Dubai launches first-ever city FDI Monitor

Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development of the Government of Dubai, revealed new achievements for Dubai’s global foreign direct investment (FDI) rankings and results for 2015 in its first ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ reports series.  

According to FT (Financial Times) Markets data quoted in the reports, Dubai attracted Dh28.6 billion in greenfield FDI in 2015 and the report shows another record year for Dubai with 16 per cent growth in the number of greenfield FDI projects to 279, compared to 240 in 2014, and nearly Dh20 billion ($5.3 billion) of FDI inflows.

“Dubai continued to enhance its position as a preferred global FDI destination in 2015 by climbing global FDI rankings to fourth position in number of greenfield projects and sixth in foreign capital attracted according to FT Markets,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.

“It proves that Dubai’s leadership, vision, economic diversity and strategic plans across key growth sectors as well as the government’s investment in knowledge, technology and infrastructure continue to offer investors a host of unique investment opportunities and a business environment that is conducive to business success, growth and expansion.”

The Dubai FDI Monitor report shows that Saudi Arabia, US, Britain, India and Kuwait were the top five source countries for FDI to Dubai in 2015, generating a total of Dh14.9 billion or ($4) billion and representing 76 per cent of total FDI for the whole year. As for the largest number of projects in 2015, the top five source countries were US, Britain, India, Germany and Switzerland generating a total of 168, or 60  per cent, of total FDI projects.

Smart choice

Pointing to a strong technology component in capital inflows to the emirate, the Dubai FDI Monitor report reveals that 71 per cent of FDI projects in 2015 qualified as high and medium tech, generating 59 per cent of total FDI.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI commented: “Thanks to our wise leadership, Dubai has been successful in attracting investments in smart city technologies, renewable energy and green buildings among other high-tech sectors that improve productivity and efficiency while accelerating the transition to a green and sustainable economy.

“Apart from being an ideal location to set up and grow business, Dubai’s fully diversified economy, is powered by an educated workforce, excellent quality of life, a business-friendly environment and a pipeline of world-class projects, including the Expo 2020, making it a smart choice for investors. Now that Dubai is geared to become a high value knowledge and innovation economy, its appeal for technology, research and development FDI has been further enhanced,” he added.

The Dubai FDI Monitor report also reaffirms Dubai’s ability to facilitate business and competitively serve an expanding consumer market spread across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia through business services, trade and tourism. Top industries by number of projects in 2015 were professional services, IT services, transportation and warehousing, finance and retail. The top five industries generated a total of 164 projects, representing 59% of total projects in 2015.

Global initiative

The Dubai FDI initiative to establish an FDI Monitor at a city level sets a precedent among peers in investment promotion agencies (IPAs) globally. The FDI monitor was developed in partnership with WAVTEQ, a leading FDI technology and consulting company and aims to map out the investment landscape in Dubai through tracking, validating and analysing FDI flows.

“As an agency that provides bespoke services to investors, Dubai FDI is setting new standards and raising the bar for investor support globally. We are glad to be involved in this leading project that will add great value in improving the services to foreign investors and supporting decision-makers who will now be able to analyse FDI trends and opportunities in Dubai by sectors, geographic clusters, and source countries for investment,” said Henry Loewendahl, Chief Executive Officer of WAVTEQ.

The first phase of Dubai FDI Monitor initiative established the scope of work, technology deployment and testing. The second phase engaged multiple stakeholders with focus on Investors. The third Phase introduced the Beta version of Dubai FDI Monitor reports utilising advanced data and analytics features to produce validated FDI flows results, a full database of FDI projects and investors and business classifications based on The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), number of jobs created and economic impact analysis among other features. The 4th phase will include stakeholder consultations and enhanced tracking features.

“As the first ever City FDI Monitor, Dubai FDI Monitor marks a new era for Dubai FDI as we engage global FDI markets to achieve Dubai Strategic Plan goals and provide investors with a new generation of investor services. We have gained valuable insights in the process of building our monitoring system, mapping FDI flows and engaging with investors to validate and evaluate the economic impact of FDI projects in Dubai. We look forward to working with our stakeholders and peers during the Beta stage to further develop a global initiative that aims to streamline FDI flows monitoring and evaluation standards at city level,” said Al Gergawi.

The ‘Dubai Foreign Direct Investment Flows, 2015 Highlights Report’ will be available on the Dubai FDI website:  


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