Picture used for illustrative purpose.
Dubai recorded exceptional inflows of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in 2020 with 455 projects worth Dhs24.7 billion, according to data from the Dubai FDI Monitor released by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy. An estimated 18,325 new jobs creation by inbound FDI in 2020, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor, which uses the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) methodology to track FDI data.
This performance places Dubai among the top global FDI locations in 2020, ranking first in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and fourth globally in attracting greenfield FDI capital,
according to the Financial Times’ fDi Markets, the leading global source of data on greenfield FDI.
The 455 FDI projects implemented in Dubai in 2020 exceed the annual average of 441 over the past five years, reaffirming Dubai’s strong FDI location fundamentals as well as its economic resilience, sectoral diversity, and FDI future-readiness.
Dubai continued to lead regional and global FDI locations in facilitating global business growth and expansion, ranking first in the MENA region and third globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects, according to fDi Markets. Dubai also achieved a record global market share in greenfield FDI projects, attracting 2.1% of all such projects in 2020, exceeding the 2% mark for the first time.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said: “Dubai’s regional leadership and global prominence in FDI attraction and future economic opportunities for global businesses and startups are the result of the great vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that laid solid foundations for Dubai’s emergence as a smart and sustainable city of the future, the main gateway to regional growth markets, and a pivotal hub in the global economy.’’
Sheikh Hamdan added: “Dubai’s sustained FDI flows and its leading position in regional and global rankings as a major FDI destination in 2020, reflect the continued attractiveness of Dubai’s investment environment and the confidence of the investor community in Dubai’s future economic potential. Dubai’s success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and starting the recovery phase in record time is a testament to our commitment to provide the best investment environment in the world and transform global challenges into new opportunities for growth, driven by technology and innovation, and powered by Emirati and global talent, making Dubai the best place in the world to work, live, and invest.’’
Dubai’s outstanding FDI performance in 2020 was achieved in the face of extremely challenging global investment circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. According to the Global Investment Trends Monitor published in January 2021 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), global FDI “collapsed” in 2020, falling 42% from Dhs5.5 trillion in 2019 to an estimated Dhs3.15 trillion.
The UNCTAD report goes on to say that “the effects of the pandemic on investment will linger and investors are likely to remain cautious in committing capital to new overseas productive assets.”
Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Dubai Economy, said: “Through the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, Dubai’s economy has continued to demonstrate high levels of resilience, diversity, and speed of adapting to changes, supported by its world-class infrastructure, legislation, and ease of doing business.’’
Highlighting Dubai’s achievements in regional and global rankings as a leading FDI Global City of the Future in 2021/2022, His Excellency added: “Dubai has become a pivotal hub in the global economy, offering growth and expansion opportunities for investors across strategic and future-oriented sectors in financial services, logistics, hospitality and trade as well as leading Industry 4.0 technologies, accelerating digital transformation across all sectors, industries, and smart city services in Dubai. We look forward to supporting this success, growth, and expansion as we move to a new phase of sustainable economic growth and future opportunities, inspired by our leadership’s vision and enabled by strategic plans and government initiatives, as we get ready to host Expo 2020 Dubai and share new opportunities arising from the 2040 Urban Plan.”
The “FDI Global Cities of the Future 2021/2022” report published by fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times, in February 2021 ranks Dubai third among the top global FDI locations. Dubai is also ranked second globally in the ‘Major Cities for FDI’ subcategory as well as in ‘Economic Potential and Business-friendly Environment’. Dubai is third in the ‘Connectivity’ subcategory. These achievements highlight and further strengthen Dubai’s future-readiness and are a key indicator for future investor confidence.