News Details

Dubai once again ranks No. 1 for attracting greenfield FDI projects

United Arab Emirates



Dubai has once again reinforced its position as the world’s leading hub for foreign direct investment (FDI). According to the Financial Times Ltd’s ‘fDi Markets’ data, the emirate ranked No. 1 overall in attracting global greenfield FDI projects in 2023, the third successive year it has achieved this ranking. The emirate also stood No. 1 globally within key clusters, including consumer goods, energy, e-commerce, and tourism for greenfield FDI projects attraction, greenfield FDI capital attraction, and jobs created through FDI attraction. In 2023, Dubai welcomed 1,070 global greenfield FDI projects, 142 percent more than second-placed Singapore (442) and 148 percent more than third-placed London (431). In the past five years, Dubai’s global share in attracting such projects has more than tripled, increasing from 1.7 percent in 2019 to 6 percent in 2023.“Dubai’s ability to secure the No. 1 ranking in global greenfield FDI projects in 2023 for the third consecutive year demonstrates the city’s ability to continually generate new opportunities for global businesses. The growing FDI inflows support the objective of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said. “Dubai’s stability, cutting-edge infrastructure, and dynamic business environment have made it a focal point for investment, enterprise and talent,” he added.


FDI report card
According to the data, the emirate recorded a total of 1,650 FDI projects in 2023, a strong growth of 39 percent compared to the 1,188 FDI projects in 2022. These projects included greenfield FDI, new forms of investments (NFIs), mergers and acquisitions (M&A), reinvestments, venture capital-backed FDI, and greenfield joint ventures. The data revealed a significant upswing in job creation through FDI in Dubai, increasing by 15.5 percent year on year, with 44,771 total estimated jobs. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “This achievement highlights the successful collaborations with our stakeholders and international partners, affirming Dubai’s status as a premier global hub for high-quality FDI. The enduring confidence of investors, multinational corporations, startups, and global talent in Dubai’s robust investment and business climate is a testament to our strategic initiatives.” According to UN Conference on Trade and Development, global FDI flows in 2023, at an estimated $1.37 trillion, showed an increase of 3 percent over 2022. Yet, excluding few large European deals, global FDI flows were 18 percent lower. In line with global FDI flows, Dubai attracted an estimated AED39.26 billion ($10.69 billion) in total FDI capital during 2023.


Top source countries for FDI into Dubai
Top five source countries by FDI capital accounted for 66.6 percent of the total estimated flows into Dubai in 2023, while for FDI projects, the top five source countries accounted for almost 55.7 percent for the same period. Canada featured in the top five source countries by FDI capital due to one large M&A deal – Canada-based Brookfield Business Partners acquiring Network International for $2.76 billion. The top five source countries by total estimated FDI capital into Dubai in 2023 were Canada (26.5 percent), United States (17.5 percent), Saudi Arabia (8.9 percent), United Kingdom (8.2 percent), and India (5.5 percent), while the top five source countries based on total announced FDI projects were the United States (15.5 percent), United Kingdom (15.3 percent), India (14.9 percent), France (6.3 percent), and Italy (3.6 percent).


Top sectors for FDI into Dubai
The top five sectors accounted for 67.6 percent of the total estimated FDI capital flows into Dubai in 2023, and 69.3 percent of total announced FDI projects, according to Dubai FDI Monitor data. Top sectors by total estimated FDI capital were financial services (29.1 percent), business services (19 percent), consumer products (9.2 percent), software and IT services (6 percent), and textiles (4.3 percent), while the top sectors by total announced FDI projects were business services (22.8 percent), food and beverages (14.3 percent), software and IT services (14.1 percent), consumer projects (9.5 percent), and textiles (8.6 percent).