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Over 50% of UAE Businesses Plan to Enhance Social and Digital Presence in 2022

Dubai, UAE – 14 February, 2022: GoDaddy, Inc., the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs around the world, announced the results of its MENA Survey 2021 where nearly half of UAE businesses surveyed said that they plan to enhance their social and digital presence and online sales activity in 2022. The research also states that around half of respondents in the UAE have built their website with the help of an external supplier or professional.

Conducted in October 2021, the annual topline report spanned over 800 respondents and examined the effects the global pandemic has had on entrepreneurs and small business owners in the UAE. Using a three-pronged approach of: Business, Marketing and Technology and Digital indices, the survey report evaluates the factors affecting the growth of small businesses in the country.

Selina Bieber, General Manager, Turkey and MENA, GoDaddy.

Selina Bieber, General Manager, Turkey and MENA, GoDaddy said, “With the positive increase in digitalisation among UAE small businesses as reported in the MENA Survey 2021, GoDaddy is dedicated to driving the success of small businesses with their online growth and expansion. We are here to support with the necessary tools and resources for website creation, e-commerce stores and digital marketing tools and by leveraging GoDaddy’s in-depth knowledge and experience, to help business growth”.

Focusing on factors such as the allocation of efforts and resources, sales channels and social media platform mix, the report shows that in the UAE, a large proportion of business owners’ time is directed towards sales (19%), followed by operations and marketing activities (14%). The most popular sales channels are company websites at 53%, followed by a bricks-and-mortar shop at 44% and lastly through social media at 43%. In terms of social commerce, the report saw that Facebook was the most popular platform at 73%, followed by Instagram at 71% and finally WhatsApp at 66%.

In the UAE, annual revenue based on online sales channels figures was reported at 40%. Other factors studied in the survey research include types of customers, business challenges and the impacts of COVID-19 on business growth and development.

In the UAE, respondents observed that Business-to-Consumer (B2C) , small and medium businesses count towards being their main customer type at one third each. Furthermore, seasonality and events as well as tourism emerged as the top aspects on which companies believe their success depended on.

With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report stated that 44% of respondents in the UAE said that their business has grown either significantly or slightly since the onset of the global pandemic. All businesses have had to change the way they operate their business as a result of the pandemic. The entirety of respondents mentioned that the main challenge was to increase the number of new customers.

Research findings also discovered that UAE businesses have started online shops as well as expanded their online presence at 33%. Expectedly, for those respondents who do use online sales channels, their sales were observed to have grown significantly or somewhat as a result of the pandemic (77%).

Overall, the outlook for a post-COVID period is quite positive with 65% of UAE entrepreneurs respondents said they believe they will emerge stronger than before.

Having social media presence was observed to be one of the main marketing methods used by all UAE businesses followed by their own company website and logo. It is interesting to note that businesess seem to be very engaged in different types of marketing activities in the UAE market.

Nearly half claim to have built their website with the help of an external professional supplier with top website features including sales of products and services.

Finally, the survey concludes that around half of UAE businesses surveyed plan to enhance their social and digital presence and online sales activity. By that they intend to raise awareness in search engines, monitor traffic to their website and create a responsive design for the website, as well as use external online advertising in 2022.

GoDaddy had tasked market research and data analytics company, YouGov, to conduct the survey between founders, owners and CEOs of small businesses as part of a region-wide survey encompassing the UAE, KSA and Egypt across cities. The survey was conducted by way of online interviews and structured quantitative questionnaires administered in both English and Arabic.

After nearly two years of operating within a global pandemic, small businesses and companies across the region weathered the storm with varying degrees of success. Result from the regional GoDaddy MENA Survey 2021 indicate a promising future for entrepreneurs despite a global pandemic.

GoDaddy offers personalized support through a number of tools, solutions and resources available in both languages for businesses to grow online. For information to help your business adapt during these unprecedented times and to learn more how GoDaddy can help your small business, please visit

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