Abu Dhabi: A survey carried out by the Department of Community Development (DCD) with 8,000 residents in Abu Dhabi found most respondents optimistic on their personal situation and outlook for the rest of 2020 despite the ongoing pandemic.
Some of the survey’s key findings showed that 76 per cent of respondents believe the aftermath of COVID-19 will continue to be felt, with 59 per cent confident that their business will be back on solid footing before the end of 2020.
The survey also revealed that most people are concerned about rising unemployment, with 73 per cent of residents believing that the unemployment rate will increase. However, on a personal level, 78 per cent of residents are also optimistic on their own job security, with 68 per cent believing their income post COVID-19 will remain unaffected.
In fact, for most residents the loss of income was ranked the lowest among their concerns, with health risks to themselves and their families along with a possible second wave of the virus taking top positions.
“This insight is crucial to our understanding of the current situation and how people’s perception of the future are changing. This survey will play an important role in helping us support governmental bodies and authorities to develop innovative solutions to cope with life after COVID-19,” said Dr Muna Al Bahar, advisor to the chairman.
“While there is inevitably concern, it is promising to see signs of optimism too, with many people feeling that businesses are well positioned to innovate and change and feeling optimistic about their own career situation,” she added.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted economies worldwide, but the UAE government is employing all its efforts to mitigate the impact of this global pandemic on Nation’s people and businesses.”
The survey also showed changing attitudes towards working practices, with 69 per cent of respondents saying they believed that working from home will become more prevalent. The survey revealed that 43 per cent of residents preferring to work remotely, primarily due to the desire to continue to reduce health risks bcause of the coronavirus.
Most residents – 83 per cent – also believe that the post virus environment will create new opportunities for businesses to be more innovative in their practices, with the same proportion of respondents also saying more businesses will now move online.
The survey data is drawn from the ‘Life After COVID-19’ study, recently launched by the DCD in Abu Dhabi and the Statistic Centre of Abu Dhabi (SCAD), to examine perceptions of how life will be changed by the pandemic. The survey aims to help guide policy-making and to improve the quality of life for UAE residents.
Survey responses were gathered from 8,804 people – 41 per cent male and 59 per cent female - with all individual information provided remaining strictly confidential.