Dubai retains position as world’s top destination for FDI projects in H1 2022

November 1, 2022 at 1:13 PM

Dubai consolidated its status as the world’s leading foreign direct investment (FDI) hub, retaining its first rank globally for attracting FDI projects during H1 2022. 

Data published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) show in a record first-half achievement for the emirate, Dubai attracted 492 FDI projects during the first six months of 2022, an 80.2% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the UAE Government, Dubai also ranked first globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects during the same period this year, as per the Financial Times Ltd’s ‘fDi Markets,’ the most comprehensive online database on cross-border greenfield investments. 

Greenfield projects accounted for a 56% share of Dubai’s FDI projects during the period, according to the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), a DET entity, using data from its Dubai FDI Monitor. Dubai witnessed FDI inflows of AED13.72 billion ($3.73 billion) in H1 2022, reflecting a growth of 14.6% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, FDI investments and projects generated 15,164 new jobs in H1 2022, a 33.5% year-on-year growth compared to H1 2021. Dubai retained its top rank in FDI-related employment among countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Underlining its focus on retaining investments and investor confidence, Dubai ranked fourth globally in reinvestment FDI projects, 10th globally in reinvestment FDI capital inflows, and eighth in terms of jobs created by reinvestment projects.

Dubai ranked first globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects in 2021, with 418 greenfield FDI projects, and the latest numbers vindicate its business-friendly initiatives and policies. Investor confidence in the emirate remains high, reflecting its economic stability and bright growth prospects.

Types of foreign investments

The growth in FDI inflows places Dubai in an advanced global position across key metrics. Dubai attracted FDI projects and capital of all kinds, including greenfield projects, reinvestments, mergers and acquisition projects, and new investment forms.

While 56% of the FDI projects that came into Dubai in H1 2022 were greenfield projects, 29% belonged to the category of new forms of investment, 6% were VC-Backed FDI projects, 5% were mergers and acquisition (M&A) projects, 3% were reinvestment, and 1%, joint ventures.

Data from the ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ also showed that medium and high-tech projects accounted for 62% of the total FDI projects in the first half of 2022, while 38% were low-tech investment projects. The emphasis on technology indicates Dubai’s success in attracting global talent and capital into its transition as a digital economy.

Recently, the ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ received a special mention from the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) as the best global practice in tracking and monitoring investments.

Top source markets and sectors

The United Kingdom (36%), the United States (20%), France (10%), Singapore (5%), and Switzerland (4%) were the top source countries for FDI capital in Dubai during the first half of 2022. In terms of FDI projects, the top five source markets were the US (18%), the UK (15%), India (13%), and Singapore and France (4% each).

The five most prominent sectors in terms of FDI capital inflows to Dubai in the first half of 2022 were Speciality Trade Contractors (28%), the Non-Residential Building Construction sector (12%), Accommodation and Food Services (12%), Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services (6%), and Electric Power Generation (4%). The Wholesale and Retail Trade sector and the Accommodation and Food Services sector topped the list with 11% each in terms of the number of FDI projects, followed by the Computer Systems Design and Related Services sectors, Software Publishing, and Administrative and Support Services, with 7% each.

The ‘fDi Markets’ ranking testifies to Dubai’s success in achieving global leadership in many sub-sectors of FDI. The emirate ranked first in the world in terms of the number of projects in the Creative Industry and the number of FDI projects in Business Services, Financial Services, Transportation and Warehousing, Industrial Equipment, and Sales, Marketing, and Support sectors. (NewsWire)