Business Update: UAE business seeing negativity again.

3rd January 2021

Here we are, ending a year that saw society making the biggest adjustments to living since World War II. From an optimistic beginning of a new decade to the spread of a pandemic and later on a recession; this year has had it all. Earlier in November, we had seen glimpses of an economic recovery in the UAE, with a slow and steady return to our “normal lives”; however, something unexpected happened. The business world got hit by some negative news yet again.

The UK discovered a second and ‘more contagious’ variant of COVID-19 and that led to an instant complete lockdown that would last through the festive season.  This new and improved COVID-19 or COVID-20, who knows anymore… made its way around the globe and it felt like deja vu all over again; its March 2020 all over again.

The UAE’s Business World

While it seems like the world out there is chaotic, the UAE continous its remarkable response to the virus. Dubai has become a hub for travelers, with the launch of the “World’s Coolest Winter” campaign that continues to see visitors from around the globe escaping lockdowns to enjoy some of what Dubai has to offer. Dubai’s travel industry continues to make up for the loses of 2020, but it seems like something is not going super well.

So, we dug into our data warehouse, Sila, and analysed our Twitter Business data and the results were as follows.

To begin with, the conversation continues to be constant when compared to November; however, it seems like mentions of COVID with business have slightly increased (+50%).

Unfortunately, the negative business sentiment has increased again. This time overtaking positive sentiment that had seen an increase for the first time in November.

Business sentiment analysis in the UAE

Sentiment of mentions of business in the UAE

Mentions of the economy; however, have seen quite the increase. December had double the amount of mentions of the economy (and COVID) than the previous month.

Yep, its not March all over again, but the increase is worth digging into.

Mentions of the economy and COVID in the UAE

We looked at the sentiment of mentions of the economy in the UAE, and the results were quite shocking.

The negative sentiment is increasing at a very high rate, reaching the highest percentage (64%) since October 2020.

Sentiment of mentions of the economy in the UAE Sentiment of mentions of the economy in the UAE

The Reasoning

Our top reasoning to this, and as mentioned in our previous article; people love bad news – even if it they were not directly associated with them.

Yep, it does not look that great. There is negativity; however, this does not reflect the actual business industry. The audience is worried, but this has been caused by national and international media. While other countries around the world are being heavily affected by the new variant of COVID-19 and constant lockdowns, the UAE remains the best place to be in at the moment.

Dubai, as mentioned, has become a hub for travelers and Abu Dhabi has enforced new and less strict rules which includes allowing tourists into the city. While this may not apply to other GCC nations – which could be another direct reason to the negative sentiment- with flights being suspended temporarily across KSA, Kuwait and Oman, the UAE has no intent of shutting down flights, period.

Expectations

A new beginning with a new year, we expect positivity to increase once again. Now, that the vaccines have been made available to the public; it is just a matter of time until mentions of COVID drop to an all time low; with positivity expected to reach an all time high.

A positive mentality can be felt overall, with 2020, being associated with COVID and just being an all around bad year – 2021 comes in with some feeling of positivity and a fresh start (fingers crossed).