Complex Made Simple

UAE firms feel summer heat as business activity edges down: Survey

Meanwhile, a report suggests that the country’s economy is continuing to witness a slowdown this year

The heat of the scorching sun has given a tough time to companies in the UAE. A new survey has revealed that 93 per cent of finance leaders admit the summer months had a negative impact on their business.

The survey, commissioned by Robert Half, a specialised staffing and consulting firm, has found that the largest impact on the business was due to annual leave (46 per cent), ‘less managerial direction’ for teams with senior leaders absent (27 per cent) and lost productivity (19 per cent).

Among the respondents, more than 35 per cent said that business activity tends to slow down during summer, while another 13 per cent said their employees are not too motivated to work during the hot months.

Meanwhile, seven per cent of senior finance executives polled for the study had a different opinion – they said the summer months would have no impact.

“The summer months often result in a slowdown of commercial activity for many UAE businesses.  This is a good opportunity for employers to encourage their workers to take their annual leave. By preparing for the slowdown of activity and employees taking annual leave, businesses can optimise the use of resources and focus on completing unfinished projects,” says Gareth El Mettouri, UAE Associate Director of Robert Half.

“Encouraging your employees to take advantage of the summer months to relax and recharge will see them return to work higher morale and increased productivity,” adds El Mettouri.

Meanwhile, a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research suggests that the country’s economy is continuing to witness a slowdown this year with a less pronounced cycle than in 2008.

High-frequency indicators suggest that economic activity has started to show signs of weakness, though at a pace broadly consistent with a soft landing so far this year. The breakdown of growth drivers in recently released national accounts data suggests that economic activity is likely to face headwinds going forward due to a confluence of low oil prices, a less favourable external backdrop and gradually tightening domestic liquidity, the report states.

However, it says that several cushions like adequate banking sector capital and liquidity and lower-build-up of debt are likely to mitigate vulnerabilities. The domestic banking sector which has enough capital and liquidity buffers to withstand adverse shocks and the exposure to foreign bank funding has moderated.