STOCK Dubai Skyline Sheikh Zayed road
FDI investments and projects generated 15,164 new jobs during the six-month period. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai remained the world’s leading foreign direct investment hub in the first half of 2022, attracting 492 FDI projects during the period, an 80.2 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2021, data showed on Monday.

The emirate saw FDI inflows of Dh13.72 billion ($3.73 billion) during the period, a 14.6 per cent growth compared to the same period last year.

Dubai also ranked first globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects during the six-month period, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) said citing the Financial Times Ltd’s ‘fDi Markets,’ the most comprehensive online database on cross-border greenfield investments.

Greenfield projects accounted for a 56 per cent share of Dubai’s FDI projects during the period.

Meanwhile, FDI investments and projects generated 15,164 new jobs in H1-2022, a 33.5 per cent 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.

World’s best economy

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said the new FDI milestones were aligned with the ambition to make Dubai the world’s best city to live, work and invest.

“Dubai’s record FDI inflows and consistent top rankings testify to investor confidence in its economic stability and bright growth prospects and reinforce its status as a strategic partner to foreign investors.

“In a world facing profound challenges over the past few years, Dubai offers one of the safest and most stable business environments, boosting investor appetite. The emirate provides a policy ecosystem for future-focused high-tech sectors, while its robust infrastructure offers a productive environment for conventional businesses. Alternative investments and high-tech projects contribute an increasing proportion of the emirate’s growing FDI inflows, underscoring Dubai’s position as the capital of the global digital economy and a hub for innovation and advanced technology.”

Investment break-up

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

Data also showed that medium and high-tech projects accounted for 62 per cent of the total FDI projects in the first half of 2022, while 38 per cent were low-tech investment projects.

Top source markets

The UK (36 per cent), the US (20 per cent), France (10 per cent), Singapore (5 per cent), and Switzerland (4 per cent) 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 per cent), the UK (15 per cent), India (13 per cent), and Singapore and France (4 per cent each).

Accelerated start

“We started the year at an accelerated pace, catalysed by a hugely successful Expo 2020, a re-ignition of global tourism and MICE, a raft of progressive visa policies and legislation, and Dubai showing strong and sustained resilience within the context of international economic and supply chain pressures,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

“These catalysts helped boost global investor confidence in Dubai. The global business community increasingly sees Dubai as a preferred ecosystem for growth, investment diversification, geographic consolidation, talent attraction and R&D development.”