Dubai ranks as top choice globally for FDI into tourism in 2021
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Dubai ranks as the world’s top tourism FDI destination in 2021

Dubai ranks as the world’s top tourism FDI destination in 2021

Dubai’s tourism sector attracted Dhs6.4bn in FDI across 30 FDI projects in 2021

Gulf Business
Dubai world's top FDI tourism destination-1

Dubai has retained its top rank worldwide for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into tourism in 2021, according to The Financial Times’ fDi Markets, a global data source on crossborder greenfield FDI investments.

According to the Dubai Media Office, the city rankings of ‘fDi Markets’ are based on investment destinations that attract 10 or more greenfield FDI projects in a year. Dubai’s tourism sector attracted Dhs6.4bn ($1.7 billion) in FDI across 30 FDI projects in 2021.

The new investments and projects generated 5,545 new jobs during the year, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, credited the exceptional leadership and visionary policies of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for Dubai’s remarkable achievements and its status as the world’s leading tourism FDI destination in a challenging year for the sector globally.

A good year for tourism
In 2021, the city led a resurgence in global travel and tourism after Covid-19, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the UAE, and welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai while emerging as one of the safest destinations in the world.

The year also marked a successful five-year period during which Dubai stayed ahead of leading international cities, including London, Paris and Shanghai, in attracting FDI into tourism.

Dubai’s tourism sector attracted Dhs83.5 bn ($22.8bn) in FDI capital across 205 FDI projects during 2017-21, generating 30,082 new jobs.

Dubai welcomed 7.28 million international overnight visitors in 2021, representing a 32 per cent year-over-year growth, and underscoring the city’s efforts to become the world’s most visited destination.

The exceptional 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.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general, DET, said, “Dubai has created a unique tourism proposition in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to promote Dubai as the most sought-after global city and the most attractive location to live, work, visit and invest.

“While consolidating its advantages as a well-connected hub with world-class infrastructure, attractions and lifestyle, Dubai also launched concerted efforts in key source markets to showcase its capabilities in enabling business growth and as a leading global tourism centre. Dubai’s top rank reflects the effectiveness of the multi-geographic campaigns and its diversified offering across sectors.”

The strong investor interest in Dubai’s tourism sector complemented Dubai’s net gains as an investment destination in 2021. The value of total FDI capital flows into all sectors in Dubai exceeded Dhs26bn from 618 announced FDI projects in 2021, with a growth rate of 5.5 per cent compared to 2020.

Almarri added: “Rapid and effective measures adopted in the face of the pandemic contributed substantially to positioning Dubai as the destination of choice for global investors. 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.”

Read: Dubai ranked first globally in attracting FDI projects in 2021

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