• | 10:30 am

Dubai retains position as world’s top FDI destination for tourism

The emirate’s tourism sector attracted $22.8 billion in FDI capital across 205 FDI projects during 2017-21, generating 30,082 new jobs.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

According to the Financial Times’ fDi Markets data, a leading global data source on crossborder greenfield FDI investments, Dubai has maintained its top ranking worldwide for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into tourism in 2021. With $1.7 billion across 30 FDI projects, Dubai ranked number one in FDI capital, projects, and job creation in the tourism sector in 2021. According to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, the new projects generated 5,545 jobs during the year. 

Dubai is ahead of leading international cities, including London, Paris, and Shanghai, in attracting FDI into tourism. The city’s tourism sector attracted $22.8 billion in FDI capital across 205 FDI projects during 2017-21, generating 30,082 new jobs.

Dubai also welcomed nearly 7.8 million international overnight visitors in 2021, representing a 32% year-over-year growth and underlining the city’s efforts to become the world’s most visited destination. The success of Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest global event of its kind that attracted more than 24 million visitors, followed Dubai’s achievement in being selected as the world’s most popular destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022.

“Foreign investment flowing into Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors and spurring the development of new attractions and destinations are a testament to the sustainability and attractiveness of Dubai’s economy and the confidence the city encourages among residents, visitors, and the global investor community. The new policies and legislation being adopted to align the UAE economy with global developments and the long-term residency being offered to investors and entrepreneurs will see Dubai and its tourism sector sustaining the FDI momentum through to 2022 and beyond,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, DET, in a statement. 

The year 2021 witnessed the most extensive legislative change in the history of the UAE, with more than 40 laws in all fields updated and reformed to accelerate the ease of business and ensure hassle-free entry for investors. A five-year multi-entry visa was introduced for employees of multinational companies in 2021, adding to previously launched initiatives. These included the popular Golden Visa initiative targeting investors, entrepreneurs, and specialized talents and the Virtual Working and Retire in Dubai Programmes.

The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan will further reinforce the city’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, enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors.

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