Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, is working closely with investors with the aim of enhancing the absorptive capacity of new quality investments that keep pace with global market trends and support sustainable economic growth in the emirate, said Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI and President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).
Participating in an open forum organised by Dubai Economy as part of its ‘Market Dialogue’ series under the title ‘Investment Readiness” The Future of Growth, Partnership and Innovation,’ Al Gergawi emphasised that future readiness is critical to maintaining the progress achieved by Dubai, most notably its decade-long leadership regionally as the topmost city in attracting FDI, during 2010 – 2019.
During the dialogue Al Gergawi shed light on the investment environment in Dubai post COVID-19, its strategic components, new types of investments being attracted and the opportunity available in the city for companies for growth, partnership and innovation.
Al Gergawi explained that COVID-19 demonstrated the efficiency and speed of services provided by the Government of Dubai and the free zones in the emirate to facilitate the process of establishing and licensing investment projects and companies in the emirate, which created new opportunities and promoted growth of investments in critical sectors such as healthcare, logistics, e-commerce and digital economy, and particularly in technologies and services relating to food and agriculture.
Al Gergawi said, “Businesses locally and internationally realise the advantages of being in Dubai. A number of strategic components, including infrastructure, legislation, public services, geographical location, reinforce Dubai as a smart and sustainable city of the future, and a major hub in the global economy. Investment in its essence is concerned with the future, and that is why Dubai continues to develop its readiness in all fields in line with the vision and directives of our leadership, particularly His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
He further noted that 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.
“These measures have primed the city to attract investments into emerging sectors, such as green economy, renewable energy, smart city, digital economy, artificial intelligence, transportation, 3D printing, e-commerce, and other technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Today, Dubai ranks among the top 10 cities globally in attracting investments into artificial intelligence, renewable energy, space and financial technology.”
Al Gergawi stressed that global investment trends confirm the importance of the maturity of the local market in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation, which have become one of the most significant drivers of new forms of investment, especially venture capital, in addition to mergers and acquisitions. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on international travel, Dubai was able to achieve a new milestone in attracting investments of more than AED 2 billion in start-ups based in the emirate.
Referring to the role of Dubai FDI and its services, Al Gergawi said the agency continues to develop, promote and support local and international investors through strategic programmes and specialised services.
Al Gergawi also mentioned Dubai performing exceptionally in the fDi Markets intelligence of the ‘Financial Times,’ which monitors capital flows and new investment projects around the world. In spite of the impact of COVID-19, Dubai remained at the forefront of cities in the Middle East & North Africa and sixth globally in attracting FDI capital during the first half of 2020. Globally, the city ranked third in attracting greenfield FDI and fourth in project capital. Dubai also ranked first in MENA and seventh globally in the number of jobs resulting from FDI.
Speaking of the role of investment promotion agencies (IPAs), Al Gergawi, in his capacity as President of WAIPA, stressed that they play a vital role in supporting sustainable economic development at the level of cities and countries globally. IPAs assume added significance in light of the economic challenges that the world is currently facing, especially with declining global FDI, which dropped to less than $1 trillion this year.
Dubai has continuously maintained its leadership in attracting sustainable investments over the past ten years and also grown into a preferred global headquarters for international companies in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.