Dubai retains its position as world’s top FDI destination

Dubai – Top destination for Foreign Investors 

Dubai witnessed foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of AED 13.72bn in H1 2022, reflecting a growth of 14.6% compared to 2021. Dubai retained its status as the world’s leading FDI hub maintaining 1st position globally during H1 2022. Dubai attracted 492 FDI projects during the first six months of 2022, an 80.2% increase compared to the same period in 2021. The market research data was published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). The top marketing research companies in UAE endorses the interest of the investment community to invest in the UAE economy. 

Dubai also ranked first globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects during the same period in 2022 according to the Financial Times, FDI Markets. Furthermore, greenfield projects accounted for a 56% share of Dubai’s FDI projects, according to the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI).

Read: Dubai to Launch 50 Offices Globally to Promote Commerce and Attract Investments 

Growth in FDI Investments – Dubai

FDI investments and projects generated 15,164 new jobs in H1 2022, a 33.5% year-on-year growth compared to H1 2021. Underlining its focus on investor confidence, Dubai ranked fourth globally in reinvestment FDI projects. Likewise, it ranked 10th globally in reinvestment FDI capital inflows and eighth for jobs created by reinvestment projects.

Dubai ranked first globally in attracting greenfield FDI projects in 2021, with 418 greenfield FDI projects, and the latest numbers vindicate its business-friendly initiatives and policies. Investor confidence in the emirate remains high, reflecting its economic stability and bright growth prospects.

While 56% of the FDI projects that came into Dubai in H1 2022 were greenfield projects, 29% belonged to the category of new forms of investment, 6% were venture capital-backed FDI, 5% were mergers and acquisition (M&A) projects, 3% were reinvestments and 1% joint ventures.

Data from the “Dubai FDI Monitor” also showed that medium and high-tech projects accounted for 62% of the total FDI projects in the first half of 2022, while 38 percent were low-tech investment projects. The emphasis on technology indicates Dubai’s success in attracting global talent and capital into its transition as a digital economy.

Global FDI Investments – 2022

The UK (36%), the US (20%), France (10%), Singapore (5%) and Switzerland (4%) were the top source countries for FDI capital in Dubai during the first half of 2022. In terms of FDI projects, the top five source markets were the US (18%), the UK (15%), India (13%) and Singapore and France (4%) each.

Read: Dubai Witnesses Record Increase in High Net Worth Individuals 

The five most prominent sectors in terms of FDI capital inflows to Dubai in the first half of 2022 were speciality trade contractors (28%), the non-residential building construction sector (12%), accommodation and food services (12 percent), data processing, hosting and related services (6%) and electric power generation (4%).

The wholesale and retail trade sector along with the accommodation and food services sector topped the list with 11% each in terms of the number of FDI projects. They were followed by the computer systems design and related services sectors, software publishing, and administrative and support services, with 7% each.

The emirate ranked first in the world in terms of the number of projects in the creative industry and the number of FDI projects in business services, financial services, transportation and warehousing, industrial equipment, and sales, marketing and support sectors.

Investment Opportunities in Dubai

Dubai remains committed to enabling the business environment to explore fresh growth avenues with our partner investors to achieve even greater success in years to come. Further diversifying the economy, attracting more investment in future-focused sectors, and enhancing growth opportunities in the digital economy, will remain our strategic objectives for Dubai’s development journey.

Thanks to favorable business conditions, the UAE has seen an influx of HNWIs. In addition, the recently implemented new visa regulation offers digital nomads, startups and investors unprecedented immigration options. This includes benefits for their family members to reside in the country. UAE has left no stone unturned in ensuring that it remains competitive in attracting global wealth and talent pool. 

Research Konnection is one of the best market research companies in Dubai. We specialize in market research for investors that are planning to set up businesses in the UAE. Feel free to contact us to evaluate your business idea and UAE market potential.

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.