The United Arab Emirates (UAE) business community has been identified as the third most confident business community in the world, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), a quarterly survey of more than 3,000 businesses in 44 countries.

88% of UAE based businesses highlighted that they have an optimistic outlook for the economy over the next 12 months, with figures showing greater optimism than the UK and USA. 48% of businesses expect to hire employees which indicated double rate growth than that of the global average (24%) and expectations for increasing profits are up from 60% to 72% over the past three months further highlighting positive results for the  future economic outlook.

Hisham Farouk, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton UAE said “The latest IBR results validate the economic outlook for the UAE which continues to grow from strength to strength, the UAE is driving closer towards becoming recognized as the MENA business hub”.

The two areas of concern which UAE businesses do need to address is the lack of skilled workforce and Information Communication Technology (ICT).  The lack of skilled workforce was identified as a key growth constraint by 34% of businesses surveyed, which is above the global average at 26%.   Information Communication Technology (ICT) was also identified by 58% of UAE businesses as being a major constraint on growth.