Dubai Skyline
The jobs are coming back - more orders and customer footfalls have Dubai's retail and hospitality sectors start re-hiring in a big way. Construction too is seeing more jobs. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The private sector in Dubai is back to hiring – in fact, new job creation during July was at its fastest since November 2019. All of the key categories driving the Dubai economy – retail and wholesale, construction and hospitality are back to hiring, possibly with an eye on expected increase in activity with the Expo set to open shortly.

“Growth in the Dubai non-oil economy re-accelerated in July, helped by a rise in customer numbers that boosted sales in the travel and tourism and wholesale and retail sectors,” said David Owen, Economist at IHS Markit, the global research firm that tracking spending patterns by the private sector. “This was also a key driver of employment as firms frequently mentioned hiring sales staff.”

This should set up businesses nicely for the October to April Expo months. Businesses were citing additions to sales teams in “response to rising customer footfall”, something that the retail sector has been pointing to in these last two months.

According to Owen, "Businesses will be hoping to build on the economic recovery throughout the rest of the year. At 53.2 in July, the headline PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) was at its second-highest in 20 months, to offer further reassurance that the economy is heading in the right direction.” (Any PMI reading over 50 shows the economy is in relative expansion mode.)

  1. Dubai businesses recorded "increasing pressure" on their capacity during July as levels of outstanding work rose to the greatest extent for more than two years, according to IHS Markit.
  2. Delays to input shipments and shortages of key items meant companies faced a rise in input prices in July. The overall rate of inflation was modest, though..

Output gains

July’s improved business activity came after two months of declines; not just that, this was the “joint-strongest” showing in a year, according to IHS. With more destinations and flights opening, the travel and tourism firms had the most marked improvement in output.

Businesses are taking note of the improved sentiments – “Those providing an optimistic outlook for the coming year mostly commented on hopes of an economic recovery due to the vaccine programme and demand related to Expo 2020,” the report notes. “However, the uncertain path of the pandemic and the impact of supply side problems dampened growth prospects.”