Dubai stock market hits 8-year high, outlook bright

The DFM benchmark surpassed the 4,000 level on July 14

The local market gained nearly 25 per cent since January 2023. — KT file

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 20 Jul 2023, 8:08 PM

The Dubai stock market hit an eight-year high on Thursday, driven by the strong performance of consumer-related and real estate stocks, expectations of new listings as well as strong economic outlook despite challenges to the global economy.

Analysts projected that the market would continue to perform strongly going forward on the back of high oil prices, growth in the Chinese economy and new public and private initial public offerings (IPOs) that are likely to be floated in the coming months.

The local market gained nearly 25 per cent since January 2023, surpassing the S&P 500 index and the MSCI All Country World Index, which increased by around 20 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.


The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) surpassed the 4,000 level on July 14, 2023 – its highest closing since December 2015. It reached a peak of 4,022 on Tuesday before the local market witnessed some profit-taking, pushing the index down to 3,986.36 at the close of the markets on Thursday. The markets will be closed on Friday to mark the beginning of the Islamic New Year.

Ahmed Negm, head of market research Mena at, said the Dubai stock market could stabilise after recording some price corrections while strong local fundamentals could help the main index return to the upside. “Traders could, however, remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting in the middle of next week,” he said.

Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer, Century Financial, said the recent rally was driven by a strong macroeconomic outlook stemming from the uptick in real estate and tourism activity.

“New listings, particularly those of government and semi-government entities as well as private family-owned businesses going public, propelled overall momentum in the markets. As a result, the UAE recorded $3 billion listing proceeds in Q1 2023 – the third highest in the world,” he said.

Quoting sources, Reuters on Thursday reported that the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of Dubai Taxi Corporation in December-January and has asked investment banks to pitch the roles.

Valecha added that the market capitalisation surged to Dh566.4 billion as 80 per cent of the companies generated a positive share price performance this year. The DFMGI is trading at a P/E multiple of 9.7x on a trailing basis and 9.3 times the estimated earnings of its members for the coming year.

Among the sub-indices, consumer-related stocks were the top performers followed by real estate, industrial sector, financial and utilities.

The credit rating upgrade of the largest property developer Emaar by the world’s top three rating agencies Fitch, Moody's, and S&P Global also improved investor sentiment.

Valecha painted a strong outlook for the Dubai market, saying “strong revival in travel and tourism will continue lending support to GDP growth by also propelling an expansion in other associated service sectors such as real estate. Moving forward, even the oil markets are expected to tighten further as supply declines.”

The investor sentiment has also received a big boost from the strong growth in the local economy which is projected to grow 3.9 per cent this year, higher than the global average, as per the UAE Central Bank estimates.

“Russian crude shipments are already easing and the Opec+ is not increasing output any time soon. China is mulling over a support package to stimulate its economy. This bodes well for countries like the UAE which generate substantial oil revenues. Non-oil economic growth is also projected to increase due to the region’s economic diversification initiatives. Thus, the UAE’s stock market outlook, particularly that of the DFM, remains optimistic over the foreseeable future,” said Century Financial's chief investment officer.

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 20 Jul 2023, 8:08 PM

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