Entrepreneurs and business professionals in Dubai are optimistic about the emirate’s improving business outlook, according to the findings of a new survey by the Department of Economic Development (DED).
The inaugural business survey, conducted among 500 on-shore and free zone companies in the emirate during the second quarter of 2011, looked at overall business performance and future outlook based on key indicators such as sales, revenues, wholesale and retail prices, volumes, profits, and number of employees. It said that sales revenues were stable in the second quarter compared with the first, while, looking ahead, increased optimism, recruitment, and expansion plans dominated the picture.
While employment trends were stable from Q1 to Q2, services and manufacturing firms said they expected to increase their staff in Q3, while trading companies indicated that they intended to maintain the same level of employment as the first quarter. Overall, firms are planning to increase their workforce, the DED survey added.
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said: “The perceptions of the business community provide the most realistic assessment of the prevailing business outlook and climate, helping us to tailor our strategy roadmap for continued growth. Dubai’s status as a competitive business hub is set to grow stronger judging by the positive findings of the inaugural quarterly business survey.”
DED launched the quarterly survey series with the objective of preparing a snapshot of Dubai’s current economic activity and outlook of businesses in the Emirate.
Led by the leading global consultancy firm Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) the survey adopted a scientific sampling approach ensuring adequate representation of small, medium, and large enterprises across the manufacturing, trading, and services sectors, while also capturing the perceptions of exporting firms in Dubai.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and export oriented firms recorded stability in sales revenue in the current quarter, the survey showed. Forty-three percent of companies said they expected an increase in sales performance over the next quarter while another 26 percent anticipating constant sales. Though prices are expected to remain stable, optimism in sales performance was driven by the expectation of higher volumes signaling a rise in the level of real economic activity in Q3 compared with Q2. Manufacturing and trading firms were the most optimistic in the growth of their order books, according to the survey.
Service-oriented firms were more upbeat about their future profits than those operating in the manufacturing and trade, it added. Businesses in Dubai were also optimistic about their capital investment plans over the next 12 months with around 55 percent of firms planning to upgrade their technology and 61 percent set to expand capacity in the next year.