Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Dubai tops ‘greenfield’ FDI ranking for third year

Investment talks. Dubai reported 1,650 FDI projects in 2023 Alamy
Investment talks: Dubai reported 1,650 FDI projects in 2023
  • 1,070 projects in 2023
  • Singapore and London beaten
  • FDI total hit $10.6bn

Dubai is the world’s top location for “greenfield” foreign direct investment for the third consecutive year, according to fDi Markets.

A total of 1,070 greenfield FDI projects, where a company sets up in a foreign country, building its facilities from the ground up, were reported in Dubai in 2023.

This was more than double the figure for second-placed Singapore, which the fDi Markets research said had 442 projects. London was third with 431 projects.

Saudi Arabia had 359 projects, a year-on-year increase of 65 percent.

In total, Dubai attracted 1,650 FDI projects worth more than AED39 billion ($10.6 billion) last year. This made up 6 percent of the global total in 2023 and helped create 45,000 jobs. 

Increasing FDI supports D33, the Dubai economic strategy that aims to double the size of the emirate’s economy to AED32 trillion by 2033.

“With its reputation for political and economic stability, the UAE is a sought-after destination for investments,” said Arun Leslie John, chief market analyst at Century Financial.



The emirate also took the top spot for headquarters FDI projects for the second consecutive year, attracting 60 projects in 2023.

Damian Hitchen, CEO at Saxo Bank Mena, said: “This influx of investment not only fuels Dubai's economic expansion but also radiates across the UAE, spurring growth in various sectors and bolstering job creation.”

Latest articles

A welder at work in Ras Al Kaimah. The northern emirates will benefit from lower electricity tariffs under a new scheme for local manufacturers in the UAE

UAE to direct additional $6bn to local manufacturers

The UAE is to direct an additional AED23 billion ($6.3 billion) to local manufacturers as it strives to develop its homegrown sectors and diversify its economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons. Abu Dhabi state oil company Adnoc will expand its local manufacturing procurement programme for critical industrial products by AED20 billion to AED90 billion […]

Workers at a Riyadh construction site. The Tonomus competition aims to find innovation in the sector

Saudi Arabia races to find technologies for futuristic cities

Saudi Arabia is urgently seeking new technologies for its construction and real estate sectors as it races to make good on its pledge to build futuristic multi-billion-dollar cities. Tonomus, a subsidiary of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s $500 billion signature Neom development, has joined forces with the Public Investment Fund to launch a competition offering […]

Riyadh Air Comac C919

Riyadh Air not buying from China’s Comac ‘for now’

Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s new national carrier, will not consider China’s Comac for its narrowbody order to be announced later this year. However, the airline said it saw a future in Saudi Arabia for Comac, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, as the Chinese alternative to Boeing and Airbus.  “The narrowbody order is in its […]

Organisations have protested US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid to buy a stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings

Malaysian airport deal faces Gaza war backlash

Plans by a consortium, including the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to buy a stake in Malaysian airports have been hit by protests against the deal from local business organisations in the Asian country. As many as 22 organisations have called upon the Malaysian government to block US investment bank BlackRock’s participation in the bid […]