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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.”

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