DUBAI: Business leaders in Dubai are more positive about their expectations of business conditions and business confidence in the third quarter of 2017, according to a new survey conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Business Leaders’ Outlook Survey revealed that 39 per cent of respondents expect to see business conditions improve in Q3-2017.. Around 43 per cent of surveyed business leaders expected no change in business conditions, while 18 per cent expected conditions to worsen over the same period. The survey revealed that 45 per cent of business leaders expected business confidence to strengthen in the third quarter of this year, compared to the 37 per cent who predicted no change and 18 per cent who expected confidence to weaken during the quarter.
Expectations for access to financing, manpower quality, and access to facilities and infrastructure all saw quarter-on-quarter improvements in Q3-2017. The easing of visa restrictions on Indian, Chinese and Russian tourists was seen by 57 per cent of respondents as having a positive impact on overall business confidence. The survey found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were more optimistic than large companies in their expectations about business confidence and business conditions in Dubai during Q3-2017. Around 49 per cent of SME respondents said they expected business conditions to improve in the third quarter of this year, compared to 25 per cent of large companies. In addition, 49 per cent of SMEs expected business confidence to strengthen in third quarter, compared to 38 per cent of respondents from large companies. Hamad Buamim, president & CEO of Dubai Chamber, said the latest Business Leaders’ Outlook Survey reflected a higher level of business confidence for the third quarter of 2017, especially when considering the high number of residents who travel abroad for summer holidays during this period.
He revealed that the growing confidence came in line with an increase in the number of new companies joining Dubai Chamber in the third quarter, which is an indicator of business activity in the emirate. Buamim described the survey as a useful tool to take the pulse of Dubai’s business community, gain valuable perspectives and insights, and gauge the future outlook for business leaders. “By measuring business confidence and evaluating business conditions in Dubai, the Chamber can more effectively represent the emirate’s private sector and protect its interests. It also helps us identify obstacles that can potentially hinder growth, as well as factors that can support the development of business in Dubai,” he added. Price competition, debt collection, payment defaults, and high employment costs were cited as the key limiting factors impacting businesses’ Q3-2017 operations, in addition to the high costs of capital, bank services, and raw materials. Surveyed business leaders identified high commercial rents and licensing fees, as key challenges for which government action is needed. They also called for more government support on regulatory matters such as settling late payments, while they also suggested the introduction of long-term residency visas to reduce the cost of doing business.