|21 May, 2020

COVID-19: 52% of UAE residents comfortable shopping in public places

Thirty-six percent said they would do so with extreme caution

A woman wears a protective mask, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, outside the Dubai Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 5, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

A woman wears a protective mask, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, outside the Dubai Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 5, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Fifty-two percent of UAE residents are comfortable shopping in public places during the COVID-19 times, a new survey showed.

The survey commissioned by Kearney Middle East also revealed that out of these respondents, 36 percent said they would do so with extreme caution.

A third of respondents said they would wait for at least a month, while 18 percent prefer to wait until a vaccine is developed.

“This week we have seen new movement restrictions put in place by the government, however, malls and stores will continue to operate at 30% capacity,” Debashish Mukherjee, Partner & Head, Consumer Industries and Retail Practice at Kearney Middle East said.

The UAE implemented expanded measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus as of Wednesday. The national curfew will be from 8 pm to 6 am, instead of 10 pm to 6 am, while malls will be open from 9 am to 7 pm as part of the changes.

“While we are edging towards normalcy with caution, there is still a level of uncertainty among the public on when the dust will settle,” Mukherjee said.

Fifty-four percent of survey respondents believe normalcy will not return at least for the next four to nine months.

While shopping at a public location, what concerns consumers most according to the survey is the number of people at the store (41 percent), followed by other people not observing safety measures (36.9 percent), the possibility of being surrounding by those exposed to the virus (32.3 percent) and the location not complying to the safety measures (16.7%).

Over 58 percent of respondents said they have saved at least 25 percent more during the peak of movement restrictions, compared to the pre-pandemic times, while 22 percent said they saved less and 20 percent said they did not save at all.

“The development of COVID-19 has affected the income of many individuals globally which has forced them to rethink their spending,” Mukherjee said.

“What was considered ‘disposable income’ prior to the pandemic is being reprioritized and there is a potential long-term behavior change that is likely to emerge as people think harder about their financial planning for the future and the need to have emergency savings,” Mukherjee added.

The survey was conducted from April 30 to May 11 this year, with 200 respondents.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

( gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com )

#COVID-19, #UAE #Shopping #Business

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© ZAWYA 2020

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