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Dubai logs 135% rise in FDI inflows in H1-2019

City ranks 3rd globally in FDI inflows; 24,294 jobs created


Dubai recorded exceptional growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first half of 2019, with FDI projects worth a record USD 12.69 billion, a growth of 135 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

During the first half of 2019, Dubai also continued to progress in global rankings of the most attractive cities for FDI, ranking third in the world in attracting FDI, in terms of both capital flows and the number of greenfield projects.

The FDI flows and rankings results were revealed by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy-Government of Dubai, based on the Financial Times’ fDi Markets, the world’s leading online platform that monitors data on capital flows and greenfield FDI projects around the world and Dubai FDI Monitor data.

Dubai has been particularly successful in attracting advanced technology and specialized talent in the first half of 2019. According to Dubai FDI Monitor data, FDI projects with High and Medium Technology component reached 47 percent of total FDI projects in the first half of 2019, based on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) classification criteria. FDI projects with High and Medium Technology component were at the forefront of creating new jobs with a 48 percent share of the 24,294 new jobs created by FDI projects in the first half of 2019.

Dubai ranked ninth globally in job creation through FDI, according to the Financial Times’ fDi Markets data.

Dubai has maintained a leading position among top global cities in FDI attraction over the past five years, which reflects what Dubai offers in terms of diverse investment opportunities in key economic sectors.

Dubai’s rise in global FDI rankings confirms the growing confidence of the global investment community in the city's investment environment.

The growth of FDI flows into Dubai comes at a time when there have been many positive developments in the UAE’s investment environment. A new FDI Law, numerous economic incentives, and concerted efforts to deepen cooperation and partnerships with the private sector have all contributed to Dubai’s record FDI achievements.

Dubai is classified as a Major City in international rankings for top FDI locations, ranking third in overall rankings and second in economic potential in the latest “Global Cities of the Future 2018-2019", report by the Financial Times’ fDi Benchmark study.

Dubai supports global business and startup growth and expansion, making it a gateway to regional and global markets, and a global hub for talent, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Based on Dubai FDI Monitor data analysis, Dubai’s diverse economy has been particularly successful in creating new investment opportunities in terms of strategic investment projects that reflect global business growth and expansion in Dubai. The city attracted 257 FDI projects in the first half of 2019, 61 percent of which were greenfield, followed by 27 percent new forms of investment (NFIs), 6 percent reinvestment, 5 percent mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and 1 percent new joint ventures.

Strategic FDI projects accounted for 62 percent of total FDI capital flows to Dubai in the first half of 2019.

The United States continues to lead FDI capital flows to Dubai, accounting for 34 percent, while China has risen to the second position with 28 percent, followed by the UK with 11 percent, France with 5 percent and Singapore with 5 percent. The five countries together accounted for 83 percent of total FDI capital flows to Dubai in the first half of 2019.

Notable FDI deals during the period include the Uber acquisition of Careem, and Mastercard International's investment in Network International.

Major FDI projects announced during this period included the Zhejiang China Commodities Group investment in the new Merchant Market joint venture and China Co-Op Group's investment in the construction of a new food processing plant in Dubai. Both projects amount to USD 3.4 billion in greenfield FDI.

Increased corporate reinvestments in Dubai include the new HSBC Middle East headquarters project with an estimated value of USD 250 million, Siemens’ new Solar Hydrogen Facility with an estimated value of USD 67.52 million, the BMW Training Center project with an estimated value of USD 8 million, along with large construction investments like the W Palm Hotel by Marriott that carries an estimated value of USD 203 million.

Full data and analysis of FDI flows into Dubai including capital, project profiles and global rankings are available on, a smart service by Dubai FDI that provides access to the latest FDI data to investors around the clock.


Dubai FDI Monitor / fDi Markets