Dubai Records Foreign Direct Investment of AED 24.7 Billion in 2020

Dubai Records Foreign Direct Investment of AED 24.7 Billion in 2020

The Dubai Investment Development Agency, a part of Dubai Economy estimated that the Emirate recorded a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of AED 24.7 billion (USD 6.7 billion), across 455 projects for the year 2020. These FDI projects initiated in Dubai during 2020 exceeded the annual average projects over the past five years, which was estimated to be 441. Among the FDI projects, it was estimated that more than 50% were Greenfield projects wherein, the investors created a new brand at a new facility in Dubai. In addition, Dubai ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and fourth globally in attracting FDI during this period and also achieved more than 2% of the global market share in Greenfield FDI projects for the previous year. Furthermore, approximately 18,325 new jobs were created as a result of these investments.

The FDI capital from reinvestment projects was estimated to be AED 1.6 billion in (USD 440 million), 2020, as per the data from Dubai FDI Monitor. Dubai ranked first in the MENA region in reinvestment FDI projects and 11th globally. Similarly, Dubai startups attracted an estimated AED 2.4 billion (USD 650 million), in FDI capital through 31 investments in 2020. The share of FDI projects in strategic sectors reached 57% and accounted for 91% of estimated FDI capital flows, reaching AED 22.5 billion (USD 6 billion). Around 76% of all strategic FDI projects in 2020 were invested in the technology sector with a total amount of AED 11.2 billion (USD 3 billion).

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Dubai Foreign Direct Investment – Country & Sector

The United States was the top source country for FDI, accounting for 21% of FDI capital and 22% of FDI projects, followed by France (16%), Japan (11%), the UK (7%), and Germany (6%) made up the rest of the top five source countries for FDI capital into Dubai in 2020. The top five source countries accounted for 60% of the total FDI capital flows. The top five sectors with FDI flows were accommodation and food services (40%), electric power generation (13%), information services (8%), healthcare & social assistance (4%), and retail & whole trade (4%). The FDI capital in the top five sectors accounted for 69%.

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Investment Opportunities in Dubai

The people-centric plan focuses on Dubai’s success in combating the Covid-19 pandemic and starting the recovery phase in record time showcased the government’s commitment towards providing the best environment in the world, reinforcing Dubai’s competitiveness as a global destination for investment over the next 20 years. It will also enhance Dubai’s investment appeal and attract fresh investments into all the sectors. The FDI capital inflow during the year 2020, reflects the investors’ confidence in the government’s commitment to provide an effective environment for the businesses to grow. Dubai expects a significant increase in the FDI inflow in the forthcoming years with the futuristic strategies planned by the government.

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.