The Unidentical Twins

How the pandemic is reshaping the identity and image of UAE & Saudi telcos

By Somar Mowakket
Founder at Consult Upgrade
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The Unidentical Twins: How the pandemic is reshaping the identity and image of UAE & Saudi telcos

The transformative economical and developmental changes the GCC region underwent, is an indication of how the region is being reshaped in order to be the business hub of the world in the near future. As a result, the telecommunication and technology sector in GCC, especially in UAE and Saudi Arabia has seen massive investments in infrastructure to keep up with the progressive economic growth. The UN E-Government Index, inclusive of the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII), put both UAE and Saudi Arabia quite high at the top with a score of 0.93 and 0.84 respectively (Knoema 2021).

UAE No.1 in Arab world for telecom infrastructure, 7th globally

However, despite the similarities in cultural and socioeconomic aspects of life in UAE and Saudi Arabia, we find the telcos are in searching and thriving for an identity that is unique and authentic, yet resilient enough to cope with these changes. While changes would normally include market growth, technological investment and innovation, futuristic planning and the like, the COVID-19 pandemic came and ruffled these cards altogether to shape a new unprecedented unpredicted situation. Although financially, despite cruciality of the telecommunication sector to our social and economic life, it has not yielded significant returns to shareholders: 4.8% compared to returns of 47% Semi-conductors and Electronics Sector, 36.4% Media Sector, and 34.2% Technology Sector returns (Fruechtl et al 2021).

Little returns to shareholders during COVID-19 pandemic


At Consult Upgrade, and for the first time in a research that covers the GCC region, the team took a deep look at telcos in UAE and Saudi Arabia analysing and comparing the language content of websites and social media of four telcos in the region: 2 in UAE and 2 in Saudi Arabia. By mirroring, manipulating, or maintaining their audiences, language content is at the top of the most important tools and components that define the success and growth of any brand. The corpus size was over 1.5 million words collected and gathered from study subjects’ website and twitter feed.

We applied our own methodology in analysing the data. Consult Upgrade methodology is a set of unique innovative data processes in which we apply quantitative and qualitative analyses technique to the aggregated data, informed and guided by a custom-made pragmatic, linguistic and psycholinguistic coding framework. We look at what the language collected can tell us about the sentiments of content writers, their personal traits, the drives behind their behaviour, and we look at key themes & word frequencies through our bespoke AI powered coding system designed for this particular research.

THE FINDINGS: The Mona Lisa Smile Syndrome

Sentiments’ analysis of content came back with some intriguing results. Saudi telcos reflected more happiness that their UAE’s counterparts, especially in social media content. However, the Saudi Provider 1 showed rather a decrease in gratitude sentiments (8.3%) and a surprising increase in fear, anger, and disgust sentiments at 11.7%, 13.6% and 3.4% respectively in their website content. As UAE Telco 1 reflected a 17.3% calmness in their social media content, UAE Telco 2’s social media showed a 12.7% and 12.5% of fear and sad sentiments which would definitely impact the image of the brand in a pandemic hit market.

THE FINDINGS: Hold your horses on Social Media

The issues of failure to control Social Media content were also found through analysing personality traits of content. All four telcos scored higher in impulsiveness in social media compared to website content. With UAE telcos also score high in stress prone and melancholy sores with 41.4 and 49.6 particularly in UAE Telco 2, accompanied with a low score of Cheerful trait of 56.3 compared to a 86.2 that of Saudi Telco 1! Saudi Telcos overall reflected active personality through their content, both website and social media, however, dropped back in openness and liberal traits with an average of 40.4 for Saudi telco 1.

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THE FINDINGS: Unrewarding Power

When it comes to behaviour drive analysis, Saudi telcos relatively showed more power drive than UAE’s counterparts, yet UAE telcos reflected high affiliation, achievement, and risk-aversion behaviour drives, especially in social media content. Nevertheless, all four telcos were shy on reward behaviour drive.


5Gs for 5G

The rapid increase in implementing and adopting the 5G technology promises a new era in connectivity especially in a region where everything is contributing to this particular development and progress. Yet, technological progress might not be enough for returns and growth if telcos insist on ignoring what they publish in their media outlets. Every word counts: that’s what psychology and psycholinguistics taught us. Therefore, Consult Upgrade suggest our own 5G blueprint to ensure language content is contributing and working for telcos and not against them:

  1. Govern your language: leaving less room for improvisation and impulsiveness
  2. Grow sense of reward and affiliation in your language
  3. Greet social change with change and adaptation in your content
  4. Guard your brand identity and image with carefully studied and thought-of content and language
  5. Get professionals to control, manipulate, and analyse your content to achieve your marketing and branding targets and objectives. Consult Upgrade is here to help and assist you in this regard by offering a wide range of content-related services and products ranging from analysis to production. Contact us here or via the form below to know more about how we can help you more.

Consult Upgrade provide an in-depth linguistic and psychological analysis by harnessing and decoding the language used whether in social media, website, newsletters, campaigns, or any other medium. We know that one of the keys to a healthy business, is an understanding how language works while manipulating it to yield and return profit, and to achieve your business targets.

For full report and data contact us at Consult Upgrade or if you would like to have insights on your market, brand, marketing campaigns or your clients. At Consult Upgrade, we help you by:
– Collecting critical data about your content, clients, market, competition, and brand
– Delivering analyses, recommendations, and training on how to improve your campaigns, content, and brand outlook
– Auditing, designing, and developing new content to help you achieve your goals and targets


Fruechtl, K., Blum, H., Rodd, A. (2021). How Telcos can recharge their relevance. (2021, April 29). Bain.

KNOEMA (2021), UN e-government development index – (2018, August 27). Knoema.

Consult Upgrade help you get similar insights on your content, your brand, your social media and client interaction. Simply contact us in the form below:

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