UAE business conditions worsen by virus; Saudi Arabia reports 1st case


The impact of coronavirus is seeping into Middle East businesses, with the outbreak weighing on exports and supply chains at the second-biggest Arab economy.

Business conditions in the United Arab Emirates worsened in February, according to IHS Markit. Emirates Group, which runs the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, earlier this week encouraged staff to take leave as the outbreak saps demand for travel.

The coronavirus is spreading further in the region. Saudi Arabia, which has restricted air travel, reported its first confirmed case on Monday.

Iran, the epicenter of coronavirus in the Middle East, on Monday reported a surge in confirmed cases to over 1,500, with 66 deaths. Most cases in the Middle East are linked to Iran.

Mideast breakdown:

  • Iran: 1,501 cases, including 66 deaths
  • Kuwait: 56
  • Bahrain: 47
  • Iraq: 25
  • U.A.E.: 21
  • Lebanon: 13
  • Israel: 7
  • Qatar: 7
  • Oman: 6
  • Jordan: 1
  • Saudi Arabia: 1