GoDaddy’s Regional Entrepreneur Survey Reveals UAE Small Businesses Went Digital During Pandemic to Help Attract and Retain Customers

  • GoDaddy 2020 Entrepreneur Survey revealed 36 percent of UAE entrepreneurs have increased their digital marketing activities to help attract and retain more customers. 
  • Survey sheds light on the increasing importance of the use of technology and shifting to online presence in response to business needs in light of the global pandemic.

Dubai, UAE: GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY), the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs around the world, released the results of its 2020 Entrepreneur Survey, which revealed that small businesses in the UAE are quite agile in adapting to the trying times of 2020. Thirty-six percent (36%) of UAE entrepreneurs have increased their digital marketing activities to attract more customers. Nearly a third use their current online presence to sell goods or services. Sixty-eight percent (68%) are sure that their business could survive a second wave of COVID-19 as big as the first one.

The quantitative survey report studied the effects the global pandemic has had on entrepreneurs and small business owners in the UAE and stated that most respondents intend to sell their products and services through social media platforms in 2021. A third of the respondents said that they plan to set up an official website for their business.

Selina Bieber, Senior Regional Director for Turkey and MENA, GoDaddy said, “The GoDaddy 2020 Entrepreneur Survey clearly shows the ways in which entrepreneurs and small business owners in the UAE have been impacted by the global pandemic, over the last year. In line with current global trends, we have seen the shift towards having an online presence and the importance of the use of technology as a solution and a coping mechanism for these businesses, to stay active and engaged with customers.”

DIY vs. Professional  

The survey highlights that 21% of respondents said that, pre-pandemic, they managed the technology needs of their business themselves. Twenty-eight percent (28%) said they had a friend or family member do it for them, while only less than a fifth had a web developer/professional manage their technology needs.

Regional Support for Entrepreneurs and a Look Towards the Future

Findings from the survey indicate that 4 in 5 entrepreneurs feel that there is a good mix of online tools and resources available for small businesses which allows them to easily digitize their business. Three out of 4 entrepreneurs and small businesses agree that the UAE is a good hub for small businesses. Eighty-four percent (84%) consider digital adaptation to be very or relatively important towards achieving the UAE’s ‘Vision 2021′, which envisions economic advancement by promoting knowledge, innovation and technology which is a positive, optimistic sign.

“We are glad to hear that the majority of small businesses feel that there is a variety of options and online resources available to them which allows them to go digital. GoDaddy is committed to supporting small businesses owners and entrepreneurs in starting and growing their digital footprints by providing Website Builder and E-Store tools to help drive growth for their business,” Bieber added.  

Ethics, Diversity and Community

Finally, the survey concludes that nearly a half of the respondents agree that practicing business ethics and values is a major contributor to a business’ success in the long term, with 94% believing that business ethics and values are very or relatively important to their company/brand, in regard to how they operate internally and while working with customers and vendors. Eighty-six percent (86%) of entrepreneurs consider workforce diversity to be very or relatively important for their company. Similarly, 46% agree that it is a part of their company’s purpose to positively impact the local community.

About the Entrepreneurs:

Over half of the respondents were already employed when they decided to become self-employed, with over 60% being first-time small business owners. Nearly a third of small businesses use their current online presence to sell goods or services. Seventy-four percent (74%) of entrepreneurs already had a company website, with 3 in 5 intending to build one soon given the current circumstances and customers’ inclination towards making purchases online. Since the onset of COVID-19, amongst those who have an online presence, 45% have increased and improved their online customer communications to keep them informed about the change in services and how they are responding to the challenges.

GoDaddy commissioned market research and data analytics company, YouGov, to conduct the survey among UAE small business owners and entrepreneurs as part of a region-wide survey encompassing Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

GoDaddy enables/supports everyday entrepreneurs in their transition to having online presence to better meet their customers’ needs. From hosting domain names, building and developing websites to online marketing and email, GoDaddy provides a host of tools and solutions to grow online.

As small businesses and entrepreneurs adjust to the ‘new normal’ result from the global COVID-19  pandemic, GoDaddy offers personalized support through a number of tools and solutions available in both English and Arabic. For resources to help you adapt during these challenging times and to learn more how GoDaddy can help your small business, please visit   

About GoDaddy:

GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. With 20 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success.