Dubai was world’s top FDI performer in 2018: Hamdan

By Eudore R. Chand

Emirate attracted $10.5 billion worth of FDI in 2018

DUBAI 8 April 2019: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) capital inflows to Dubai in 2018 reached Dh38.5 billion (US$10.5bn), a growth of 41% over 2017, taking Dubai to the sixth place from 10th in global capital flows into greenfield projects.

Dubai has also attracted 523 FDI projects in 2018, an increase of 43% over 2017, elevating the emirate’s global ranking in the number of new investment projects to third from fourth.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, expressed happiness at Dubai’s number one ranking globally among the ‘Top fDi Performers 2018’ and termed the achievement “a precursor to Dubai’s future achievements.”

US, India top FDI sources

In terms of FDI source markets, the Dubai FDI Results & Rankings Report 2018, showed that the United States retained its leading position in FDI capital flows to Dubai with a 37% share while India came second with 12%, followed by Spain (9%), China (7%) and the UK (5%). Together, all the five countries accounted for 70% of total FDI capital inflows and 51% of FDI projects into Dubai in 2018.

Key Sectors

In terms of top attractive sectors, FDI flows were largely concentrated in the accommodation & food services sectors with 46% of total FDI capital, commercial construction (15%), residential buildings construction (8%), arts, entertainment & recreation (5%), and finance & insurance (4%). The top five sectors accounted for 78% of all FDI capital and 27% of FDI projects into Dubai in 2018. In terms of distribution of FDI projects, the retail and wholesale sector ranked first, gaining 25%, while accommodation & food services stood second at 17% followed by administration & support services (8%), and software publishers, finance and insurance (6%). The top five sectors account for 62% of all FDI projects and 54% of FDI capital into Dubai.

FDI reports

Dubai’s top FDI ranking follows the city being featured among the best performers in reports like the Global Cities of the Future; Digital Economies of the Future; Aerospace Locations of the Future; and top global free zones of the year. The ‘Top fDi Performers 2018,’ published by the Financial Times’ fDi Intelligence magazine is based on data compiled by fDi Markets, the world’s leading online platform that monitors capital flows and new FDI projects around the world, and fDi Benchmark, which identifies the best FDI destinations based on comparison of latest FDI data. The report highlighted that Dubai has dominated global FDI rankings throughout 2018, followed by London, Paris, Dublin and Singapore, as the leading city globally in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018.

Sheikh Hamdan emphasised that the latest achievements revealed in the annual ‘Dubai FDI Results & Rankings Report 2018’ of the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, reflect global investors’ continued confidence in Dubai’s ability to sustain economic growth, and further boosts its global leadership. The first rank is a precursor to Dubai’s future achievements.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed

FDI plays a central role in the transfer of knowledge and technology as well as in attracting global talent, which are the pillars supporting the emirate in achieving its goals set in the Dubai Plan 2021 and the 50-Year Charter aimed at strengthening Dubai’s position as a pivotal hub in the global economy, said Sheikh Hamdan.

Global Ranking

fDi Benchmark, which identifies the best FDI destinations in the world by comparing FDI data, has clearly identified Dubai’s leading position and strong presence in all areas of investments in 2018. Dubai has been ranked first globally among the top 20 cities for renewable energy investments between 2013-2018 and second globally in the ‘Global Cities of the Future 2018 – 2019’ report in terms of economic potential. Dubai also ranked first among the top FDI cities in the ‘City FDI Performance Index,’ issued for the first time in 2018, which further confirms the success of the Dubai Government’s plans and strategic initiatives in creating investment opportunities in the emirate.

Dubai leads in talent and technology attraction

Dubai FDI Results & Rankings Report 2018 has added a new index which monitors the contribution of FDI to job creation. As per the index, about 25,000 new jobs were created in 2018, an increase of 77% compared to 14,065 jobs in 2017, effectively placing Dubai in ninth position globally in job creation through FDI. Recent policies which support the role of investors, innovators, skilled professionals and students in building an innovation and knowledge-based economy for Dubai and the UAE further adds to Dubai’s attractiveness for the world’s most promising talent.

Medium and high-tech FDI projects are a major tool in job creation, accounting for 28% of the jobs added in 2018. Medium and high-tech FDI projects comprise 43% of the total FDI projects in 2018 and accounted for 15.6% of total capital inflows. The ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ classifies medium and high-tech FDI projects based on the definition of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Dubai Gazette