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Dubai Emerges as India’s Top Choice for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

According to the latest fDi Markets Report and the Dubai FDI Monitor, Dubai has secured its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) from India in the calendar year 2022. India ranked among the top five source countries for announced FDI projects and estimated FDI capital in Dubai, solidifying the emirate’s appeal to Indian investors. This article examines the key findings and highlights the sectors and trends contributing to this growing partnership.

Dubai: India’s Preferred FDI Destination

Dubai has surpassed other cities worldwide to become the preferred FDI destination for Indian investors. In 2022, India accounted for 12 percent of the announced FDI projects in Dubai, placing it third behind the United States (20 percent) and the United Kingdom (13 percent). With a significant increase in FDI projects from 78 in 2021 to 142 in 2022, India’s confidence in Dubai’s investment potential is evident.

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Rapid Growth in FDI Capital

The estimated FDI capital from India to Dubai witnessed substantial growth, reaching $545.52 million in 2022 compared to $363.85 million in 2021. This surge indicates the increasing willingness of Indian investors to explore opportunities and expand their business presence in Dubai.

Dominant Sectors for FDI Projects

Dubai’s attractiveness to Indian investors is evident from the dominant sectors attracting FDI projects. The top sectors in terms of FDI projects from India to Dubai in 2022 were: a. Software & IT Services (32 percent): Reflecting Dubai’s robust technology ecosystem and digital transformation initiatives. b. Business Services (19 percent): Emphasizing Dubai’s status as a global business hub. c. Consumer Products (9 percent): Highlighting the growing consumer market in Dubai. d. Real Estate (6 percent): Demonstrating the opportunities in the thriving real estate sector. e. Financial Services (5 percent): Indicating confidence in Dubai’s financial infrastructure.

High-Value Sectors for FDI Capital

The sectors that attracted significant FDI capital from India to Dubai in 2022 were: a. Consumer Products (28 percent): Signifying the demand for consumer goods and retail in Dubai. b. Software & IT Services (20 percent): Reinforcing Dubai’s focus on innovation and digital solutions. c. Communications (19 percent): Reflecting the telecommunications sector’s importance in Dubai’s economy. d. Pharmaceuticals (8 percent): Indicating the growth potential in the healthcare sector. e. Business Services (8 percent): Affirming Dubai’s position as a global business services hub.

Dubai’s Global FDI Leadership

Dubai not only emerged as India’s top choice for FDI but also retained its position as the leading global city for attracting greenfield FDI projects in 2022. With an 89.5 percent YoY growth in announced FDI projects and an 80.3 percent increase in FDI capital, Dubai solidified its status as one of the world’s top three cities. This achievement aligns with the goals set by the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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