B2B payment practices trend, United Arab Emirates 2023

Payment Practices Barometer

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Agriculture,
  • Food,
  • Chemicals/Pharma

25th October 2023

Financial challenges facing companies polled in the United Arab Emirates are highlighted by bad debts affecting 11% of all B2B invoiced sales.

The 2023 Payment Practices Barometer survey for the United Arab Emirates was conducted between the end of Q2 and the beginning of Q3 2023, and findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.

Key takeaways from the report for the United Arab  Emirates 

Businesses face cash flow challenge amid rise in B2B trade credit risk

  • Another indicator of cashflow issues was a substantial 75% surge in the number of businesses polled, particularly in the chemicals and transport sectors, who reported waiting more than 90 days to collect payments. The average Days-Sales-Outstanding (DSO) among companies polled in the United Arab Emirates now stands at more than 100 days.
  • This deterioration of DSO prompted businesses in the United Arab Emirates to implement a range of measures to mitigate liquidity shortage risk. The agri-food sector opted mostly for delaying payments to their own supplies, while many companies in the transport sector looked to short-term finance to bolster resilience.

Optimism prevails despite uncertainty for the year ahead

  • A widespread mood of optimism for the year ahead was reported among companies polled in the United Arab Emirates despite some uncertainties about the global economic
    landscape. Anxiety about the pressures of domestic and international competition was
    widespread, and especially reported in the chemicals sector. 
  • Another significant worry is uncertainty about the duration of the global economic downturn, a concern felt acutely by companies in the agri-food sector, which is a central commercial hub for regional food and agriculture supply in the Middle East. The chemicals sector also reported worry about a potential future scarcity of skilled staff and
    experienced managers.

The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. Its findings can give valuable insights into the current dynamics of corporate payment behaviour in B2B trade. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers. 

Interested in finding out more?

For a complete overview of the 2023 survey results for the United Arab Emirates, please download the full report available in the related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix to the regional report is also available for download in the section below.

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Related documents


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