Women in the UAE are much more likely than men to suspect their partner of cheating on them, according to a new survey.
While 14 per cent of those quizzed – both men and women – said they suspected their partner was being unfaithful, the figure for women alone was twice as high at 28 per cent.
Nineteen per cent, almost two in 10, of all those questioned said they had contemplated infidelity.
When asked how they would react if they discovered their partner was cheating on them, the largest proportion – 42 per cent – said they would end the relationship. Arab expats were the more likely to end the relationship (60 per cent). However, a significant number – 29 per cent, almost two-thirds of those polled – said they would confront the issue and then forget it.
The researchers who compiled YouGov Siraj's latest Omnibus survey asked people to define infidelity. Seventy-seven per cent said it was having an affair, 75 per cent said prostitution, 70 per cent said loving someone else, 54 per cent said kissing – and 36 per cent said checking someone out was a form of infidelity.
When asked what aspects of infidelity they would find most difficult to cope with, the largest proportion – 38 per cent – of the UAE society said it would be if your partner fell in love with someone else. Another significant proportion, 23 per cent, held a different view and said it would be worse if their partner had an extramarital relationship that did not involve feelings. "What people find most frightening is not perhaps the actual act of infidelity, it is more the idea they are loved less and that someone else is loved more," said Joanna Longworth, the market research company's Chief Marketing Officer. "In the eyes of the UAE, this seems to be more of a betrayal. It is heartening to see and important to note that a large majority of couples are faithful to each other."
YouGov Siraj questioned 699 UAE residents between March 1 and 8 in an online poll about their attitudes towards infidelity.
"This poll is a brilliant example of how honest people are when responding to our online surveys," added Longworth. "As it is entirely confidential, people are more willing to open up. This type of fast and accurate online polling is very useful for companies who need to ask their customer base sensitive questions, for instance about hygiene, finances or personal care."
YouGov Siraj has a weekly omnibus service in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, where clients can buy research by the question. The results are returned to the client a week later.