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  • YouGov
The Coronavirus Has Impacted Their Business Claims A Vast Majority Of UAE Working Professionals
Although cancelled or delayed business trips has became as the most visible initial impact of the virus, deteriorate sales is predicted to be the biggest commercial anguish in the future

As Coronavirus takes a toll on international and local economies, YouGov conducted a survey among 220 working professionals belonging to the senior management in various companies (senior business managers and above) between 9th- 15th March to understand the effect of the pandemic on their business and the overall economy.

Four in five (79%) of the surveyed business experts claimed the Coronavirus had a huge or average impact on their business. 13% stated the effect was minor and only 6% claimed to have no effect at all. Working residents within the income bracket of AED 20,001- 40,000 were more likely to feel the effect as compared to other income-group experts.

Among the top ways in which the outbreak has affected their business was cancellation or postponement of business trips or external appointments, as stated by 47% of the respondents. Almost many claimed 43% to add hygiene measure and supplies in the company.

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

On a slightly positive note, 7% mentioned they witnessed increase in sales as a result of this outbreak.

The data states further disruption on the horizon with four in five respondents (80%) saying the virus is very likely or fairly likely to create an impact in their business in the future. Those aged 45+ were much more likely to say this as compared to their younger counterparts (89% saying this). One in six (17%) of all respondents, however, feel it’s not likely or not very likely to have a future impact on their business.

Although in the course of the survey, cancelled/ delayed business trips or appointments emerged as the biggest visible impact of the virus (stated by 47%), declining sales is the greatest commercial woe foreseen by people in the future. A considerably higher proportion (48%) is expecting to see decline in sales in the future compared to those already seeing such a drop.

One in three feel there will be a challenge in communicating with foreign partners (32%) and just as many anticipate further interruptions to the supply chain (30%).

A slightly higher proportion than the ones who stated this now believes there will be restricted operating hours (23%) and office or store closures (20%).

There are few (10%) who look at this as a possibility and feel there will be increase in sales in the future.

Not only do UAE experts see a gloomy future for their businesses but most of them (88%) feel the Coronavirus will have a huge to average impact on the country’s overall economy. One in ten (10%) however, reckon the impact will be minor or none at all.

YouGov will continue tracking the impact of the virus on the business community and release new data next week.

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