Dubai’s economic upswing continued in April, with new data from the Department of Economic Development (DED) showing strong growth across a number of indices, including the number of new businesses registered during the month.
The DED issued 2,805 new trade licences to business start-ups in April, marking a 60% increase compared to the same period last year. The activity resulted in the creation of 8,375 new jobs in the emirate’s labour market. Among the new licences issued, 49% were professional, 48.1% commercial, 2.3% related to tourism, and 0.6% industry.
The release of the DLD data follows the publication of the latest UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which provides insight into business sentiment in the non-oil sector and currently stands at a 16-month high.
Emirates NBD’s highly-respected Dubai Economy Tracker Index rose to 57.6 in March from 55.8 in February, the highest reading since May 2018. According to the tracker, business activity in Dubai’s private sector increased at the sharpest rate in more than four years in March, with nearly 40% of firms surveyed reporting higher output compared with February.
Dubai’s travel and tourism sector reported its strongest growth in four years according to Emirates NBD and was “likely a key driver of the overall growth in activity in Dubai”.
“The main reason was a surge in output/ activity and new work last month, with both indices rising to a record high,” the bank said in an analyst’s note. “Encouragingly, firms were able to raise selling prices even as volumes rose, which indicates a strengthening in underlying demand.”
The bank was also confident Dubai’s economic growth would continue through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.
“We continue to believe that Dubai’s growth will accelerate this year, as projects are completed ahead of Expo 2020, and as the US dollar weakens now that US interest rates have likely peaked,” it said.