Dubai Leads The List For Attracting The Most Greenfield FDI In 2021  

Dubai placed top globally in attracting Greenfield Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2021, with a total of 418 greenfield projects. The emirate finished third last year.  

“Dubai has developed a stable, sustainable economic climate and a thriving business ecosystem for corporations and entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises, explore new possibilities, and expand their businesses both inside and outside the nation.   

“Dubai has also proven its resilience to global economic fluctuations over the years, earning the trust of international investors and enhancing its reputation as one of the world’s leading lifestyle and business destinations,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.  

“Dubai’s government departments, free zones, and private sector partners combined their strengths to create a fertile ground for talent, enterprise, and investment in the emirate,” Sheikh Hamdan said as he unveiled the annual “DUBAI FDI Results & Rankings Highlights Report 2021,” published by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).  

The Financial Times Ltd’s ‘fDi Markets,’ a key source of data on greenfield FDI projects, was used to compile the study.  

According to statistics, Dubai placed top in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and third globally in FDI capital inflows, up from the fourth previous year. Dubai ranks first in the MENA region and third internationally in reinvestment FDI projects (up from fourth last year) and seventh globally in FDI capital inflows (from 11th last year). Dubai scored first in the MENA area and fifth internationally in FDI employment creation, up from the sixth previous year.  

In 2021, Dubai received 43 headquarters (HQ) FDI projects, topping the region and ranking second internationally after Singapore, overtaking big cities like London and New York in hosting global and regional headquarters of international firms. Dubai was also third in the world regarding HQ FDI capital flows, at Dh2.8 billion.  

Projects in technology and innovation are on the rise:  

Greenfield FDI projects in Dubai accounted for 53% of total FDI projects in 2021. NFIs came in second with 19% of the projects, followed by VC-backed FDI projects with 12%, reinvestment FDI projects with 8%, mergers and acquisitions projects with 6%, and joint ventures with 2%. Dubai’s leadership position as a favoured destination for high-tech FDI projects and a worldwide centre for specialized talent in the digital economy has grown significantly, with high and medium technology FDI projects accounting for 67 % of all FDI projects in 2021, up from 56 % in 2020.  

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