UAE entertainment industry among the hardest-hit following the Coronavirus pandemic, with 85% out of work according to a new report

A ground-breaking UAE survey of the entertainment industry by industry expert Dan Bolton has discovered just how hard the Covid-19 pandemic hit the entertainment scene

The independent survey asked 150 people across the entertainment scene how their industry had been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And the survey threw up some fascinating results…

97% of creative talent has seen a negative impact on their work opportunities 85% have had all work cancelled And it will be another three months before opportunities return 9 out of 10 believe the authorities need to give clearer indications of when the industry may return Nearly half of respondents believe that physical distancing will have an impact on their on-stage performances ...

The results

The survey highlights just how hard the creative industries have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic and also how quickly they can adapt and move into the ‘new normal.’

The survey shows that over 97% of those surveyed have seen a negative impact on their work opportunities. 85% meanwhile have seen all work opportunities cancelled due to the pandemic.

Health and safety

With the restrictions easing across the region and many businesses once again able to run at 100% capacity, the UAE is slowly returning to a ‘new normal.’ And the results of the survey show how quickly the creative market can 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.

The future

Despite those advances, however, the outlook is far from certain for the creative industries in the UAE.

The survey shows most respondents believe it will take at least three months for opportunities to return. And when they do return, restrictions will remain in place.

Just under half of those surveyed believe that physical distancing will have an impact on their on-stage performances.

And a quarter of respondents believe the quality of their performances will be affected by physical distancing measures.

So could the future be online performances?

55% of respondents believe that their performance is better in a live environment but are examining ways they can take their business online.

Potential solutions

Creating industry-wide Health and Safety Measures Creating small test events to re-establish consumer confidence and build as confidence returns Partnerships with Government officials and the entertainment supply chain to create a business plan for the next six months Online and hybrid event solutions Champion locally based creative talent across digital and social media platforms Lobby tourism entities, brands, clients and partners to support the local performance community Support continuing efforts to streamline the artist permits and visas Work alongside international event associations such as the ILEA to lobby for a series of measures to revitalise the industry and relieve economic pressures

The survey

The aim of the survey was to discover the impact that Covid-19 had had on the entertainment industry. To that end, 150 participants from a diverse cross-section of the industry were asked 22 questions regarding the impact Covid-19 had had on their business. 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,’ says Dan. ‘And we then wanted to establish appropriate measures that could be taken to safely reopen the industry when the time is right.’

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton is one of the leading voices in the entertainment scene in the Middle East. During his 21 years in live events in the entertainment and performance industry, he’s played a key role in some of the planet’s biggest shows.

In 2019 he was hired as the programming director for the South East Asian Games in the Philippines, while the previous year he was the associate choreographer at the 2018 Asian Games 2018. He’s also played lead roles at the AFC Champions League Final and been a vital part of The London and Athens Olympic Games ceremonies.

Closer to home, he was Artist Director for the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017 and until the event was postponed, was the Senior Producer for Daily Entertainment for the Expo 2020 Dubai team.

Dan set up his own company in 2015 and currently represents over 800 performance artists across the world including 400 based in the UAE.

By: MA’ANA MUSIC LTD on Monday, June 22, 2020

• The region’s biggest gaming festival announces that 2020 will see the event go 100% digital with an exclusive three-day broadcast
• Fans can tune-in to the live stream which will include Esports, special guests, exclusive reveals, gaming awards and more from 29 – 31st October
• Entry to the event will be free for all as Middle East Games Con ensures its regional fans can come together to celebrate all things gaming in a safe environment

Abu Dhabi, UAE, xx June 2020: Middle East Games Con announced today that the fourth edition of its annual gaming festival will be a 100% online event, which will allow free entry to all fans who register.

A first of its kind for the region, Middle East Games Con Digital will broadcast its live event to your laptops, mobiles, tablets, connected TVs and other connected devices from 29 – 31 October. Organisers haven’t yet revealed the details of what’s to come but Finlay Parr, Event Manager, has said “Gamers can get ready for a first-of-its-kind gaming experience in the Middle East. Our Focus for this year and new for 2020 is the first-ever official Middle East Games Con Esports tournament and the gaming awards. In addition to these new and exciting activities for 2020, we are of-course bringing fans their favourite features of the Con to their homes.” ...

Kiera Doherty, Pop Culture Portfolio Director at Informa Connect adds “Middle East Games Con Digital will be free to enter. Each year we welcome gamers of all ages from across the MENA region, and this year we don’t want anyone to miss out on our annual event due to travel, health or other reasons. We will be broadcasting the event live to our fans, wherever they may be. Middle East Games Con Digital will allow us all to come together to celebrate gaming, in a safe and healthy environment.”

Middle East Games Con is renowned for delivering an industry-leading annual gaming event with previous guests including MatPat, Ali-A, and Miniminter. The event has also seen international and regional brand participation including PlayStation, Nintendo, Logitech, Lenovo, HP, Square-Enix, Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, Robocom VR, Virgin Mobile and many more. The show is also known for its stellar line-up of gaming titles and tournaments including Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty, Tekken, FIFA, League of Legends and many more.

Parr concludes “we’re looking forward to sharing more details with our fans over the coming weeks, but if you want to be the first to know what’s going on, keep an eye on our social channels for updates. Until then, continue gaming and make sure you stay home, stay safe and get ready to game with us at Middle East Games Con Digital”


About Middle East Games Con:
Organised by the team that bring you Middle East Film & Comic Con (MEFCC), 2020 will mark the 4th edition of Middle East Games Con which is the GCC's largest dedicated gaming festival bringing together the region's vibrant and ever-growing community. It is a platform for visitors to participate in gaming tournaments and competitions, purchase limited merchandise, connect with the community, make friends, cosplay and learn everything from gaming safely to game development in educational workshops and talks. Middle East Games Con is the ultimate gaming experience! Press Kit: Download Here

About Informa Connect:

Informa Connect is a division of Informa plc, a global business that is listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 100. Informa plc. has a network of trusted brands in specialist markets across more than 30 countries with 11,000+ colleagues. Informa Connect is a live events and digital platform specialist connecting individuals and professionals with knowledge, ideas and opportunities. Our purpose is to champion the specialist. Through hundreds of powerful brands, we work with businesses and professionals in specialist markets, providing the connections, intelligence and opportunities that help customers grow, do business, make breakthroughs and take better informed decisions. Operating major branded events in Finance, Biotech & Pharma and in a number of other specialist markets and connect communities online year-round.

By: Suzette Henriques on Sunday, May 31, 2020