Hiring up as Dubai’s private sector firms report improved outlook

The launch of new projects and a recovery in spending has boosted business confidence



Private sector firms in Dubai recorded a rebound in the market last month as business conditions improved in the emirate, the latest monthly tracker from Emirates NBD found.

The seasonally adjusted index rose to 52.5 in March, up from 48.9 in February. A reading of above 50 indicates that the non-oil private sector economy is generally expanding.

The latest reading also pointed to the fastest improvement in business conditions since November 2015.

It reflects renewed output and new order growth along with a slight acceleration in staff hiring, the report stated.

Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD Khatija Haque said: “The Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker survey for March suggests that after a slow and uncertain start to 2016, activity appears to have picked up at the end of Q1.

“Output and new order growth across key sectors were solid in March and firms were more optimistic about prospects for the coming year.”

Anecdotal evidence suggested that more favourable economic conditions, the launch of new projects and a recovery in clients’ willingness to spend had all contributed to the rebound in overall business activity.

Job creation was maintained across the private sector in March, the report stated.

Although still subdued when compared to the long-run survey average, the latest upturn in employment numbers was the fastest since November 2015.

Read: UAE employment outlook: New jobs being created, pay hikes drop

Meanwhile a number of firms also cited stronger than expected sales wins, supported by successful marketing and promotional strategies.

Survey respondents were also much more upbeat about the business outlook for the year ahead. Around one-third anticipated an upturn in business activity, while only 4 per cent forecast a drop.

In terms of sectors, travel and tourism was the strongest performing category, followed by wholesale and retail and construction.