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Dubai private sector improves in November: Survey

Construction remains the best performing sector, followed by wholesale and retail

Dubai’s private sector witnessed a modest rebound last month after hitting a 68-month low in October, according to a new survey conducted jointly by Emirates NBD and Markit.

The Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker released today (December 13) shows that the construction sector saw the fastest rise in business activity on the back of an increase in output. The wholesale and retail sectors also recovered in November from the weakest growth recorded in the previous month.

Travel and tourism companies, which experienced a slight decline in October, also bounced back last month.

“The improvement in operating conditions in Dubai in November, as reflected in the rise in the Dubai Economy Tracker Index, is encouraging.  Activity in the travel and tourism sector has improved as we head into the ‘high season’ for hospitality and we expect this trend to continue into Q1 2016.  The strong growth in output and new work in the construction sector support our view that investment in infrastructure will continue to contribute to growth in Dubai’s economy, despite sharply lower oil prices,” says Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD.

The survey reveals that even though business confidence regarding the outlook for the year ahead remained positive in November, the degree of optimism slipped to its lowest since this index began in early 2012.

While survey respondents commented on expectations that market conditions will improve over the next 12 months, in particular helped by projects related to Expo 2020, some also suggested that softer global economic conditions could act as a drag on growth momentum, the survey states.

A survey of the UAE by the two companies last week showed the country’s non-oil private sector regained some of the growth momentum after plunging to a two-and-a-half year low during October.

However, it said the rate of growth last month remained much slower than that seen earlier this year and throughout 2014.