• New Snapchat survey reveals how individuals in the UAE are staying connected and active during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Staying connected with family and friends is helping people to keep calm, with 87% now feeling more prepared to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Dubai, UAE – April 16, 2020: A new survey from Snap Inc. reveals how people in the UAE are staying informed about the COVID-19 outbreak, and what they are doing to stay in touch with family and friends during this time. 

On the whole, more than four in five (87%) Snapchatters in the UAE feel better prepared to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 than they did a month ago. At the same time, people do appear mindful of avoiding misinformation about COVID-19. The Snapchat user survey shows that 54% of UAE public are turning to official government sources for information on the outbreak, more so than TV news sources (26%) or even family and friends (25%).

In addition to keeping well informed, many Snapchatters appear to be using the time spent at home for personal growth. More than half (61%) say they are looking after themselves through self-care activities, while 43% are taking online classes, 42% are working on physical fitness, and 41% are looking to learn a new skill. 

Moreover, people are finding ways to maintain their mental wellbeing even with the disruption of COVID-19. When asked what is helping them the most to keep calm during this time, more than half (57%) cite staying connected with family and friends, while 47% say playing video games and 23% say meditating or working out. The importance of relationships is so valued that, when asked about any positive outcomes of the current situation, the most common response is spending quality time with family.

That sentiment also carries over to Snapchat itself. Nearly half (41%) of local Snapchatters are now using the app more than before to stay in touch with family and friends, compared to 36% making more video calls and 32% making more phone calls.

Hussein Freijeh, General Manager of Snap Inc., Middle East, noted: “While communities across the UAE are rightly practicing physical distancing in light of COVID-19, we all still have a real need for close personal relationships in our lives. By understanding how people are choosing to connect and express themselves, we can make it easier for them to share reliable information about COVID-19, and to have meaningful connections with their family, friends, and co-workers even when they’re far apart.”

In recent weeks, Snapchat has rolled out new features and content to help communities in the UAE deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today the company is working with the most trusted news organizations in the region and the World Health Organization (WHO) to publish regular updates about COVID-19, to answer community questions, and to curate stories around subjects such as working from home, staying fit, and so on. Using the power of the mobile camera, a string of new Lenses – including one launched in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the WHO – Bitmoji stickers, and other creative tools also leverage augmented reality to help people spread awareness in the fastest and most engaging way possible.