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Wed 26 Jun 2013 03:07 PM

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Fifth of UAE firms cut executive business travel - poll

New survey shows one in five have also cut back on daily expenses in the last six months

Fifth of UAE firms cut executive business travel - poll
Business class seats on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

A fifth of UAE companies have reduced executive business class travel and daily expenses during the last six months as a result of the financial crisis, according to the results of a survey by American Express Middle East.

The American Express Middle East Corporate Spending Survey, conducted by YouGov and which surveyed corporate expense managers in the UAE, found that, following the financial crisis, 70 percent of participants said their companies are now “more financially conservative”.

Some of the areas where corners were cut include executive travel and expenses. The research found 27 percent of UAE firms have reduced executive travel, a fifth have reduced business class travel and the same number (20 percent) have reduced daily allowances for executives.

However, only three percent of respondents said they had cut back on corporate hospitality during the last six months, indicating the continued importance of corporate hospitality in the UAE. 

As part of the cutbacks, the research found 53 percent of participants said they have renegotiated contracts with suppliers in the last six months, 33 percent have introduced new corporate expense policies and 27 percent have reduced the number of expenses which can be billed back to the company.

“A clear consequence of the financial crisis is that companies in the UAE have become much shrewder and more informed when it comes to controllable expenses,” said Mazin Khoury, CEO of American Express Middle East.

“It is not so much that companies are solely focused on reducing their costs, rather, their overriding objective post the crisis appears to be a desire to extract the maximum value out of every dirham they spend.”

Looking to the future, 47 percent of UAE participants said they expected expenditure to increase this year.

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