|01 April, 2020

Latest survey confirms moderate to large impact on UAE business by COVID-19

Cancelled or postponed business trips or appointments and a decrease in sales are the most visible effects

A general view of Business Bay area, after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 28, 2020.

A general view of Business Bay area, after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 28, 2020.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

The fast spreading coronavirus has a huge impact on businesses, working professionals said.

According to an online survey by data analytics firm YouGov, 92 percent of working professionals in the UAE claimed that the pandemic had resulted in a large or moderate impact on their business.

YouGov Omnibus collected the online data between March 24 and March 30, from 500 respondents in the UAE with designations of senior business managers and above.

The figure is significantly higher than the registered result from a survey conducted from March 9 to March 15, when 79 percent of respondents claimed the pandemic had a large or moderate impact on their business, YouGov noted.

While 4 percent of respondents said the impact of the current pandemic is minor (down from 13 percent experienced between March 9 to March 15), 2 percent said it had no impact at all (down from 6 percent).

Cancelled or postponed business trips or appointments and a decrease in sales are the most visible effects, with 50 percent of respondents saying they have personally experienced these.

Forty four percent said the virus has led to insecurity among employees (same as the previous survey), while 44 percent said they suffered office/store closure (up from 18 percent) and 42 percent said they were impacted by reduced operating hours (up from 20 percent).

According to the survey, the number of business professionals saying they had trouble communicating with foreign partners rose to 39 percent, from 33 percent in the previous survey, while 35 percent said they are suffering from interruption to the supply chain, up from 25 percent.

Seven percent of respondents said they witnessed a positive impact, like an increase in sales. The result is identical to what was recorded in the previous survey.

86 percent of UAE professionals believe the virus is very likely or fairly likely to affect their business in the future.

Recovery time

The YouGov survey noted that 32 percent of respondents’ businesses may take a month or less to recover from the setbacks of the pandemic, once the situation is resolved, while 17 percent of respondents believe it could take four to six months and 13 percent think it could take more than six months.

Professionals in medium-sized enterprises (between 50-249 employees) are more likely to expect a longer recovery period as compared to small-sized enterprises (9 employees or less), micro-sized (10- 49 employees) and large enterprises (250-plus employees) in the UAE, survey data revealed.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

#UAE #BUSINESS #CORONAVIRUS

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