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UAE: FDI inflows rise by 3.9% in 2021 to reach AED 76 billion

Article-UAE: FDI inflows rise by 3.9% in 2021 to reach AED 76 billion

Dubai FDI
• Total FDI balance in the country exceeds AED 630 billion with a growth of 13.7% • The UAE advanced nine ranks in 2020 compared to 2019 and ranked 15th globally in its initiatives to attract FDI

According to the Ministry of Economy in the UAE, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the UAE recorded a 3.9% growth in 2021 compared to 2020 to reach nearly AED 76 billion (USD 20.7 billion).

As a result, the total FDI balance in the country increased to reach nearly AED 630 billion (USD 171.6 billion) by the end of 2021, highlighting a 13.7% growth over 2020.

Over the past ten years, FDI inflows into the country have grown by 116%, while the total balance of those investments during the same period grew by 113%.


According to H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, the figures reveal the strength and flexibility of the UAE’s national economy and the attractiveness of its business and investment environment, making it a preferred and attractive destination for FDI and pioneering projects from various international markets.

“These policies align with a new economic model that is more flexible and sustainable, with more openness to global markets, and are also in line with future economic trends and emerging technologies.

The most prominent among them is the granting of 100% free and full foreign ownership of projects and investments in all economic sectors, with the exception of a limited number of activities with a strategic impact. Another notable initiative is the launch of the ‘Projects of the 50,’ which include several strategic and qualitative initiatives to attract pioneering projects and talents. We will continue our efforts in this direction during the next stage, following the UAE’s recent hosting of the Investopia summit that strengthened its position as a destination for future investments. It has set forth the goal to attract AED 550 billion worth foreign investments to the country by 2030, to eventually reach AED 1 trillion by 2051.”

FDI received has been spread across all sectors within the UAE, including real estate, healthcare, agriculture, renewable energy, transportation, Internet of Things and blockchain, and robotics.


According to the UAE government, outward investments reached nearly AED 82.6 billion (AED 22.5 billion) in 2021, with an annual growth of 19.1%. They grew by 789% over the past ten years, which led to an increase in the UAE’s investments in foreign markets to reach nearly AED 830.5 billion (USD 226.3 billion) by the end of 2021, with a growth of 11.1% compared to the end of 2020.

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade said that the growth achieved by the country in attracting FDI reflects the confidence of the international community in its investment environment. He noted that it confirms the efficiency of the trade and investment openness policies pursued by the country, as the UAE now enjoys more opportunities to attract investments.

The UAE advanced by nine ranks in 2020 compared to 2019 and ranked 15th globally in its initiatives to attract FDI. In addition, it advanced six positions globally in terms of outward FDI flows to rank first in the Arab world and 13 globally, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2021.


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