What attracts people and businesses to Dubai: Answers revealed

Visionary leadership, lifestyle, shopping choices, connectivity, logistics and infrastructure

Dubai’s lifestyle and retail choices are the most significant attractions of the emirate for the people and businesses, said a study released on Monday.

According to the “Why Dubai” study released by Dubai FDI, the foreign investment office of the Department Economic of Development (DED), visionary leadership, pro-business government, suitability as a global hub for multinational firms, connectivity, logistics infrastructure, and pre-eminence in information and communications technology (ICT) are the other major attractions for the people and businesses worldwide.

“Today, the world is watching closer how Dubai is bucking global trends to sustain growth. Dubai is re-inventing itself, providing more compelling reasons for people and businesses to be in Dubai,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.

”Dubai is home to 2.17 million people from 202 nationalities reaping rich rewards from the ‘can-do’ attitude of the emirate’s leadership. Creating new opportunities for such a global population is the key factor keeping Dubai ahead in the competition,” added Al Qamzi.

The study points to the multi-cultural, safe and family-friendly environment and the presence of best-in-class retail choices as the driver of the emirate’s popularity as a lifestyle destination. In 2011 Dubai was ranked number one in the CB Richard Ellis report, ‘Top 20 Cities for Retail.’

“Over and above the ease and efficiency of doing business, a major strength of Dubai is its safe, family-friendly and multicultural environment. For the growing number of multinational companies moving to Dubai, the emirate’s lifestyle is a major attraction as much as its infrastructure and proximity to key growth markets,” said Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI.

The study said the emirate’s logistics infrastructure, connectivity, pro-business policies and transparent regulations have laid strong foundations for accelerated growth.

Dubai is the third largest export hub and has the fourth largest airport in the world today as a superior transport infrastructure connects businesses and people to key international markets within the shortest possible time.

Dubai's total non-oil foreign trade grew 13 per cent to set a record of Dh1.029 trillion during the first 10 months of 2012 compared to Dh911 billion during the same period of 2011. The emirate is also the regional leader in information technology and telecommunications, with the world’s highest mobile penetration rate.

“As thousands of new businesses are discovering each year, Dubai is the perfect gateway between East and West and the preferred hub for the region’s imports and exports market – one of the most lucrative in the world.

"Dubai’s strategic location gives easy access to 2.2 billion consumers from a unique centralised time zone that combines East and West business hours,” said the study.

“Trade, logistics, transportation and tourism accounted for almost 60 per cent of Dubai’s GDP in 2011, which grew in total by 3.4 per cent and is expected to grow 4.6 per cent by the end of 2012,” says the study, adding that Dubai’s 575 hotels generated Dh16 billion in revenues in 2011.

“Confidence in Dubai’s leadership and potentials are other significant factors promoting growth and FDI inflows. Dubai’s economy stayed on course despite the global slowdown and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows remained stable at Dh23.1 billion in 2011, creating more than 15,260 new jobs,” noted Al Gergawi.

The study also points to the ease of access to finance and labour as well as the commitment to innovation and competitiveness that governs decision-making in the government and the private sector in Dubai.

“Dubai was ranked 33 in the 2012 Doing Business Report of the World Bank and 27 in the Global Competitiveness ranking for 2011-2012. It has also been ranked as the top Middle Eastern city in Mercer’s quality of life index,” added Al Gergawi.

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