Dubai's business leaders are confident conditions will improve in Q3 2021 ahead of Expo

A Dubai Chamber survey found that 66% of respondents expect to see better business conditions during the quarter

A general view of the Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 12, 2021.

A general view of the Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 12, 2021.

REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Business environment in Dubai is expected to see positive momentum in the third quarter of 2021 as confidence among companies and investors improves ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai, a survey from Dubai Chamber revealed. 

A survery titled 'The Business Leaders’ Outlook for Q3-2021', found that 66 percent of respondents expect to see better business conditions during the quarter, compared to 51 percent who said the same in the previous quarter.

At the same time, 66 percent of business leaders surveyed were more optimistic about the business environment, compared to 48 percent in the second quarter. The results marked the highest readings of the survey since the last quarter of 2014.

Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber noted that Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to fast track Dubai’s economic recovery and boost the emirate’s appeal among foreign companies and investors. 

Dubai expects that the international event which will run from October to March will foster its economy, as it would help attract visitors and boost its travel and tourism sector.

Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai are hoping for up to 25 million total physical visits between October and March 2022. Flight restrictions, such as those on arrivals from India, could also be lifted by the time the event starts.

Business Optimism

Around 57 percent of business leaders said they expect a recovery in oil prices to positively affect the business environment in the third quarter, while 62 percent of business leaders said global restrictions on trade and travel would be a risk impacting business conditions in the emirate. 

Factors such as the pro-active approach of government, growing domestic demand, economic stimulus initiatives and progress of vaccination drive have been attributed as key factors behind positive attitudes among business leaders.

Dubai has had one of the world's fastest vaccination campaigns. However, daily coronavirus cases have remained close to 2,000. According to a tweet from the emirate's health ministry on July 3, around 73.8 percent of the UAE's population has received one vaccine dose while 63.7 percent are fully vaccinated.

SMEs were more optimistic about Dubai’s economy in the short term compared to large companies serving regional and global markets, according to the survey.

Debt collection, late payments, strong competition in prices and the high cost of raw materials were identified as key challenges and risks by survey respondents as factors that could potentially impact the economic situation.

Dubai’s non-oil economy weakened further in June as weaker sales growth and supply shortages constrained the sector's recovery, according to a survey published by IHS Markit on Sunday. However, the survey also found that businesses remain optimistic.

"Business activity in the Dubai non-oil sector was hindered by weaker sales growth and raw material shortages in June, with the rate of growth slowing to a seven-month low. Both the Construction and Travel & Tourism sectors saw a reduction in sales, with restrictions on travel often mentioned as a drag on the economic recovery,” said David Owen, economist at IHS Markit.

The survey also showed that businesses were more optimistic regarding future output.

The degree of optimism for the next 12 months was the second strongest since last September.

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)


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