The Effects of Objective and Perceived Neighborhood Amenities on Youths’ Wellbeing: The Case of the City of Al Ain, UAE

Marwan Elmubarak, Naeema AlHosani, Mohamed Yagoub, Amar Khamis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last 20 years have witnessed steady research originating in Western societies on the possible correlation between spatial qualities of places and individual wellbeing. Cultural and place-specific factors, however, may limit generalizability to different settings. This study explored whether the spatial qualities of neighborhoods in the city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), influence the wellbeing of the city’s youths. A questionnaire was developed based on a conceptual framework (CP) delineating wellbeing and its relationship to spatial qualities. The CP was drawn from the literature on wellbeing, positive psychology, and urban design. Results indicated that the city of Al Ain youths regard specific neighborhood amenities and a few neighborhood spatial qualities relatively highly but generally tend to respond neutrally to most other features. High use of individual cars may have given the youths other options to form communities of interest beyond their neighborhoods. Recommendations to enhance youths’ engagement at the neighborhood level were discussed together with suggestions for future research. The study has implications for both policy and planning decisions, particularly as several government initiatives and programs continue to be oriented toward youth empowerment with the objective of enhancing their effectiveness and wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3550
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • amenities
  • neighborhood
  • spatial characteristics
  • wellbeing
  • youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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