HomeEconomyDubai ranks 1st regionally, 2nd globally in 2021 creative economy FDI projects
By Economy Middle East
May 29, 2022 2:46 pm

Dubai ranks 1st regionally, 2nd globally in 2021 creative economy FDI projects

Dubai attracted FDI worth AED 50.9 billion from 2017 to 2021

Dubai consolidated its status as a global cultural hub and investment destination, ranking first in the MENA region and second in the world in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the cultural and creative industries (CCI) in 2021, revealed Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council.

According to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai attracted 233 new projects in the creative economy in 2021. Surpassing other major cities such as New York, Singapore, and Berlin, Dubai improved its rankings from fifth in the previous year.

The report was based on data from the Financial Times’ ‘fDi Markets,’ the world’s leading data source on greenfield FDI projects.

HH Sheikha Latifa said: “These results reflect the maturity and stability of the investment environment in the emirate’s creative economy. Dubai has created outstanding FDI opportunities in the sector by building a robust ecosystem and an advanced business-enabling infrastructure for creative entrepreneurs.

“By fostering an environment that promotes learning, development, and innovation, Dubai has developed a vibrant global creative community. Its unique social fabric that has evolved out of the emirate’s remarkable cultural diversity and its comprehensive human-centered development process has further supported the growth of Dubai’s creative economy.”

Data from Dubai FDI Monitor indicates significant growth in foreign investment in the cultural and creative industries. The sector’s estimated value of FDI capital flows exceeded AED4.9 billion in 2021. The rise in FDI inflow and rankings reflect the enhanced attractiveness of the emirate’s creative economy. In terms of the number of new jobs in the creative economy, Dubai held on to its top rank regionally and fourth globally with 6,204 new jobs created from FDI.

A magnet for FDI


HH Sheikha Latifa said Dubai has witnessed a remarkable rise in FDI capital flows in the creative economy during the past five years. In the 2017-21 five-year period, the emirate’s creative economy witnessed FDI capital inflows of AED50.9 billion across 787 projects. This increase follows the directives and initiatives of Dubai’s wise leadership to make the emirate a destination for creativity and talent through innovative infrastructure, laws, and legislation. The results are now a tangible and sustainable reality in the development journey, as envisioned by the leadership.

According to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, these projects created 32,542 new jobs during the five-year period. Dubai ranks fifth globally in terms of projects, eighth in terms of FDI capital flows into the creative economy, and fourth in terms of jobs created during the past five years, data from Financial Times Ltd ‘fDi Markets’ shows.

Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, stressed that Dubai’s cultural and creative industries sector has increased its attractiveness to all forms of FDI, including greenfield FDI projects, FDI Reinvestment projects, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As), Joint-Ventures, and New Forms of Investments (NFIs), in addition to Venture Capital (VC) Backed FDI. “The Dubai FDI Monitor data provides a comprehensive analysis of FDI projects in Dubai’s economic sectors. It helps the strategic planning process for enhancing Dubai’s attractiveness for FDI, as well as the FUSpromotion, facilitation, and the provision of specialized and reliable services to the investor community,” Al Gergawi said.

According to ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ data, Greenfield FDI accounted for 71% of the total FDI projects in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries in 2021, followed by Mergers & Acquisitions projects (12% of the total), Reinvestment FDI projects (9%), New Forms of Investments (5%) and Joint Venture (2%).