Dubai Ranked 1st in FDI Report

There’s many reasons why Dubai is a top-ranked destination worldwide for foreign direct investment, but it can be summed up in the following points: a wholly owned subsidiary foreign direct investment, growing ecosystem, welcoming environment for foreigners and a strong commitment to innovation and development. 

In fact, Dubai topped the 2021 annual FDI report, placing first worldwide of cities that attract foreign investment, an improvement from a third-place ranking the previous year. Keep reading to find out exactly what makes Dubai a truly remarkable destination for foreign direct investment abroad. 

direct foreign investment advantages and disadvantages

Foreign Direct Investment Rankings

Before we dive into Dubai’s superb results, let’s define the Foreign Direct Investment Report and what it means. There are many factors that affect the foreign direct investment rankings, but as part of the World Investment Report, the FDI section focuses specifically on investments abroad and how said investments impact both the sustainable development goals of the UN and the global economy. The following five areas are the main areas of study within the report:

  • Productivity & Innovation

  • Employment & Job Quality

  • Skills

  • Gender Equality

  • Carbon Footprint 

These rankings are based on the tracking and analysis of all types of FDI projects around the world, including mergers and acquisitions, greenfield FDI projects, joint ventures, venture capital and new forms of investment. Dubai’s FDI increased 5.5% from 2020, growing in all major metrics; job creation also increased by 36%. This is especially impressive given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. 

Take a look at Dubai’s main metrics from the 2021 FDI Report: 

  • 1st globally in attracting FDI greenfield projects

  • 1st in the MENA region in attracting FDI greenfield projects

  • 618 FDI projects announced in 2021

  • 1st in the MENA region and 2nd globally attracting headquarter FDI projects (43 total) 

  • 3rd globally in HQ FDI capital flows

Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai surpassed all expectations and contributed significantly to the success of foreign direct investmentin the region. 192 countries and more than 24 million visitors participated in the event, creating key partnerships and bringing diverse business opportunities to the city. 

wholly owned subsidiary foreign direct investment

Foreigner-Friendly Policies 

Perhaps one of Dubai’s strongest points is its foreigner-friendly policies that help attract entrepreneurs and business professionals from around the world. Dubai’s expat population makes up more than 80% of the city’s population; many of the rules and regulations surrounding business incorporation cater specifically to foreigners. Here are some of the main benefits: 

Are you ready to take advantage of everything Dubai has to offer? Contact us today to set up your company in Dubai today. 

Written by
Adrian Oton


Adrian Oton
CEO, Europe Emirates Group

UAE Setup Guide

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