Around 39 per cent of businesses in Dubai are expected to increase their employee headcount in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 27 per cent in the corresponding period last year, a new survey has found.
According to the quarterly business confidence survey conducted by the Dubai Economic Development (DED) during Q4 2013, service and manufacturing firms were found to be more optimistic about hiring than trading companies.
The emirate’s business confidence was also on the rise as 63 per cent of respondents foresaw better economic conditions in Q1 2014 compared to 58 per cent in Q4 2013. Dubai’s business confidence index for the final quarter of 2013 rose to reach 144.3 points, up from 141.6 points in Q3 2013, DED said.
In Q1 2014, around 62 per cent of Dubai businesses also expected to see stronger net profits based on increasing demand and improved margins. Larger companies, though, were more confident about profits than the small and medium enterprises, the survey said.
Overall outlook on sales was positive with 97 per cent of the businesses expecting either an increase or no change in their sales volume in Q1 2014. Around 71 per cent also expected selling prices to remain stable, the survey added.
Architecture and property firms were buoyed by the emirates’ rebounding real estate sector and the influx of new projects, especially after Dubai’s successful Expo 2020 bid. Around 88 per cent of restaurants and hotels also expected to see stronger performance in the first quarter of 2014 on the back of strong tourist numbers.
Driven by a rise in demand from other major sectors, around 64 per cent of firms in the transportation sector also saw a rise in contracts this year, the survey said.
However, exporters in Dubai were less confident compared to the emirate’s overall business community due to lower optimism on selling prices.
Increasing competition from international firms, rising rental and leasing rates along with government fees and regulations topped the list of challenges faced by Dubai businesses, the DED said.