Abu Dhabi: Dubai FDI, the foreign investment office of the Department of Economic Development, yesterday said it brought Dh3.44 billion in capital and 77 companies to Dubai in 2011 whose collective turnover was Dh16.57 billion.
"The past year also saw significant gains by Dubai FDI in strengthening its links with governments, investment promotion agencies and the investor community across the globe," Dubai FDI said in a statement.
It said the strategic advantages of Dubai as a regional operations hub and investment destination were successfully conveyed across a wide range of platforms including trade and industry forums, workshops and mutual visits by business delegations, hosted and attended by Dubai FDI in 2011.
Nasser Saeedi, chief economist at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), told Gulf News Dubai and the UAE were benefiting from money flows from emerging markets such as China and India at a time when foreign direct investments from developed markets into emerging markets have slowed, mainly due to the overhang of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
"Foreign direct investments into Dubai are mainly in the logistics, tourism and hospitality sectors. The UAE is clearly seen as a business hub for the Middle East. Over the years, Dubai has been investing in infrastructure. Chinese companies are establishing their offices in Dubai to cater to markets in Africa and other countries within the region," said Saeedi. He said the tax-free status in the UAE allows foreign companies to flourish.
"The UAE is viewed as a safe haven to do business in the Middle East. The Arab Spring confirmed that. Dubai's services sector will continue to benefit from foreign direct investments in 2012 unless there's a major global recession," Saeedi added.
"The 77 companies set up in Dubai represent different operations including logistics, construction, technology, chemicals and renewable energy, reflecting the growing diversity of enterprises leveraging Dubai to gain traction and service strategic growth markets," said Dubai FDI.
Dubai FDI chief executive officer Fahad Al Gergawi said investors the world over are now more focused on faster access to markets and better efficiencies in terms of operations and cost.
"Dubai, by virtue of its location and infrastructure, offers the fastest link to the growing markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
"At the same time, policymaking in the emirate is essentially linked to promoting business and enterprise," said Al Gergawi.
He added: "For Dubai FDI, the focus is on communicating the competitive advantage of doing business in Dubai to the global investor community. We have successfully developed a variety of channels and tools to demonstrate to businesses the benefits in setting up their base in Dubai to reach out to key markets worldwide."
As part of its emphasis on knowledge-sharing and networking, Dubai FDI attended 36 events in 2011, of which 13 were international.
Education was a major component of Dubai FDI's strategic action plan in 2011. Key concerns and investment barriers were analysed based on the feedback from investors and an incentive programme was created after researching regional peers. Altogether four studies were conducted including a comparative analysis of five economies similar to Dubai to understand the competitive advantages and gaps. The studies also led to benchmarking of five strategic industries to drive investment and enable business growth.