Dubai attracts $4.3bn in foreign direct investment in first nine months of 2021

The UK, France and the US are among top source countries for FDI

Dubai’s new FDI milestones underscore Dubai’s position as one of the world’s safest and most stable investment destinations. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Dubai attracted Dh15.9 billion ($4.3bn) in foreign direct investment from 378 projects in the first nine months of 2021 as the emirate’s economy continued to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dubai has continued to introduce and implement initiatives that improve business confidence,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the emirate's Executive Council said.

“Global investors have placed their faith in Dubai’s business ecosystem, making it among the most attractive FDI locations in the world. Initiatives such as full foreign ownership, an evolving visa administration and the alignment of the work week with global markets demonstrate Dubai and the UAE’s responsiveness to business needs.”

FDI reinvestment projects accounted for 11 per cent of the total FDI projects in the emirate, while job creation due to FDI surged 36 per cent during the first nine months of 2021 to 16,430 new jobs, according to data from the “Dubai FDI Monitor” released by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), which is part of the emirate’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

The total number of FDI projects increased by 16 per cent to 378 during the period. As much as 58 per cent of the inbound FDI is in strategic sectors and 52 per cent is in greenfield projects. High and medium technology investments comprised 64 per cent of inbound FDI capital, an increase of 2 per cent over the same period in the previous year, according to the data.

The UK, France and the US are among the top FDI source countries followed by Saudi Arabia and India, the data shows.

The five countries together accounted for 72 per cent of the total capital inflow into Dubai. In terms of the number of FDI projects, the UK ranked first with 20 per cent, followed by the US with 19 per cent.

“Dubai’s strategic sectors are well positioned to receive global investor participation and provide the foundation of economic recovery and growth,” said Helal Al Marri, director general of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai.

“We are committed to pursuing policies that effectively sustain a growth-oriented business environment.”

The ‘FDI Global Cities of the Future 2021/2022’ report published by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times, ranked Dubai third among the top global FDI locations of the future in 2021. Dubai was also ranked second globally in the Major Cities for FDI subcategory as well as in Economic Potential and Business-friendly Environment, with third position in the Connectivity subcategory.

“At Dubai FDI, we have continued to support existing and potential investors in their journey throughout the pandemic period,” Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive of Dubai FDI said. “The Expo 2020 Dubai has proven to be an excellent platform for attracting global business, ensuring that economic growth gathers momentum.”

Business conditions in Dubai's non-oil private sector economy were at their strongest level in two-and-a-half years in December, driven by a sharp increase in new orders amid an Expo 2020 Dubai demand boost and an improvement in the tourism sector.

The emirate's seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index reading climbed to 55.3 in December, from 54.5 in November, signalling a sharp improvement in operating conditions as the non-oil economy continued to recover.

Property deals also surged in the emirate amid economic recovery. Dubai registered 84,196 property transactions worth Dh300bn last year, which is the highest annual value recorded in the emirate’s history, the Dubai Land Department said.

Updated: January 31, 2022, 6:55 AM