Foreign investment survey rates Dubai Mideast’s City of the Future

Published August 23rd, 2011 - 01:03 GMT
Dubai attained a score of 52.05, highest among 25 Middle East cities
Dubai attained a score of 52.05, highest among 25 Middle East cities

Dubai has been named “Middle East City of the Future 2010-11” by fDi Magazine, with judges pointing to the emirate’s popularity as a foreign direct investment destination. The report by fDi Magazine comes soon after Dubai was ranked a destination of choice for FDI by the 2011 AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index Report.

Sami Al Qamzi, director general of the Department of Economic Development (DED), said: “The ranking is a strong testament to the economic fundamentals of the city, and the growth potential that Dubai offers to investors from around the world. From creating the right infrastructure to establishing business-friendly policies, Dubai has been focused on all-round development and creating a conducive environment for growth.”

The fDi Intelligence division collected data from 46 cities under six categories — economic potential, human resources, cost-effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness — in order to make its decision. The independent judging panel also evaluated data for a new category — FDI promotion strategy — collected from 12 cities. Cities were scored on a maximum of ten points under each criterion and were weighted by importance to get the overall scores.

Dubai’s advantages

Irfan Al Hassani, a UAE-based economist, told Gulf News: “This acknowledgement is due to the flexible business climate and several leverages being given for businesses in Dubai. “A consistently strong economic output has greatly helped in increasing foreign direct investment in Dubai by attracting international firms to conduct business.”

Dubai attained a score of 52.05, highest among 25 Middle East cities. The report also observed that Dubai scored highest in the region in terms of the number of FDI projects from 2003 to June 2010. The city scored a perfect 100 in terms of economic potential, evaluated on the basis of population, total number of patents, GDP, total number of FDI projects, number of companies in R&D, number of FDI mega-projects, global competitiveness and other key parameters.

Fahd Al Gergawi, chief executive officer of Dubai FDI, the foreign investment promotion arm of DED, said: “The sustained top ranking by fDi Magazine for Dubai reiterates the strong growth potential that the city offers for foreign investors to set up business and record tangible growth. Foreign investors in Dubai stand to benefit from the city’s advanced infrastructure as well as its strategic location as the regional business hub. The top ranking will further catalyse foreign direct investments to Dubai.” Foreign direct investment in Dubai has grown 4.5 percent this year compared with 2010 and the growth is poised to jump to 30 percent next year, said Al Gergawi.

“The access to a rich talent pool of skilled professionals, the high quality of life that the city offers and the ease of doing business in Dubai are all driving forces for the continued competitiveness of the city.”

Dubai also clinched a perfect 100 score in infrastructure measured by the number of international destinations connected, airlines served, internet upload and download speeds of its seaport, time taken to export and import, internet users, logistics performance index and e-government web measure index, among others. With the tax free corporate structure in the free zones, as well as the advanced logistics and infrastructure facilities, it was not a surprise that Dubai scored so high, Al Hassani said. “Dubai could establish itself as a gateway city between Europe and the Far East.

“There are several other factors that are involved in business regulations. A number of government initiatives to update the business rules and regulations have helped enhance the role of Dubai in the region as the main business hub.”

Investment destination, blazing to the top:

4.5%, Growth in foreign investment in Dubai this year.

52.05, Dubai’s survey score, highest among 25 cities.


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