Signalling growing investor confidence in Dubai, new business licenses issued in the emirate during the first four months of 2019 increased 35 per cent compared to the same period of 2018 according to a report issued by the Department of Economic Development.
DED issued 9,489 new licences during January-April 2019 as Dubai continued to accelerate in line with the emirate’s strategic plan to evolve into a sustainable economy driven by productivity and innovation.
The Business Confidence Index in Dubai also climbed to 117.8 points in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 116.4 points during the same period of 2018, according to a DED survey.
Companies participating in the survey said they anticipated higher profits and selling prices in the second quarter of 2019, largely due to seasonal demand.
The manufacturing sector was the most optimistic on volumes, profits and employment and overall, larger companies have stronger expectations for quarter two of 2019 compared to small and medium enterprises.
Data from the Dubai FDI Monitor of the Dubai Investment and Development Agency in DED indicated a total FDI inflow of AED 22.2 billion into Dubai as of the end of the first quarter of 2019 compared to AED 7.3 billion during the same period of 2018.
A framework for a Foreign Direct Investment Committee is being developed and DED, as a participant in the exercise, is developing a guide to implementing the new investment law, which will increase foreign ownership to 100 per cent in specific sectors and fields to attract inward FDI.
Tourism in Dubai is another key sector that has continued to grow with a 2.2 per cent increase seen in arrivals during quarter one of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
The average occupancy rate of Dubai hotel rooms increased to 79 per cent compared to 77 per cent between quarter one of 2019 and quarter one of 2018 reflecting the vitality of the sector, which is expected to witness significant growth as the Expo 2020 draws closer.
A host of initiatives being implemented as part of the stimulus package of the Government of Dubai since the second quarter of 2018 have contributed to reducing the cost of doing business in sectors such as aviation, real estate and education, which in turn continues to spur investments and growth.
Dubai is estimated to grow 2.1 per cent in 2019 and 3.8 per cent in 2020 driven by the Expo 2020, which will add significant value to the economy in Dubai and the UAE with direct benefits to the tourism, telecommunications, business, financial services, transportation, real estate and retail sectors.