Dubai: Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, hosted an e-learning session focusing on attracting New Forms of Investment (NFI) for participants representing the Dubai Government, free zones, and Dubai FDI’s investment promotion partners.

The virtual session was held on the 24th of August 2021 as one of the activities under Learning Circle, which is part of the Dubai FDI Capacity and Future Readiness Development Programme. Learning Circle focuses on capturing and sharing insights on the evolution of FDI projects’ mode of entry and market access. The programme format facilitates the leveraging of industry knowledge and sharing of experiences for the benefit of all stakeholders and participants, with the objective of increasing investments into Dubai’s economy.

The invitation-only event saw 52 participants from government entities, including the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai Tourism, Dubai Customs, and Dubai Economy, as well as from free zones such as DP World, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), and Dubai Maritime City.

Over the past five years, Dubai has witnessed a significant and sustained increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows through non-equity modes of investment. A total of 33% of all announced FDI projects in 2020 were categorized as New Forms of Investment (NFI). This form of market entry demonstrates the level of domestic market maturity in Dubai and the diverse non-equity-based partnership opportunities across joint ventures, strategic alliances, sub-contracting, licensing, production sharing, franchising, and turnkey projects in the market.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said: “We are pleased to welcome some of the most important stakeholders to the Learning Circle as we continue to develop initiatives that increase investment into Dubai. The Learning Circle facilitates a sharing of insights, knowledge, and experiences with the aim of enhancing the capacity of all stakeholders to attract high-quality investments into Dubai. Continuous learning is the path shown by our leadership and forms an integral part of Dubai FDI’s strategy to present an updated, globally benchmarked investment offering to global investors.” 

Al Gergawi added: “New Forms of Investment are a recognised driver for national development and play a key role in economic growth, due to the high levels of technology and development they entail. Understanding NFI dynamics through learning initiatives helps us further consolidate Dubai’s position as a growth hub for businesses worldwide. Interactive sessions enable all participants to contribute towards attracting and servicing investments that secure Dubai’s leading position as a preferred FDI destination globally.”

Following a welcome note by Al Gergawi, the session on attracting NFI featured an insightful presentation by Dr. Henry Loewendahl, CEO of Wavteq, on the topic ‘The State of NFIs’. After a discussion on Dubai’s stellar 2020 performance in attracting FDI, Juri Suehrer, Senior Specialist, Dubai FDI, presented case studies on Dubai’s experience with NFI. A lively Q&A session and participant-led discussion followed.

NFI, which may take the form of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, technology licensing, alliances for research and development (R&D), and value-chain partnerships, are more suited to some sectors compared to others. The top three sectors that attracted these non-traditional forms of investment in Dubai over the past three years are accommodation and food services, information services, and non-residential building construction, Dr. Loewendahl said, citing data collated by the Dubai FDI Monitor, which has tracked NFI as a separate category since 2015..

Differentiating the types of investments also helps focus on high-quality FDI while targeting investments aligned to Dubai’s growth strategy. The Learning Circle session explored insights from investors’ journey into tapping NFI to access opportunities of growth, partnership, and innovation in Dubai.

The Dubai FDI Capacity and Future Readiness Development Programme is a strategic initiative by Dubai FDI to qualify leaders from the public and private sectors as best-in-class in the field of FDI. Learning and development activities hosted under the programme include Learning Circle events, discussion forums, training, and interactive workshops, as well as guest speakers on current and future global FDI trends and drivers with the aim of providing professional, institutional, and market capacity building and development in investment promotion and attraction. The activities foster FDI future readiness benchmarking and innovation.

The UAE has always been at the forefront of innovation in development and FDI attraction, by implementing policies and strategies aligned to investor goals. Regular knowledge-focused interactions support the vision that includes a diversified and competitive knowledge economy with facilitation and support to attract and retain global investments and foster entrepreneurship in key sectors.


About Dubai FDI:

Dubai Investment Development Agency (DUBAI FDI) is an agency of Dubai Economy (Department of Economic Development - Government of Dubai). DUBAI FDI develops, promotes, and supports Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities to facilitate investors’ success, growth and expansion in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and across regional and international markets. 

For further information, please contact:
Faisal Shamsudheen, Government Communication Department, Dubai Economy
Tel: (971 4) 445 5927, E​mail: 

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