Dubai’s creative economy ranks top in FDI draw

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, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor report

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Issac John

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The rise in FDI inflow and rankings reflect the enhanced attractiveness of the emirate’s creative economy. — File photo
The rise in FDI inflow and rankings reflect the enhanced attractiveness of the emirate’s creative economy. — File photo

Published: Sun 29 May 2022, 3:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 29 May 2022, 10:26 PM

Dubai’s thriving creative economy drew Dh4.9 billion foreign direct investment in 2021 to rank first in the region and fourth globally in terms of creating jobs from FDI in the sector.

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, 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).

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, according to the report that was based on data from the ‘fDi Markets.’

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council, said the emirate 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.

“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,” Sheikha Latifa said.

“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-centred development process has further supported the growth of Dubai’s creative economy,” she said.

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 Dh50.9 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.

“Dubai’s success in continuously enhancing the well-being of its citizens, residents, and visitors and elevating the quality of services provided to them has raised the global creative community’s confidence in the emirate and made it a preferred global business, lifestyle, and entertainment destination,” said Sheikha Latifa.

Hala Badri, director general of Dubai Culture, said the Authority continues to reinforce the foundations to open new horizons for the various components of the emirate’s creative economy and cement its position on the global scene as an ideal investment destination.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, stressed that Dubai’s regional and global pre-eminence in FDI attraction stems from the vision and guidance of the leadership to build a diversified economy based on knowledge and innovation. 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, Joint-Ventures, and New Forms of Investments, in addition to Venture Capital Backed FDI.

According to ‘Dubai FDI Monitor’ data, Greenfield FDI accounted for 71 per cent of the total FDI projects in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries in 2021, followed by Mergers & Acquisitions projects (12per cent of the total), Reinvestment FDI projects (9.0 per cent), New Forms of Investments (5.0 per cent) and Joint Venture (2. per cent).

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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