How foreign direct investments are strengthening Dubai’s economy
By: Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers
Here, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, explores global trends in foreign direct investments (FDI) and highlights Dubai’s role as an international FDI leader.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) projects are key to Dubai’s economic ambitions. These cross-border investments fuel growth through capital accumulation, create valuable jobs, increase productivity, and enable access to cutting-edge emerging technologies.
Across the world, Dubai is seen as an ideal location for FDI projects, and these flourishing enterprises are now supporting homegrown talent and attracting new workers into the emirate. At Dubai Chambers, we are building on this success by securing even more FDI projects and catalysing a dynamic investment environment across the emirate.
The global FDI landscape
Over the past few years, global FDI has been heavily impacted by uncertainty across markets and fragmented global trade. Geopolitical disruptions and high food and energy prices have also made sustaining FDI a real challenge for many countries. These challenges, which have been felt most keenly in developing nations, can only be addressed effectively through concerted, collaborative efforts from the global community.
Despite global challenges, Dubai has emerged as a world leader in FDI. In 2023, Dubai’s Financial Market reached its highest point in eight years, and the emirate’s economic resilience has been a real draw for international investors. Dubai’s strategic location – with proximity to major trade routes – favourable tax incentives, and strong economic policies have also positioned the emirate as an attractive market for FDI inflows and economic growth.
Dubai’s FDI success
One of the central aims of Dubai Chambers is to increase FDI into the emirate. We’ve made strong progress in recent years, with Dubai achieving an 80% increase in FDI inflows between 2021 and 2022.
We were also proud to see Dubai ranked as the top global destination for attracting greenfield FDI projects in the most recent edition of the Financial Times’ ‘fDi Markets’ data, which indicated that the emirate attracted 511 greenfield projects in H1 2023. The data also highlighted that Dubai’s global share in the attraction of greenfield FDI projects rose to 6.58% during the first half of 2023 – up from 3.83% during the same period in 2022.
The most recent data released by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism’s (DET) FDI monitor also confirms extremely healthy FDI growth. The city of Dubai announced 880 FDI projects between January and June 2023, representing year-on-year growth of 70%.
By ensuring that Dubai maintains its status as a major hub for FDI, we are supporting the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), which aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy over the coming decade. A healthy FDI ecosystem encourages economic diversification and promotes innovation. It also leads to significant job creation – it has been estimated that FDI projects have created 5,212 business services jobs, 3,525 IT and software jobs, and 3,090 food and beverage jobs in H1 2023 alone.
Exploring Dubai’s FDI future
Next month, Dubai Chambers is hosting the Dubai Business Forum in Madinat Jumeirah. Aimed at global corporations, visionary leaders, and fast-growth businesses, this must-attend event creates a perfect opportunity for the global business community to forge partnerships, cultivate international networks, and unlock new opportunities. During the event, participants will be able to learn more about the future of FDI in Dubai and gain valuable insights from heads of state, policymakers, and industry experts.
The event will also feature ‘The Deals Hub,’ a dedicated space for businesses to forge partnerships and announce new initiatives, investments, and commercial alliances. This innovative platform reflects Dubai Chambers’ commitment to driving growth in international trade and investment and is set to further cement the emirate’s position as a global leader in FDI.