DUBAI: Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council, revealed that Dubai consolidated its status as a global cultural hub and investment destination, ranking first in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and second in the world in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in cultural and creative industries (CCI) in 2021.

Her Highness said that Dubai’s emergence as a magnet for FDI in the sector has been driven by the farsighted vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

According to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai attracted 233 new projects in the creative economy in 2021. Surpassing other major cities such as New York, Singapore and Berlin, Dubai improved its rankings from fifth in the previous year. The report was based on data from the Financial Times' 'fDi Markets', the world’s leading data source on greenfield FDI projects.

"These results reflect the maturity and stability of the investment environment in the emirate’s creative economy. Dubai has created outstanding FDI opportunities in the sector by building a robust ecosystem and an advanced business-enabling infrastructure for creative entrepreneurs.

"By fostering an environment that promotes learning, development, and innovation, Dubai has developed a vibrant global creative community. Its unique social fabric that has evolved out of the emirate’s remarkable cultural diversity and its comprehensive human-centred development process has further supported the growth of Dubai’s creative economy," Sheikha Latifa added.

Data from Dubai FDI Monitor indicates significant growth in foreign investment in the cultural and creative industries. The sector’s estimated value of FDI capital flows exceeded AED4.9 billion in 2021. The rise in FDI inflow and rankings reflect the enhanced attractiveness of the emirate’s creative economy. In terms of the number of new jobs in the creative economy, Dubai held on to its top rank regionally and fourth globally with 6,204 new jobs created from FDI.

Sheikha Latifa noted that during the past five years, between 2017 and 2021, the emirate’s creative economy witnessed FDI capital inflows of AED50.9 billion across 787 projects. These projects created 32,542 new jobs during the five-year period. Dubai ranks fifth globally in terms of projects, eighth in terms of FDI capital flows into the creative economy, and fourth in terms of jobs created during the past five years, data from Financial Times Ltd ‘fDi Markets’ shows.

Her Highness further said, "Dubai’s success in continuously enhancing the well-being of its citizens, residents, and visitors and elevating the quality of services provided to them has raised the global creative community’s confidence in the emirate and made it a preferred global business, lifestyle, and entertainment destination."

Hala Badri, Director-General of Dubai Culture, said that the Authority continues to reinforce the foundations to open new horizons for the various components of the emirate’s creative economy and cement its position on the global scene as an ideal investment destination. "2021 witnessed increased inflows of FDI capital into Dubai’s creative economy despite the pandemic, which reflects the emirate’s flexibility and readiness to face all challenges, nurture talent and help businesses maintain their stability, sustainability and competitiveness," Badri added.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, stressed that Dubai’s regional and global pre-eminence in FDI attraction stems from the vision and guidance of the leadership to build a diversified economy based on knowledge and innovation. "The cultural and creative industries today are among the most attractive for investments, advanced technologies, and talent. The sector has contributed greatly to Dubai achieving the top global ranking in attracting greenfield FDI projects in 2021," noted AlMarri.

For his part, Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, added," The Dubai FDI Monitor data provides a comprehensive analysis of FDI projects in Dubai’s economic sectors. It helps the strategic planning process for enhancing Dubai’s attractiveness for FDI, as well as the FUSpromotion, facilitation and the provision of specialised and reliable services to the investor community."

According to 'Dubai FDI Monitor' data, Greenfield FDI accounted for 71 percent of the total FDI projects in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries in 2021, followed by Mergers and Acquisitions projects (12 percent of the total), Reinvestment FDI projects (9 percent), New Forms of Investments (5 percent) and Joint Venture (2 percent).

Dubai Culture is working with its strategic partners to develop an effective framework that will enhance the growth of Dubai’s culture and arts sector and raise its contribution to the emirate’s GDP. It is supported by the full activation of Dubai Culture’s founding law, which stipulates its role as a policymaker, regulator, and enabler of this sector in the emirate.