Use and Importance of Music

Almost everyone listens to music and half do so every day (84% and 48%, respectively), in addition, many listen several times throughout the day. Music plays a major role for entertainment in all six countries in this study. However Lebanese and Tunisians are somewhat more likely to listen to music on a daily basis (64% and 59%, respectively), while those in Saudi Arabia do not listen as frequently – a quarter listen daily. While nearly everyone listens to music, preferences of genre vary by sector of the population. 

Music is very much a part of the daily lives of young people; 63% of under 25s listen to music every day, compared with one-third of those 45 and older.

Music plays a large role in entertainment overall. A majority of the participants in this study consider listening to music important for entertainment (56%). Music is a more important source of entertainment in Lebanon and the UAE (69% and 62%, respectively) than in the other four countries in the study.

While equally important to men and women, music is more important to younger people, and seemingly declines with age. Nearly three-quarters of those under 25 feel that listening to music is important, compared to a minority of those over 45 (71% vs. 40%). The importance of music also increases with the level of education of the listener, from a third of those with primary education to nearly two-thirds of those who have attended university (37%, 61%). Single people are more likely than those who are married to consider listening to music an important source of entertainment (71% vs. 50%). Listening to music is twice as likely to be seen as important by Western expatriates as by Arab expatriates (81% and 45%). Nationals and Asian expatriates fall in the middle (54%, 67%). This pattern is consistent among all countries with large expatriate populations: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.