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Creative arts survey paints an uncertain future for the UAE

Creative arts survey paints an uncertain future for the UAE

Creative arts survey paints an uncertain future for the UAE


An independent survey of the entertainment industry by industry expert Dan Bolton has identified just how hard hit the UAE scene has been by the Covid-19 pandemic. The results will help establish appropriate measures to reopen the industry again.

The survey asked 150 people across the entertainment sector in Dubai how their industry had been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants included self-employed entertainers, long-term CEOs, regional and international performers based in the UAE.

“Most in our industry have been impacted, however some more than others and we wanted to gather the data to establish which areas have been impacted the most,’ explained Bolton. “We then wanted to establish appropriate measures that could be taken to safely reopen the industry when the time is right.”

The replies highlighted some fascinating, but concerning, facts. Over 97% of respondents have seen a negative impact on their work opportunities, while 85% have seen all work opportunities cancelled due to the pandemic.

With many businesses now once again able to run at 100% capacity, the UAE is slowly returning to a “new normal”, with the creative market quick to adapt and rebound. 86% of respondents have thought about the necessary health and safety measures that would need to be implemented to return to performing safely. Two-thirds of industry professionals would be willing to perform immediately with the necessary safety measures put in place, and one in five in the entertainment industry have already put in place procedures using information from local authorities.

Despite those advances, however, the future outlook is far from certain. Most respondents believe it will take at least three months for opportunities to return, and when they do, restrictions will remain in place. Concerned about the effect of distancing on their stage performances, 55% of respondents examining ways they can take their business online despite believing that their performance is better in a live environment.

The full results from the survey can be found here.

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