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03 October 2023

Dubai ranks first globally in attracting FDI projects in cultural and creative industries in 2022

By E247

Dubai has achieved top global ranking in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the cultural and creative industries in 2022, further reinforcing the emirate’s leadership and growing competitiveness as the global capital of the creative economy, revealed Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Member of the Dubai Council.
According to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, compiled by Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and based on data from the Financial Times' 'fDi Markets,' the world’s leading data source on Greenfield FDI projects, Dubai attracted a record-breaking 451 projects in the cultural and creative industries. This represents an impressive increase of 107.7%, surpassing major global cities such as London, Singapore, Paris, and Berlin. 
Dubai's leading position in the global index underscores its commitment to fostering a dynamic creative ecosystem and cements its position as a hub for exceptional creative talent, a breeding ground for innovation and a preferred destination for investment. Dubai’s latest milestone is a testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position the city as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the latest ranking embodies the emirate’s unique approach and reflects the strength and maturity of its infrastructure and its legal, legislative, creative and digital environment. 
“These notable accomplishments exemplify the remarkable strides made by Dubai’s cultural and creative industries and highlight the strength of its economic ecosystem. The emirate attracts innovators and talented individuals worldwide, providing them with an enabling environment where innovative projects can flourish, ground-breaking ideas can be nurtured and ambitious concepts can be transformed into thriving economic ventures. Dubai achieves this by leveraging its unique cultural diversity and renowned status as a premier destination for living, working, and investing. Moreover, Dubai is committed to establishing a sustainable development landscape that transcends the present and future, ultimately positioning itself as the global capital of the creative economy by 2026,” HH Sheikha Latifa said.
Dubai’s total FDI capital flows in the cultural and creative industries surged to AED7.357 billion in 2022, ranking the city 1st in the MENA region and 12th globally (up from 14th in 2021). This FDI generated an estimated 12,368 jobs, positioning Dubai 1st in the MENA region and 6th globally (maintaining the same level as 2021) in job creation in FDI. 
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, said: “This remarkable achievement is a testament to the support and commitment of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to foster a vibrant and innovative creative economy that contributes to sustainable development, as well as ensuring that Dubai further consolidates its status as one of the top three global cities as envisaged under the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33. We are grateful to our partners, stakeholders and investors for their trust and collaboration in making this happen. The No.1 global ranking in attracting FDI projects into the CCI sector also highlights Dubai’s commitment to build on and leverage its supportive environment, world-class infrastructure and a legislative system that stimulates the creative economy, attracting a new generation of global talents, investors and entrepreneurs. We look forward to continuing our efforts to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of this sector in the global market.”
The United States, India, the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland emerged as the leading foreign direct investors in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries in terms of FDI projects, while the US, India, Switzerland, France and UK topped the list in terms of FDI capital inflows. This aligns with Dubai’s strategic focus on these markets as key partners through targeted engagements. In 2022, Dubai Culture participated in global missions to cities within the UK and the US to showcase Dubai’s unique creative landscape and establish collaborations with creative entrepreneurs and organisations.
According to ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ data, Greenfield (wholly-owned) FDI projects accounted for 76% of the total in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries in 2022, followed by New Forms of Investments (NFIs), which accounted for 13%, Mergers & Acquisitions and Reinvestment projects making up 5% each, and Greenfield (joint-ventures) at 1%.
Over the past few years, the top sub-sectors in Dubai’s creative industries have displayed dynamic trends. Non-video game software publishers and custom computer programming services have gained prominence, with the latter experiencing a significant increase in its share of FDI capital in 2022. Architectural, engineering, and related services have consistently grown, highlighting Dubai’s emphasis on developing a sustainable built environment. Data processing, hosting, and related services experienced a surge these last two years, reflecting the city’s commitment to digital transformation. The jewellery, luggage, and leather goods stores sub-sector has maintained a steady presence, showcasing Dubai’s position as a luxury retail destination. Meanwhile, the motion picture and sound recording industries have begun to gain traction, indicating the city’s expanding role there. These trajectories exemplify Dubai’s adaptability and resilience in nurturing all of these creative industries.
Asian nations, like India and Singapore, are finding their fastest-growing creative industry sectors to be enormous revitalisers of employment figures, allowing them to project nine-digit exports within the coming years.
Dubai’s top global ranking in FDI projects is a sign of its dedication to nurturing the growth of creative industries, reinforcing its status as an innovative hub for talent and investment. This commitment aligns with Dubai’s vision for a diversified, sustainable, and knowledge-based economy, emphasising creativity, collaboration, and innovation, ultimately strengthening its position among the top three economic cities worldwide, in line with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.