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Dubai technology sector attracts billions in foreign investments

Dubai has reportedly attracted $21.66 billion worth of foreign direct investment in high-end technology transfers in three years.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai

The investments, came mainly from the European Union and the US, which outstripped all others in both the number of projects they have initiated – 355 and 213 projects, respectively, and in their capital investments – $5.7 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively.

Importantly, these investments have ushered in a new era of sustainable economic growth in Dubai driven by higher productivity growth, said the report by the Financial Times – fDi Markets Data & fDi Benchmark Study.

Close to 60 percent of the total capex FDI into Dubai during the last three years have been realized in medium to high-tech sectors, and these have consequently earned the Emirate the top rank globally in 2018 in the share of FDI in technology transfer like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

This transformation has created new opportunities for business and boosted Dubai’s competitiveness across all sectors.

These achievements are in line with Dubai 2021 Plan that embodies Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai vision to transform Dubai into a “smart city” where innovation and digitization play a critical role in driving economic growth in a sustainable manner.

Today, Smart Dubai boasts AI-enabled services, including most notably “Rashid” that responds to investors and entrepreneurs questions in audio format or in writing and receive the most relevant and up-to-date information on business licenses procedures and fees as well as step-by-step instructions on setting up a business.

The new investment law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership, and the new 10 year visas for international investors/innovators, skilled professionals and exceptional students, which the government has announced on April 15 2018, are expected to further boost FDI inflows by as much as 15 percent per year, especially in high tech activities.

DED and its agency Dubai FDI will continue their efforts in attracting and facilitating technology-intensive FDI into Dubai through strategic alliances and partnerships with the world’s leading firms and investment promotion agencies, business councils and entrepreneurs.

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