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Dubai Ranks First Globally In FDI In Cultural And Creative Industries
(5 June 2024)

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), reaffirmed the emirate’s commitment to maintaining its leadership and enhancing its competitiveness as a global capital of the creative economy. In the 2023 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Index, Dubai ranked No. 1 globally out of 115 cities for FDI capital inflows into cultural and creative industries (CCI) projects and for creating job opportunities in these sectors. This achievement surpasses major global centres like London, New York, and Singapore. The ranking is based on data from the Financial Times’ ‘fDi Markets’ report, the premier source for Greenfield FDI projects data, and the report’s ‘Creative Industries Cluster’ data classification, which measures the performance of the sub-sectors that fall within the CCI.

According to data from the Dubai FDI Monitor, released by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai succeeded in attracting 898 announced FDI projects into the cultural and creative industries in 2023, almost double the figure registered in the previous year (451), with a total FDI capital inflow of AED 11.8 billion, marking a 60% increase. Additionally, an estimated 21,563 new job opportunities were created through FDI in the sector in 2023, reflecting a 74% rise from the corresponding figure in 2022.

Attractive Ecosystem
Sheikha Latifa affirmed that Dubai has maintained its global leadership in attracting FDI into projects due to its advanced infrastructural, legislative, legal, and digital frameworks. These frameworks stimulate the investment climate and create a flexible, open, and attractive environment for businesses and capital worldwide, making it a model for fostering innovation.

“Dubai has successfully established an ecosystem that attracts top skills and talent globally, enhancing its cultural diversity,” Her Highness said. “This has led to exceptional intellectual cross-pollination and comprehensive, sustainable development, turning the emirate into a land of opportunity for creatives and entrepreneurs who have found promising investment opportunities here, making it the best city in the world to visit, live, work, and invest in.”

Her Highness added: “This is thanks to the unique approach and visionary insights of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aimed at cementing the emirate’s position as a global capital for culture, creativity, and talent.”

Her Highness praised the efforts contributing to Dubai’s leading position globally in FDI into CCI, stating: “Dubai’s ranking reflects the significant strides made by its government in promoting ease of doing business, fostering new avenues for creativity, and continuously addressing the needs of the cultural and creative industries. By streamlining procedures, the emirate enables investors, entrepreneurs, and creatives to transform their ideas into successful ventures. This not only enhances the cultural vibrancy of the emirate but also aligns with the goals of sustainable development.”

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “Dubai has continued to consolidate its position as a global leader in attracting greenfield FDI, supported by robust investment and job creation across many of the city’s key sectors, including the cultural and creative industries.

“Supported by advanced infrastructure and well-developed regulatory and digital frameworks, this strong FDI performance is a direct result of the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We continue to work with stakeholders across the public and private sectors, including Dubai Culture, to identify opportunities to drive further investment into the city, and collectively achieve the objectives of the D33 Agenda.”

Top Source Countries
Within the ranking of the top five source countries for FDI capital inflows into CCI in Dubai during 2023, data from the Dubai FDI Monitor as well as the Dubai Framework for Cultural Statistics classification showed an increase in capital inflows, with the US leading the list with 33.2%, followed by the UK with 12.4%, India with 9.1%, Hungary with 4%, and Denmark with 3%. The US also topped the list in terms of creating new job opportunities through FDI in Dubai’s creative industries cluster, with 19.2%, followed by India with 16.3%, the UK with 15.7%, Singapore with 5%, and France with 4.2%.

Aggregating the number of announced FDI projects in Dubai’s creative industries cluster, the UK led in 2023 with 17.8%, followed by India with 16.9%, the US with 16%, France with 4%, and Italy with 3.8%. All these figures highlight the efforts and strategies deployed by Dubai into this sector and its focus on these markets as key partners.

According to Dubai FDI Monitor data and the Dubai Framework for Cultural Statistics classification, Greenfield (wholly-owned) FDI projects accounted for 78.7% of the total in Dubai’s CCI in 2023, followed by. New Forms of Investments (NFIs), which accounted for 16.1%, Reinvestment projects that make up 3%, and Mergers & Acquisitions at 2.1%.



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