Stock Dubai skyline property economy
In the final weeks of 2022, retail, travel and tourism are where jobs are being added at a faster pace. Plus, there is the fintech and broader tech space where companies are adding to their skilled manpower. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Businesses in Dubai are recruiting at the fastest pace in 3 years, as key sectors report higher activity and orders coming through.

"Higher demand levels encouraged firms to raise their staff numbers in October," says the latest PMI data from S&P Global. "Several firms cited efforts to build their capacity as workloads rose."

What’s interesting is that the expanded hiring took place while the pace of growth had slackened just a bit. S&P Global economist David Owen notes that the growth dip was the first in 5 months, ‘but was still one of the strongest seen in the past three years, as firms saw new business volumes increase at a rapid pace. “Firms looked to boost labour capacity and prepare for higher workloads.”

Businesses were also helped by lowered material costs and on their transportation, for a second time in three months. This enabled a ‘solid reduction in output charges’.

For October, Dubai’s PMI was at 56, from 56.2 in September. But the score is well above the 50 median, which indicates that businesses are still making those capital deployment on new inventory, equipment, workforce additions, etc. (In August, the Dubai PMI had hit its highest post-pandemic number, at 57.9.)

"The slight downward movement in the PMI was driven by a fall in the 'output sub-index', which indicated a weaker, but still substantial expansion of business activity at the start of the fourth quarter," the S&P Global report adds.

Best since July 2019

The retail and wholesale category was the best-performing, and notching up its best showing since July 2019. November and December returns could be even higher, as the sector awaits the full lift from end-of-year sales promotions and the FIFA World Cup visitor inflows.

Dropping prices
With their cost of operations dropping, Dubai-based firms were cutting their selling prices at a 'solid and accelerated rate' in October," says S&P Global. "In fact, the level of discounting was the quickest seen for more than two years, with the wholesale and retail sector registering the sharpest decline."

Construction was the only sector that raised output charges.