D/A COVID-19 Business Tracker – Business Sentiment in the UAE.

15th November 2020

Well, we know one thing’s for a fact, COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. Understandably, it’s everywhere and almost everyone talks about it, quite literally, all the time. While the conversation has started to drop as of lately, it remains a very relevant topic as the pandemic evolves around the world.  Digital Ape dug deep using our data analysis tool, Sila, to identify the good and the not so good about COVID and UAE business sentiment. So, what exactly makes up the positive and the negative conversations about business and COVID-19?

The problem?

Well, the virus in itself is a huge problem and with that, the negative conversation continues to take over with almost 97% of the total conversation. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with 3% of the overall conversation, seeing a rather positive impact on business and the economy – we can see in the below chart after a terrible summer, sentiment is improving in the UAE.

Business sentiment analysis

Business sentiment analysis

The Conversation

While 97% of the overall conversation is negative, does that mean that COVID has taken over the business conversation completely?

We took a look at the business conversation overall, and the answer to our question is no, to an extent. Confused?

COVID has most certainly taken over the business and economy conversation but not quite all of it. 45% of the total conversation about the economy had mentions of the virus, while 71% of employment mentions also had some mention of COVID-19.

Mentions of the economy and COVID-19

Mentions of the economy and COVID-19

While employment in general remains on an all-time low at the moment, it does seem that people have started to divert away from the COVID conversation and focus more on economical losses. But, with life settling back to normal in the GCC – in some cities more than others- , we have noticed that the positive conversation is reaching a new high, even making up to 47% of the overall conversation in November (so far). This is the highest point the positive conversation has reached since the beginning of the year (even higher than the pre-COVID era).

Mentions of employment and COVID-19

Mentions of employment and COVID-19

The positives?

As an audience-first platform, our study is completely based off public opinion. While mentions of business vary from month to another, we analysed an average of 43,000 tweets per month (since the beginning of 2020) with a high of 71,000 tweets in May and a low of 4,000 tweets in February.

With that being said, the overall conversation had been negative for quite some time now but it has definitely been changing recently. With an average of 99% negativity across summer; however, things are changing quickly. Since the beginning of September, the split had been switching over towards the positive side. From 11% positive in September to 47% in November, the sentiment is shifting quite fast.

The Economy

Mentions of the economy have seen the biggest and quickest shift. November marked the highest point for positive sentiment. 60% of the overall conversation about the economy were positive – this marks the biggest positivity percentage since the beginning of the year including the pre-COVID era. November was the only month – since the beginning of 2020 – where mentions of the economy were more positive than negative.

Sentiment of mentions of the economy

Sentiment of mentions of the economy

Work From Home

Consumers have been speaking positively about working from home. With some companies adapting it as a new norm. 70% of the “work from home” conversations has been positive, while the employment conversation has been seeing a rise in positivity – even double that of the negative conversation in November.

Sentiment analysis on Work From Home

Sentiment analysis on Work From Home

Investments

Posts about investments are on the rise again, The end of October saw a 38% increase when compared to the previous month, with only 39% of those posts mentioning COVID-19 compared to 59% in September. On the other hand, mentions of bankruptcy are on a drop, with a 260% drop in the conversation in October when compared to June.

Mentions of investments vs COVID-19

Mentions of investments vs COVID-19

The Solution

Digital Ape is a creative consulting agency that deeply understand the needs of the market.

We are certain that optimism is on the rise.

Consumers are slowly gaining their trust back in business and the economy. Interest in investing is back and running. This is good news to banks, the real estate industry and eventually even tourism. We identify the upcoming period as the best time for companies to advertise their products leading with a positive message.

As positivity is starting to spread across the GCC, a positive business message would help reach audiences and generate leads.