Diversified Dubai boosts UAE among top global investment hotspots

The UAE has been ranked among 15 of the world’s top investment hotspots in a new report by an international consultancy.

The findings were announced today in a study on foreign direct investment (FDI) hotspots at IHS Inc.’s Global Economic and Country Risk conference in Vienna.

According to the study, the UAE is forecast to grow at 3.5 per cent per year over the next decade on the back of a surge in Dubai’s tourism, aviation and shipping sectors as well as a recovery in oil prices.

“Dubai’s role as a leading global commercial aviation and shipping hub as well as tourism destination has helped to diversify the structure of the UAE economy,” said Rajiv Biswas, senior director for economics at IHS Global Insight.

The report noted that the UAE is one of the top 15 global investment destinations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region that should offer some good news to businesses.

The growth in the UAE’s economy over the forthcoming years, the report notes, will be helped by a recovery in Abu Dhabi’s oil exports due to gradually improving oil prices over the medium term, as well as strong growth in Dubai’s economy.

The report also lists GCC peers Saudi Arabia and Qatar among the 15 global investment hotspots.

Saudi Arabia is the largest Middle East market with a 2015 GDP of $653 billion, HIS notes. The country’s long-term potential GDP growth rate is forecast at around 3.5 per cent per year as oil prices gradually recover over the medium-term.

Plans to create a Saudi mega sovereign wealth fund with around $2 trillion in assets will also help to finance a significant diversification in the structure of the Saudi Arabian economy, it says.

“Despite the impact of low oil prices on many countries in the region, a number of economies have a favourable long-term growth outlook, including the UAE, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia,” the report notes.

The 15 FDI hotspots that the report lists are:

Middle East and North Africa: UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Iran.

Emerging Europe: Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.