Dubai private sector growth hits five-year low amid ‘travel and tourism contraction’

Dubai’s private sector recorded its slowest growth in more than five years last month.

Expansion of business activity was at a 68-month low with a slowdown in the travel and tourism particularly prominent, according to the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker.

The October report, released this morning, added that output and new orders both expanded at or close to multi-year lows, while private sector firms raised their staff numbers at the weakest rate in nearly four years.

“Activity growth in Dubai slowed sharply in October, with the travel & tourism sector showing an outright contraction in output and employment,” said Khatija Haque, head of Mena Research at Emirates NBD. “However, we expect activity in this sector to recover as we head into the winter high-season. The construction sector survey data is encouraging as it signals relatively robust growth in new orders and output in October, despite heightened concerns about government spending in the face of sustained low oil prices.”

Business activity remained just above the neutral 50.0 value at 51.4, but this was significantly down on the 56.0 reading for September.

Last week it was revealed that growth in the UAE’s non-oil economy slowed to its lowest rate in 30 months, while growth in Saudi Arabia dipped to its lowest level since surveys began in 2009.

The UAE’s PMI score dipped to 54.0 in October, its lowest level since March 2013. In Saudi Arabia, the index dropped to 55.7, the lowest score recorded for the kingdom.

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