Dubai is No. 1 on the list of the world’s best destinations for FDI in tourism

Dubai has retained the world’s top spot for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in tourism in 2021. According to The Financial Times fDi Markets, the world’s leading source of cross-border foreign direct investment data, Dubai ranked first in terms of capital, projects and job creation in the tourism sector in 2021.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, highlighted the exceptional leadership and visionary policies of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for Dubai’s outstanding achievements and its status as a leading global destination for tourism FDI in a challenging year for the sector globally.

His Highness said Dubai’s favourable infrastructure, business-friendly policies and a flexible regulatory environment that meets the needs of global investors will enable it to remain at the forefront of global FDI destinations. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said Dubai’s world-class infrastructure and exceptional services for investors reinforced its strategy to become the world’s best city to live, work and visit.

The ‘fDi Markets’ city ranking is based on investment destinations that attract 10 or more greenfield FDI projects in a year. In 2021, Dubai’s tourism sector attracted AED 6.4 billion (US$1.7 billion) in FDI from 30 FDI projects. The new investments and projects created 5,545 new jobs during the year, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor report published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), a DET agency.

These remarkable FDI figures capped a landmark year for Dubai. The year 2021 saw the city lead the global tourism and travel revival after COVID-19, celebrate the UAE’s golden anniversary and welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai, becoming one of the safest destinations in the world.

The year also marked a successful five-year period in which Dubai outperformed leading international cities, including London, Paris and Shanghai, in attracting FDI into tourism. Dubai’s tourism sector attracted AED 83.5 billion ($22.8 billion) in FDI from 205 FDI projects between 2017-21, creating 30,082 new jobs.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “Dubai has created a unique tourism offering in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote Dubai as the most sought-after global city and the most attractive place to live, work, visit and invest. While reinforcing its advantages as a well-connected centre with world-class infrastructure, attractions and lifestyle, Dubai has also launched a concerted effort in key source markets to demonstrate its capabilities in driving business growth and as a leading global tourist destination. Dubai’s number one ranking reflects the effectiveness of its multi-geographic campaigns and the diversification of its offerings across sectors.”

The year 2021 saw the most sweeping legislative changes in the UAE’s history, with more than 40 laws in all areas being updated and reformed to speed up the ease of doing business and provide a seamless entry point for investors. In 2021, a five-year multi-entry visa for employees of multinational companies was introduced, in addition to previously launched initiatives. These include the popular Golden Visa initiative, which targets investors, entrepreneurs and specialised talent, as well as Virtual Work and Dubai Retirement programmes.

Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive of Dubai FDI, said the steady stream of international tourism investment reinforces Dubai’s status as a magnet for global talent. “Dubai’s number one ranking in terms of jobs created through FDI in tourism proves that the exemplary investment environment created in the city will continue to attract, retain and develop financial and human capital.”

The Dubai 2040 master plan will further enhance Dubai’s reputation as a global destination for business, investment and tourism. Dubai 2040 is a comprehensive roadmap aimed at aligning strategic economic priorities and future needs with sustainable development that enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors.

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