Coronavirus: more residents tune in to the radio to pass time at home

Capital Radio UAE has clocked 30 per cent more listeners since the pandemic began

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A: Photo Project. Artist Maitha Demithan has her work show all over Dubai to encourage people to stay at home. Thursday, April 15th, 2020. Internet City on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Listener figures at a UAE radio station have rocketed as residents look for ways to pass time at home.

Capital Radio UAE is clocking more than 555,000 listeners each day, peaking at 581,000 on Sundays during the Everything UAE segment, according to Nielsen , which monitors radio audience numbers.

That represents a like-for-like increase of almost 30 per cent from the previous quarter.

Radio stations across the world have also reported rises in listeners since more people started working from home to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Radiocentre, an industry body for commercial radio in Britain, said both local and national stations reported increases of between 15 per cent and 75 per cent in daily listeners in the second half of March.

“Music is a great companion and plays a vital part in everyone’s everyday life,” said Roger Paine, Capital Radio UAE’s director of programming.

“We all enjoy a bit of nostalgia and some feel-good music to serve as a welcome distraction and to lift spirits in these testing times. Music transcends cultures and barriers and, with the UAE enjoying such a cosmopolitan and diverse population, there is something for everyone on Capital.”

Capital Radio UAE station, which relaunched in September 2018, plays songs from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and today.

Keren Bobker, who is a columnist for The National, hosts the Everything UAE show, which discusses issues residents encounter living here. Its broadcasts on issues related to Covid-19 on March 22 and March 29 were each downloaded more than 56,000 times, which was a record for the show.