Emirates is the Middle East's destination for foreign investment and business attraction
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Emirates is the Middle East’s destination for foreign investment and business attraction




The United Arab Emirates offers many incentives to investors and supports entrepreneurship. The United Arab Emirates is developing incentives to raise the numbers of companies established to support national income diversification plans. It is lifting obstacles to the flow of foreign investment to the Middle East region.

The United Arab Emirates has an economy that is the most open in the world. The country has established its relations with more than 200 countries worldwide. This has made it an international trading hub, a major destination on the world trade map and a destination to attract foreign investment for the Middle East and North Africa region.

This comes as a future perspective in which the UAE economy will be a global economy based on knowledge and innovation, led by national competencies, skills and expertise, and has the highest standards of excellence and competitiveness to attract the best investments from all over the world, in an approach based on the empowerment and consolidation of the Emirates’ economic system, the expansion of its prospects and its transition to unprecedented levels to be the fastest-growing, most dynamic and stable in the region.

Since its founding 50 years ago, the United Arab Emirates has been a country that has opened up opportunities for investors to enter regional markets. It has always been a major regional and international destination for foreign investment. Thanks to its vibrant, prosperous and attractive economic environment for foreign direct investment, it is fully sustainable, with a legislative and legal system that is the most effective and flexible in the region.

This translates the State-harvested outposts into various reports and global competitiveness indicators, which will be monitored below:

For the fifth consecutive year, the United Arab Emirates led the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region in the Annual Report on Global Competitiveness 2021, issued by the International Institute for Management (IIDM) Global Competitiveness Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland. The United Arab Emirates has ranked ninth in the world to maintain its position among the ten most competitive countries in the world.

Despite the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates has moved ahead of countries such as the United States, Finland, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany, the United Kingdom and France to remain the only country in the Middle East and North Africa to have successfully reserved its position in the Big Ten Club for five consecutive years since joining the top 10 in the year 2017.

According to the results of this year’s report, the United Arab Emirates was ranked first in the world in 22 indicators, with the top five globally in 62 indicators and the top 10 globally in 120 indicators, out of a total of 335 indicators reported this year.

Despite United Nations estimations that worldwide foreign investment flows would decline by 42% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates grew by 44% in foreign investment received in 2020, compared with 2019, to 73 billion dirhams.

The United Arab Emirates was ranked first Arab, regional and 15th world in terms of its ability to attract FDI according to the results of the World Foreign Direct Investment Report 2021 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which monitors the results of FDI 2020 in the countries of the world.

In 2020, the United Arab Emirates attracted $19.9 billion worth of foreign direct investment, with 11.24% growth over 2019, leading the top Arab group with 49% of total foreign direct investment to the Arab Group.

By the end of 2020, the cumulative stock of foreign direct investment to the State had risen to 554.1 billion dirhams ($151 billion), according to a report by the United Arab Emirates documenting the march issued by the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics.

The report said: “The Emirates has become one of the most favourite investment destinations around the world, and one of the most exporting destinations for foreign investment as well,” adding that the Emirates has been able to take a prominent place on the regional and global investment map by creating its infrastructure and legislation to provide a flexible, open and attractive investment environment for investments and capital to all sectors.

The United Arab Emirates also topped the Middle East and North African countries’ rankings in attracting foreign direct investment in 2020, accounting for 40.2% of total inflows to the region, according to a recent report from the Arab Monetary Fund.

The United Arab Emirates also took 49% of total foreign direct investment in the Arab States, ranking first Arab, in 2020, at $19.9 billion, with 11.24% growth over 2019.

The country has outperformed advanced economies such as Britain, France and Japan. In contrast, foreign investment has diversified among oil, gas, technology, renewable energy, agriculture, artificial intelligence, robots and self-driving cars.

As the largest country in the Middle East and Africa, the United Arab Emirates placed first in foreign overseas tourism investments between 2016 and 2020.

The FDI report showed that the United Arab Emirates was the main source of overseas tourism investment in the Middle East and Africa between 2016 and 2020.

The report entitled “Foreign Tourism Investments 2021” noted that the United Arab Emirates had invested in 61 overseas tourism projects, equivalent to more than half of foreign direct investment projects originating from the region.

Many United Arab Emirates companies in the private and semi-governmental sector have launched various tourism projects in the region and the world to benefit from this growing sector, opening a number of resorts, hotels and destinations in countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and other global destinations.

The UAE has also maintained its lead for the Middle East region in attracting financing for $114 million worth of start-ups across 24 deals during November 2021.

According to a report from the Flash platform, start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa region earned $284 million.

Believing in development, the United Arab Emirates did not lose sight of industry, one of the focus sectors, in order to promote economic diversification and increase the contribution of industry to the UAE economy.

The United Arab Emirates launched the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology as a “300 billion project” as the most comprehensive ten-year government strategy to promote the State’s industrial sector and enhance the contribution of the industrial sector to GDP from DH 133 billion to DH 300 billion by 2031, focusing on future high-technology industries and the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, through the establishment of 13,500 companies and SMEs.

The UAE is focusing on new areas to achieve its industrial strategy and has begun to focus on new sectors, most notably the space sector, which is expected to be a major possibility for the future economy, especially as investment has reached over $5 billion in various activities of the nation’s space sector since the establishment of the UAE Space Agency in 2014.

The UAE Government, the National Space Policy, has developed a number of key principles and objectives for the UAE space programme to achieve this objective and vision and to enhance the contribution of the space industry to the diversification of the nation’s economy.

The United Arab Emirates has also made its mark on the space economy, as digital reading in the missions of the Probe of Hope to Mars shows the ability of the Emirates to invest in the space industry to enhance the leadership of the national economy.

Thus, in the digital accounts of the economic effects of the Probe of Hope, the UAE’s intrusion into space industries, in which international investment exceeded 22 billion dirhams, is a new starting point in the country’s record of achievements.

The United Arab Emirates is the fourth world to apply fifth-generation commercial services. It is the first country in the world to appoint a Minister of Artificial Intelligence, and it has opened the world’s first university specializing in artificial intelligence.

The non-oil foreign trade of the United Arab Emirates accounts for an important share of the country’s trade as part of the direction for stimulating non-oil growth. The United Arab Emirates also enjoys a worldwide real estate market, which has been successful over the past year, worth 275 billion dirhams over the past year, including sales of land and housing, commercial and industrial units, as well as mortgages and donations that have been documented over the past year.


The United Arab Emirates is also ranked as the most important digital market in the Middle East, and the country’s digital trade has seen a marked recovery, with digital transaction payments in 2020 amounting to about $18.50 billion. On the other hand, the exhibition and conference industry has received considerable interest from the UAE government. More recently, the UAE participated in the tenth session of the International Defence Expo “Melix 2021” in the Belarusian capital Minsk.