“Dubai ranked second globally in greenfield FDI capital flows and third globally in the number of FDI projects. The Dubai FDI Monitor preliminary data for this period recorded 155 newly announced FDI projects with more than AED10 billion of expected capital,” said Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Investment Development Agency, and President of the World Association for Investment Promotion Agencies, WAIPA, during an interview with CNBC on Dubai’s performance in attracting foreign direct investment, FDI, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, Dubai is at the forefront of global FDI destinations that are ready and resilient thanks to the wise policy measures adopted by the UAE leadership to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Dubai’s strategic advantages that enhance opportunities for growth, partnership and innovation for leading global businesses and startups” said Al Gergawi. “One of the key positive indicators which represent a global vote of confidence from investors is the sustained FDI flows into Dubai-based startups, which exceeded AED700 million during the same period. Dubai is the only city in the MENA region featured among the top 20 most popular destinations for venture capital investments according to fDi Markets’ Global Venture Capital FDI Ranking 2020 report,” he added.
Commenting on the state of FDI during the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Gergawi highlighted the importance of extending support to current investors as part of Aftercare programmes. “At Dubai FDI, we have maintained ongoing communication with Dubai investors, and provided the latest updates, data and analysis along with our support services to help investors overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Al Gergawi. “We are working closely with investors to support the realisation of announced FDI projects, which witnessed delays due to the pandemic. Some of the FDI projects already in the pipeline will be realised this year depending on both the sector and public health measures,” he added.
Speaking about the efforts to attract FDI in the current circumstances, Al Gergawi revealed that Dubai FDI has launched a series of Virtual Investment Promotion Missions in cooperation with investment promotion partners around the world, relevant Dubai Government departments and Free Zones in Dubai, to support the growth and expansion of FDI into Healthcare, Logistics, e-Commerce, Digital Economy and new sectors such as food and AgriTech which are seeing increasing interest from global investors.
Al Gergawi pointed out that Dubai ranked seventh globally in the ‘fDi Aerospace Cities of the Future 2020/2021’ report issued recently by the Financial Times’ fDi Markets, and ranked second in FDI performance in the sector, which is a testimony to the diverse and attractive investment opportunities offered by Dubai.
Commenting on the long-term impact of the pandemic on FDI, Al Gergawi stated that the shift in global business expansion decisions will be manifested through the investor’s strategic choices. “Global investors are facing a new nexus of efficiency, resilience and economic impact,” said Al Gergawi. “As President of the World Association for Investment Promotion Agencies, WAIPA, we are working closely with all stakeholders including leading global investors, international organisations and FDI experts to enhance the ‘Impact FDI’ ecosystem and facilitate the contribution of FDI projects to sustainable development,” he further said.