New Google data reveals Coronavirus impact in GCC

Research released by search engine Google shows percentage change of key indicators.
New Google data reveals Coronavirus impact in GCC
Most substantial effects in the transit and retail segments, with -60% and -53.2% reductions.
Bahrain experienced the least reduction, followed by Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


April 29th, 2020, Manama (Bahrain): New data published by search engine Google has revealed how the Coronavirus outbreak is impacting mobility across the GCC.

The research shows the quarterly percentage change of each country based on a range of key indicators including parks, transit and grocery stores.

Across all metrics, the average reduction for the whole of the GCC during the first three months of 2020 was 34.1%. Bahrain experienced the least mobility reduction in the region at -21.2% – followed by Kuwait (-36.3%), Oman (-37.8%), Saudi Arabia (-38.5%) and the UAE (-42.33%).

Residential mobility, as well as the grocery and pharmacy segment, were least impacted across the region, with respective changes of -27% and +22.83% on average.

The most substantial effects were recorded in the transit and retail segments, with average reductions of -60% and -53.2% respectively, due to a series of protective measures against COVID-19 put in place across the GCC.

These have included lockdowns or curfews by Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while all nations have suspended the majority of passenger flights to combat the spread.

Bahrain’s response – which was praised by the World Health Organisation during the early stages of the outbreak – has involved keeping open shops and other essential facilities while increasing public testing capabilities.

Ministers from GCC countries have also been keeping in close contact during recent weeks via virtual meetings to discuss economic impact and avenues of mutual support.

Dr Omar Al Ubaidly, Director – Studies and Research of Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) emphasised the importance of taking early steps against COVID-19 in ensuring the continuity of these segments.

He said: “The question of how to balance health and economic interests during the pandemic is a very difficult one being faced by all countries at present.

“What is certain is that any tradeoff between the two is significantly improved by having better levels of preparation and testing. In this regard, Bahrain’s early steps have allowed it to maintain more normal lifestyles for its residents while still limiting the spread of the coronavirus.”


Parks Retail and Recreation Workplaces Grocery and Pharmacy Transit Stations Residential Average
UAE -58 -61 -57 -30 -79 31 -42.33
Saudi Arabia -52 -55 -47 -24 -76 23 -38.50
Oman -42 -55 -42 -38 -69 19 -37.83
Kuwait -51 -59 -48 -33 -52 25 -36.33
Bahrain -31 -39 -24 -16 -32 15 -21.17
Average -44.83 -53.17 -42.33 -27.00 -60.00 22.83 -34.08


About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit; for information about Bahrain visit


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

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