Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE Covid: How residents used social media to support each another

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on April 3, 2021
KT file photo used for illustrative purpose.

UAE hashtags that brought people together virtually amid lockdowns.

‘#InThisTogetherDubai’, ‘#TogetherAtHome’ and ‘#HopeMarsMission’ had a positive impact on people amid the COvid-19 pandemic, a new study has revealed.

ALSO READ: Dubai residents cheer health workers from their balconies

Meltwater, an editorial and social media analytics company, tracked and analysed news and social media data from March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, this year to study lockdown trends that emerged from the Middle East.

According to the study, the hashtags had a wide-reaching impact on the UAE’s education sector.

“While there is no doubt that the world came to a standstill after countries declared lockdown regulations in March 2020, technology connected many people, bringing families together despite being apart,” said the study, a copy of which Khaleej Times has seen.

“From #InThisTogetherDubai to the Hope Mars Mission, social media was a key platform that continued to connect individuals. Outside of these events, technology also proved to be a beneficial tool for keeping fit and staying healthy during the lockdown.”


With 10,300 social media mentions of #InThisTogetherDubai in the Middle East, the hashtag was widely used to bring people together digitally in the education community as pandemic restrictions caused schools and universities to close to implement social distancing.

‘#InThisTogetherDubai’ had a social reach on Twitter of just over 11 Million in March 2020, and consistently garnered a social reach of over 80, 000 in the months that followed.

Since its creation, several educational institutions and schools engaged with this hashtag to share ways in which they have managed to adapt to physical and social distancing. Examples of schools using the hashtag, even in 2021, include the Dove Green Private School and Ignite School,l stated the study.

Trending themes such as 'online tutoring' and 'community' emerged, and data indicates that 65 per cent of all social media mentions in the Middle East on #InThisTogetherDubai were positive while 32 per cent were neutral. The three per cent negative sentiment was due to social media posts from early March 2020 that also mentioned Covid-19 or coronavirus, terms that had a mostly negative sentiment.


In January 2020, it was announced that Global Citizen had added Dubai as the seventh venue for its ‘Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream' event. This would have been a 10-hour live broadcast, spanning six continents and a call to action for donations from governments, companies, and philanthropists to reach the Dh 1.28 trillion annual goals needed to end extreme poverty by 2030, said Meltwater.

Due to the global pandemic, which led to the event not taking place, the artists and musicians scheduled to perform found a way to make the show go on through the ‘#TogetherAtHome’ virtual concert series that was spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Global Citizen.

The data recorded nearly 4,000 ‘#TogetherAtHome’ social media mentions in the Middle East between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020, when the virtual concerts were taking place.

April 2020 saw the hashtag garner a social reach of 129 Million in the region as this month included performances from John Legend and Meghan Trainor. The UAE led online mentions on #TogetherAtHome in the Middle East (90 per cent).


The excitement surrounding this historic event sparked much news media and social media buzz, both in the UAE and around the world. The data recorded just over 20,000 global news media mentions on the ‘Hope Mars Mission’, and over 60, 000 global social media mentions between July 1, 2020, and March 28, 2021.

According to Meltwater, social media mentions on the Hope Mars Mission first peaked during July 2020, when the space exploration mission was launched by the UAE Space Agency. During this month, there were more than 30,000 global social media mentions, garnering a social reach of 2.21 billion worldwide.

Global social media mentions peaked again during February 2021, where the data recorded more than 37,000 social media mentions, which had a social reach of 2.81 billion worldwide.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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