Dubai plans surveys to track economic activity

DUBAI : The Department of Economic Development (DED) plans regular business surveys to track the level of economic activity in the previous and upcoming quarters in Dubai, a top executive of the department said. “These surveys will help decision makers to develop strategies and policies including near term economic forecasts for their research, business or investment purposes,” Dr Ashraf Mahate, who is designing and conducting the surveys, told Khaleej Times in an interview.Six types of surveys are being conducted which include Exporter Confidence Survey; SME Sentiment Survey; Retail Trends Survey; Construction and Real Estate Confidence Survey; Industrial Production Survey and the Survey of Purchasing and Supply Chain Managers, according to Mahate.He said these would complement the existing data collected by various governmental bodies along with the outlooks by companies. Surveys also seek to create a platform to understand and analyze the changes that have taken place or are due to happen in the business sector, he added. “This is one of the six surveys and what we are really looking to do is to find out the sentiment of business community. It gives real time data to decision makers,” Mahate said.It was carried out from August 8 to September 8 and next will start from November 8 to finish it in December and the result will be made available next year, according to Mahate.

“We want to publish these quarterly surveys on regular basis and work has already started on other surveys,” he said. Exporter survey will be followed by SME sentiment survey, he said, adding: “We already got responses for this survey and going to publish in due course of time.” This is the first time such exporter survey was carried out in the country, but these types of surveys are quite common in other countries.“We chose both exporters from mainland and free zones, so we have both the companies in the exporter survey,” he said, adding: “The criteria was the company either registered in Dubai or has an operating unit in the emirate.” “We understand the experiences of small companies are different from the experiences of large companies, so we divided companies into four categories such as micro, small, medium and large firms,” he said.

Companies with less than 20 employees come under micro category, 21-100 employees small, 101-250 staff members medium and companies with more than 251 employees were large companies. Mahate said more than 98.5 per cent companies in Dubai defined either small or medium.” “The survey result shows exporters are very bullish about their future, future exports and international opportunities available for them – Dailymailnews