Nearly 59% of businesses based in Dubai are optimistic about growth prospects in the first quarter of 2019, a new study by Department of Economic Development (DED) showed.
The number of businesses which were optimistic regarding economic prospects also grew. In 2018, just 41% said they expected economic growth while 34% said that they expected the economy to be stable.
However, companies have also cited increased competition and payment delays as primary challenges marring their horizons. About 46% of respondents cited competition as a challenge while 34% felt payment delays hindered growth.
The final quarter of 2018 also saw the composite business confidence index improve both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, the study found.
The companies within the manufacturing sector proved to be most confident among all business polled with 52% of them planning to add capacity, compared to 47% of trading firms and 45% of service businesses.
Many businesses within the manufacturing sector are also planning technology upgrades, compared to 35% of services businesses and 27% of trading firms.
The survey also coincides with the launch of Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index that keeps track of the emirate’s non-oil growth. The tracker indicated that growth has picked up in Dubai’s non-oil private sector in the month of January while firms showed the highest level of optimism since 2012.