A staggering 70% of businesses in Dubai expect to close their doors within the next six months as the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdowns ravage demand, a survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce revealed Thursday.
The Chamber surveyed 1,228 CEOs across a range of sectors between April 16 and April 22, during the emirate’s strictest lockdown period. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed were small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Of the respondents, more than two-thirds saw a moderate-to-high risk of going out of business in the coming six months: 27% said they expected to lose their businesses within the next month, and 43% expect to go out of business within six.
Dubai, which has one of the most diversified and non-oil dependent economies in the Gulf, relies on sectors like hospitality, tourism, entertainment, logistics, property and retail. Its hotels and restaurants are internationally acclaimed, but nearly half the restaurants and hotels surveyed by the organization expected to go out of business in the next month alone. Some 74% of travel and tourism companies said they expected to close in that time, and 30% of companies in transport, storage and communications expect the same fate.
“Full and partial city-lockdown measures are bringing demand in key markets to a standstill ... The double-shock impact is pushing economic activity down to levels not seen even during the financial crisis,” the Dubai Chamber wrote in its report released Thursday, entitled “Impact of Covid-19 on Dubai Business Community.”
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A Dubai Chamber spokesman later on Thursday qualified some of the survey’s results, saying in a statement that “Dubai Chamber surveyed 1228 out of 245,000 companies in Dubai in April when the lockdown measures were in the most strict phase ... their sentiments were based on the expectation that the strictest lockdown phase would be prolonged.”
“We anticipate that business confidence will improve significantly in the coming weeks and months as businesses return to more normal operation.”
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