Headquarters of the Dubai Airport Free Zone

Headquarters of the Dubai Airport Free Zone

UAE FDI set for 14.4bn this year

01 May 2014

FDI investment in the UAE reached $12 billion in 2013 and is projected to grow 20 per cent in 2014 to reach $14.4 billion, according to Middle East firm Fortress Investments

The estimated growth rate in 2014 would represent a 260 per cent increase over 2008, which not only demonstrates full recovery from the global financial crisis, but also reflects huge future growth potential for the UAE economy that would offer greater investment opportunities, said Fortress.

“There is phenomenal investor interest in the UAE market. Dubai is now one of the most popular investment destinations among global investors. Many emerging sectors are attracting higher attention from investors, such as reality, ICT, education, tourism and entertainment,” said Hamed Mokhtar, managing director at Fortress Investments. “Dubai’s attraction as an investment hotspot was never greater.”

Dubai’s successful Expo 2020 bid will ensure that investment in the UAE market is lucrative in the medium term, as Dubai and the UAE would benefit from an estimated $6.9 billion earmarked for infrastructure projects around the event, he said.

Dubai’s construction industry would benefit from the heightened new activity, but other sectors like travel, tourism, hospitality and retail would also gain during the run-up to the event and thereafter. “Any significant investment should be carefully studied with the help of investment professionals,” advised Mokhtar.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Statistics Centre said free zones in Dubai account for 50 per cent of the emirate’s FDI.

The centre attributed the high FDI to the leveraging of a pioneer model backed by a world-class infrastructure and professional environment, unparalleled logistics services, investor-friendly legislation and economic stability.

It particularly mentioned the tax-free regime and investment safety as encouragements to greater FDI.



An Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) was held recently at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre during which a lengthy discussion took place on the opportunities and potential of FDI in industries such as agriculture. A highlight was the discussion on the role of free zones.

Participants agreed that Dubai provided the most successful model in which retail and wholesale trading, processing manufacturing, transportation and communications remained key drivers of investment to the free zones.

“The meeting succeeded in enabling knowledge exchange among experts, professionals, academics, consultants and others from more than 110 countries,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, AIM’s organising committee.

The next day saw a discussion on the flow of FDI into developed and developing markets with participants agreeing that higher levels of FDI were flowing into developing countries in sharp contrast to the late 1990s when the flow favoured developed markets.

The meeting suggested that the UAE could help internationally in the development of investment policies considering its experience in the field.

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