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Coronavirus has hit businesses in UAE: survey

DUBAI, March 24, 2020

Four in five (79 per cent) of the surveyed business professionals in the UAE claimed the Coronavirus had a large or moderate impact on their business, said market research leader YouGuv.

Thirteen per cent said the impact was minor and only 6 per cent claimed to have no impact at all. Working residents within the income bracket of Dh20,001- Dh40,000 ($5,444 - $10,888) were more likely to feel the effect as compared to other income-group professionals.

Among the top ways in which the outbreak has affected their business was cancellation or postponement of business trips or external appointments, as said by 47 per cent of the respondents. Almost as many claimed (43 per cent) to introduce hygiene measure and supplies in the company.

Many indicated there was a drop in sales (42 per cent) and sensed insecurity and safety concerns among employees (42 per cent). Roughly a quarter said they were facing HR-related issues such as- increased work from home (29 per cent) and rise in employee sick leaves (24 per cent). Another quarter (25 per cent) were facing interruptions to the supply chain. One in five reported reduced operating hours (20 per cent) and almost as many suffered office or store closures (18).

On a slightly positive note, 7 per cent said they witnessed increase in sales as a result of this outbreak.

The data suggests further disruption on the horizon with four in five respondents (80 per cent) saying the virus is very likely or fairly likely to affect their business in the future. Those aged 45+ were much more likely to say this as compared to their younger counterparts (89 per cent saying this).

One in six (17 per cent) of all respondents, however, feel it’s not likely or not very likely to have a future impact on their business.

Although during the time of the survey, cancelled/ delayed business trips or appointments emerged as the biggest visible impact of the virus (said by 47 per cent), declining sales is the greatest commercial woe foreseen by people in the future. A notably higher proportion (48 per cent) are expecting to see decrease in sales in the future compared to those already seeing such a decline.

One in three feel there will be difficulty in communicating with foreign partners (32 per cent) and just as many expect further interruptions to the supply chain (30 per cent).

A slightly higher proportion than the ones who said this now believe there will be reduced operating hours (23 per cent) and office or store closures (20 per cent).

There are few (10 per cent) who look at this as an opportunity and feel there will be increase in sales in the future.

Not only do UAE professionals see a bleak future for their businesses but most of them (88 per cent) feel the Coronavirus will have a large to moderate impact on the country’s overall economy. One in ten (10 per cent) however, reckon the impact will be minor or none at all. – TradeArabia News Service




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