Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the UAE went up by 3.9 percent to nearly 76 billion dirhams ($20.7 billion) in 2021. The total FDI balance in the country rose 13.7 percent to nearly 630 billion dirhams by the end of 2021, registering a 13.7 percent growth over 2020, the Ministry of Economy said on Wednesday. 

The foreign investments were spread across all sectors, including traditional and renewable energy, oil and natural gas, finance, real estate, health and agriculture, among others. Considerable investments also went into blockchain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, robotics, medical technology, high-speed transportation, as well as virtual and augmented reality. 

According to Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, the growth in FDI inflows reflects the “strength and flexibility” of the UAE economy and the attractiveness of the country’s business and investment environment. 

The UAE has rolled out a series of reforms and initiatives to strengthen its position as one of the top investment destinations in the world. “The most prominent among them is the granting of 100 percent free and full foreign ownership of projects and investments in all economic sectors, with the exception of a limited number of activities,” said Al Marri. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz )