DED gauges COVID-19 economy sentiment from 1,574 firms

The authority conducted an impact survey hosted by its single business engagement platform EngageDXB

DED gauges COVID-19 economy sentiment from 1,574 firms
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DED gauges COVID-19 economy sentiment from 1,574 firms

Dubai Economy (DED) has remained at the forefront of addressing the challenges faced by businesses and the UAE economy in general to follow up on the adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures. 

As part of its precautionary efforts, Dubai Economy gauged the sentiment and responses from around 1,574 firms in the emirate, which took part in an impact survey hosted by the authority’s single business engagement platform EngageDXB. 

EngageDXB is DED's first virtual platform which was created to collaborate and engage with the business communities in the emirate

The survey was aimed at polling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and for a programme to assess the future economy.

The purpose was to identify the challenges and repercussions of the pandemic within a short span of time and ensure the flexibility and sustainability of the emirate’s economy through consultations and maintain continuous engagement with ten business groups comprising more than 2,000 companies, UAE's state run news agency Dubai Media Office reported.

Dubai Economy launched a business impact survey in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic in the emirate, through which approximately 1,324 companies took part across three stages; 702 companies in the first stage during March, 251 companies in the second stage during April, while the third phase of the survey included 370 companies during May.

Among the 370 companies surveyed in the third phase, 67% were micro-firms, 21% were small companies, 4% medium-sized companies, and 8% were large companies. Business owners/CEOs accounted for 87% of survey participants, managerial & supervisory personnel 11%, and experts, advisors, and consultants were 2%.

Foreign investors accounted for 30% of total participants in the third stage, and, sector-wise, 32% came from retail and wholesale, 14% from food and beverages (F&B), 11% from trading, 10% from services, and 6% each from the real estate, tourism & events, and ICT sectors.

The remaining were distributed across various sectors, including finance, construction, education, manufacturing, and others.

The survey, still underway, was structured to explore various aspects, such as the size of the COVID-19 impact on businesses and employees alike, the role of economic incentives in supporting business continuity, and future prospects as well as expectations of companies and their readiness to deal with the crisis.

Companies and businesses were evaluated based on their size, type, and nature of investment; revenue; top three concerns at present; changes in human resource management policies; layoffs; changes in employee salaries; corporate financial flows; sales; and awareness of the situation as well as changes taking place beyond COVID-19.

The next stages of the survey will continue to monitor and measure the business impact during each stage of the market re-opening as well as identify the required precautionary measures.

Speaking about DED's efforts, chief executive officer, corporate strategic affairs in Dubai Economy, Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, said: “We have an active Business Community Engagement programme in place to serve the interests of the various business groups and councils. We listen to feedback and ideas to improve our economy, especially as the COVID-19 crisis has further strengthened the engagement process.

Our digital engagement through EngageDXB has strengthened and enabled us to reach out to the business community instantly to hear and work on recommendations to resolve on-ground challenges. EngageDXB will be the business engagement platform for the economy to sustain public and private sector relationships.”

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