More than three in four companies in Dubai expect Expo 2020 to benefit their business in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to a survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Business confidence in the emirate reached its third-highest level in 10 years as companies begin to feel the positive impact of the world's fair that began on October 1, the Business Leaders’ Outlook for Q4 2021 survey said.
Seventy-six per cent of businesses surveyed expect improved business confidence in the fourth quarter this year, the survey found. About 66 per cent were optimistic about the business environment in the third quarter, up from 48 per cent in the second quarter.
In addition, 83 per cent of business leaders expect an improvement in business conditions in the fourth quarter, compared with 66 per cent in the third quarter and 51 per cent in the second quarter, according to the Chamber.
“The findings reflect growing optimism within the local business community and promising economic prospects being created by Expo 2020 Dubai,” Hamad Buamim, president and chief executive of Dubai Chamber, said on Sunday.
“Increased government support for the private sector, success in overcoming Covid-19 related challenges, new business incentives, easing travel restrictions and higher oil prices are among the other key factors that contributed to the positive outlook.”
Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy improved at its quickest pace in a year as demand rebounded and businesses recorded an increase in new orders in July. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index reading rose to 53.2 in July from 51 in June. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while anything below points to a contraction.
Widespread testing and high vaccination rates have helped to boost business confidence in the UAE as its economy continues to recover from the coronavirus-induced slowdown.
The International Monetary Fund forecast the UAE’s economy to grow 3.1 per cent this year. That is higher than the Central Bank of the UAE’s estimate, which projected that the Arab world’s second-largest economy will expand 2.1 per cent this year and 4.2 per cent in next year.
Dubai’s economy is also forecast to expand 3.1 per cent this year, helped by effective policy measures that minimised the impact of Covid-19, according to latest government projections. The emirate’s gross domestic product is expected to expand 3.4 per cent in 2022.
Business leaders polled for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's survey identified global supply chain restrictions and a rise in commodity prices as key challenges.
Trade, tourism, hospitality and logistics are the sectors expected to record the most business activity during Expo 2020, Mr Buamim said.
Expo 2020 Dubai should create “far-reaching benefits that will reach other market segments as well and drive the emirate’s sustainable growth and economic progress”, he said.