and more affordable. Fitness First is an ideal partner for this initiative, as they are one of the most popular and renowned fitness brands in the UAE. We hope to collaborate with them on a variety of exciting endeavours in the future.”

George Flooks, Chief Operations Officer, Fitness First, said: “The statisticsunveiled by the survey, give us the necessary groundwork to plan business strategies to approach youth in an effective manner. The online forum provided by Bab Al Shabab holds significant potential to encourage youngsters to voice their opinions. The partnership has indeed been an enriching experience for us.”

Bab Al Shabab is the Arabic translation for Doorway to Youth. It has been created to give students in the region easy access to information, a chance to interactwith other students, and link to social networking sites. Developed by the IML Group, the website features student forums, news, events, information on offers and deals from brands in the region, jobs and internships.

New applicants can directly log onto http://www.babalshabab.com to register for the portal’s exclusive membership.

With more than 23 clubs across the UAE offering state-of-the-art equipment, fully qualified personal trainers and the latest group exercise classes, Fitness First is dedicated to ‘making the world a fitter place’.

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