Specialist strategies give Dubai an edge in attracting investment, FDI chief says
The emirate ranked sixth globally for FDI flows in the first half of the year, according to FDi Intelligence
The strategies put in place in recent years by Dubai targeting investment in specialist sectors "have primed the city to attract investments" into emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and 3D printing, the chief executive of Dubai's Investment Development Agency said.
Speaking at an online session on investment readiness as part of Dubai Department of Economic Development's Market Dialogue series, the agency's Fahad Al Gergawi also said the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the speed and efficiency at which Dubai and its free zones can deliver services to inward investors.
“Dubai's readiness to attract conventional as well as new forms of investment is evident in the specialised strategies and initiatives launched over the past years," he said.
The measures positioned the city to attract investment into emerging sectors, such as the green economy, renewable energy, smart city, digital economy, artificial intelligence, transportation, 3D printing, e-commerce, and other technologies.
The economic fallout from Covid-19 has tipped the global economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression. The International Monetary Fund forecasts the world economy will shrink 4.6 per cent this year, while the World Bank estimates it is likely to contract 5.2 per cent.
The pandemic has slowed global trade and disrupted investment. In May, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimated that FDI flows globally will decline more than 30 per cent this year, and fund flows to developing markets are expected to fall even further. It said FDI flows have steadily declined over the past five years and could remain below pre-crisis levels next year if public health measures and economic support measures are not effective.
Dubai, however, has managed to sustain FDI flows, attracting Dh12bn through 190 projects in the first half of 2020, with 50 per cent of the capital allocated to greenfield projects and 36 per cent to new forms of investment.
The city ranked sixth globally in attracting foreign investment during the six-month period and first in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to FDI Intelligence data.
Dubai is working closely with investors to enhance its absorptive capacity to handle new investments, Mr Al Gergawi said.
“A number of strategic components, including infrastructure, legislation, public services [and] geographical location reinforce Dubai as a smart and sustainable city of the future, and a major hub in the global economy," he said.
The emirate also hit a new milestone in attracting Dh2bn of investment into its start-ups, Mr Al Gergawi added.
Earlier this week, Dubai's Investment Development Agency signed an agreement with DIFC Courts to collaborate on the exchange of information and research, and the hosting of joint conferences and exhibitions. The deal builds on an earlier accord signed in 2015.
Updated: September 15, 2020 05:37 PM