The UAE has 11 IPOs in the pipeline with a value exceeding AED 8 billion ($2.2 billion) after it saw its highest level of offerings by aggregate value in 2022 since 2008.

Speaking at the inaugural MENA IPO Summit in Dubai, the deputy CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), Mohammed Khalifa Al Hadari, said that 2021 had been a year of recovery, but there had been significant growth in local capital markets in 2022, with the highest level of IPOs by aggregate value since 2008.

“There are 11 new IPOs with a total value exceeding AED 8 billion, including four free zone companies and two SPAC waiting in the pipeline currently,” he said. 

“The current flurry of activity is more sustainable than the previous IPO booms as it is part of the wider well defined government strategy to expand diversity to supply the markets. 

“The Dubai government last year announced plans for 10-state owned companies as part of their strategy to double the size of the capital markets to around AED 3 trillion and attract foreign investments,” he said.

The SCA regulates virtual asset activities, services issued for investment purposes on the UAE mainland. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) issue their own regulations.

There was a flurry of listings in 2022 after Dubai announced it was planning 10 state-backed IPOs. April 2022 saw the UAE’s and the EMEA’s largest ever IPO, for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which raised AED 22.3 billion ($6.1 billion).

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) announced they could list 13 additional companies this year including four companies from outside the UAE, Al Hadari said.

Hamed Ali, CEO of Dubai Financial Markets (DFM) and Nasdaq Dubai, hinted that there will be more private sector IPOs listing on the market going forward. 

The UAE has seen a boom in IPOs as the country recovered from the global pandemic, including Fertiglobe on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), DEWA, Dubai toll road company Salik, freezone company TECOM, retailer Union Coop, and education provider Taaleem.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)