Dubai registered a record Dh46.6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2019, an increase of 135 per cent year-on-year, ranking the emirate third globally both in terms of capital flows and number of greenfield projects. The emirate also surpassed its 2018 full-year FDI figure of Dh38.5 billion.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, said the emirate has been particularly successful in attracting advanced technology and specialised talent.
"This is a proud achievement for Dubai. With the growth of talent and technology, Dubai will accelerate its drive to become the smartest and most sustainable city of the future," Sheikh Hamdan said.
Massimo Falcioni, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance, had said that the Emirates plays an important role in attracting FDI to the Middle East region because of its strategic geographical location, modern infrastructures that facilitate business growth and robust regulatory frameworks that promote and safeguard international investments.
"The UAE, which is the largest source of FDI in the Arab region, is further strengthening its local businesses to expand their footprint globally as part of the UAE's non-oil diversification strategy," Falcioni said.
Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of Dubai Economy, stated the emirate has maintained a leading position among top global cities in FDI attraction over the past five years.
"The FDI results of the first half of 2019 is a testament to the Dubai economy's competitiveness and resilience in the face of global shifts and challenges that have adversely affected the flows of FDI globally in recent years," he added.
"Dubai is classified as a major city in international rankings for top FDI locations, ranking third in overall rankings and second in economic potential in the latest Global Cities of the Future 2018-2019, according to a report by the Financial Times' fDi Benchmark study.
Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said the record FDI results achieved by Dubai in the first half of 2019 are in line with expectations, which has led to remarkable 2018 results, the highest in 10 years.
"Dubai has attracted 257 FDI projects in the first half of 2019. Around 61 per cent of total projects were greenfield, followed by 27 per cent for new forms of investments, 6 per cent for reinvestment, 5 per cent for mergers and acquisitions and 1 per cent for new joint ventures, with strategic FDI projects accounting for 62 per cent of total FDI capital flows to Dubai in the first half of 2019," said Al Gergawi.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Al Gergawi had said in August that the emirate would surpass its last year's FDI of Dh38.5 billion.
The US continued to lead FDI capital flows to Dubai with 34 per cent, while China has risen to second with 28 per cent, followed by the UK with 11 per cent, France with 5 per cent and Singapore with 5 per cent. The five countries together accounted for 83 per cent of total FDI capital flows to Dubai in the first half of 2019.
Some of the major deals recorded in the first half include Uber's acquisition of Careem and Mastercard International's investment in Network International. The emirate saw capital flows worth Dh13 billion during the year.
Major FDI projects announced during this period included Zhejiang China Commodities Group's investment in the new Merchant Market joint venture and China Co-Op Group's investment in the construction of a new food processing plant in Dubai. Both projects amount to Dh12.5 billion in greenfield FDI. Other major FDI investments were the Dh918 billion HSBC Middle East headquarters, the new Dh248 million Siemens solar hydrogen facility and the Dh745 million W Palm Hotel by Marriott, among others.
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