Dubai FDI, the foreign investment office in the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, succeeded in attracting and promoting 77 companies in the emirate during 2011. Together the companies accounted for a total foreign direct investment (FDI) of AED3.44 billion and a turnover of AED16.57 billion.
The past year also saw significant gains by Dubai FDI in strengthening its links with governments, investment promotion agencies and the investor community across the globe. New partnerships, research and enhanced networking helped Dubai FDI address investor concerns more efficiently and share best practices in encouraging FDI inflows.
The strategic advantages of Dubai as a regional operations hub and investment destination were successfully conveyed across a wide range of platforms including trade and industry forums, workshops and mutual visits by business delegations, hosted and attended by Dubai FDI in 2011.
The 77 companies set up in Dubai represent different operations including logistics, construction, technology, chemicals and renewable energy, reflecting the growing diversity of enterprises leveraging Dubai to gain traction and service strategic growth markets.
“Investors world over are now more focused on faster access to markets and better efficiencies in terms of operations and cost. Dubai, by virtue of its location and infrastructure, offers the fastest link to the growing markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. At the same time, policy-making in the emirate is essentially linked to promoting business and enterprise,” commented Mr Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Office of Dubai FDI.
“For Dubai FDI, the focus is on communicating the competitive advantage of doing business in Dubai to the global investor community. We have successfully developed a variety of channels and tools to demonstrate to businesses the benefits in setting up their base in Dubai to reach out to key markets worldwide,” Al Gergawi added.
As part of its emphasis on knowledge-sharing and networking, Dubai FDI attended 36 events in 2011, including 13 international events. The first Annual Investment Meeting on the UAE held in Dubai, Leaders in Logistics and the Quebec Forum were some of the premier local events attended by Dubai FDI. The agency was also part of the UAE trade delegation to different countries including Australia and Italy and also participated in the Dubai Business forum in Austria along with Dubai Chamber and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA).
Continuing its advisory services on further growth and retention of existing companies, Dubai FDI was able to connect with 191 companies in 2011. The agency also signed nine memoranda of understanding (MoU) with institutions and companies worldwide as part of enhancing investor knowledge on Dubai.
Education was a major component of Dubai FDI’s strategic action plan in 2011. Key concerns and investment barriers were analysed based on the feedback from investors and an incentive programme was created after researching regional peers. Altogether four studies were conducted including a comparative analysis of five economies similar to Dubai to understand the competitive advantages and gaps. The studies also led to benchmarking of five strategic industries to drive investment and enable business growth.
Dubai FDI also hosted training sessions and business development programmes for 18 groups comprising potential investors and investment promotion agencies with less experience. Conducted in partnership with local and federal governments and business partners, these programmes also helped bring together private and government partners and introduced the investor community to opportunities across local government bodies such as the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).