Dubai companies not hiring despite stable economy

Employment declined in February after three months of almost no change, as 5 percent of firms reported lower headcount last month, the latest Dubai Economy Tracker Index report said. (AFP file photo)
Updated 11 March 2019
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Dubai companies not hiring despite stable economy

  • ‘The lack of job growth in Dubai over the last couple of years has weighed on private consumption’
  • The emirate’s wholesale and retail sector, in general, was a bright spot during the period

DUBAI: A stable Dubai economy has not translated into higher employment for private sector companies, with some even reporting lower headcount last month, the latest Dubai Economy Tracker Index shows.
“Employment declined in February after three months of almost no change, as 5 percent of firms reported lower headcount last month, compared with 1.8 percent of firms reporting new hires. The employment index fell to the lowest level since the series began in 2010,” Khatija Haque, head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD, said in a statement.
“The lack of job growth in Dubai over the last couple of years has weighed on private consumption, and likely contributed to the increased pressure on firms to cut prices in order to boost their sales and new work, which in turn has eroded margins and reduced firms’ willingness to hire more staff, perpetuating a negative cycle.”
Dubai’s non-oil private sector remained stable in February, with the Dubai Economy Tracker Index unchanged at 55.8, as stronger “output growth was offset by slightly softer growth in new work and a record decline in employment.”
The emirate’s wholesale and retail sector, in general, was a bright spot for during period as output and new orders rose expanded at their fastest rate since June 2018 due to further price discounting. Outlook for the sector also remained highly optimistic, with 80 percent of the surveyed companies expecting higher outputs 12 months onwards.
Dubai’s the travel and tourism sector also reported the fastest growth since May 2018, as both output and new work increased at a sharper rate last month. Companies however reported lower headcount in February, compared with the previous month, as their likely focus on improving efficiencies amid tighter competition meant lesser demand for staff.
Government tourism information indicates the supply of hotel rooms in Dubai rose nearly eight percent annually in 2018 but overall international visitors during the same year was almost unchanged at 15.92 million. The denser hotel market dented revenue per available room to 354 dirhams in 2018, from 383 dirhams the previous year.
Dubai’s construction sector index meanwhile was marginally higher at 54.0 in February, from 53.8 the previous month, with output driven by Expo 2020-relate projects scheduled for completion this year.


Owner of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank appoints chairman and CEO

Updated 21 April 2019
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Owner of Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank appoints chairman and CEO

  • Eraiqat is currently group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)
  • Eraiqat will serve as chairman at Al Hilal in addition to his current role at ADCB

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Islamic lender Al Hilal Bank said on Sunday its owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, had appointed Alaa Eraiqat as the bank's chairman.
Eraiqat is currently group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), which is expected to merge with Al Hilal Bank and Union National Bank (UNB) in the first half of 2019.
Eraiqat will serve as chairman at Al Hilal in addition to his current role at ADCB.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Council, a sovereign wealth fund which combined with Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala last year, also appointed Amr Saad Al Menhali as chief executive of Al Hilal Bank.