Foreign Direct Investments in UAE record huge growth in recent years


In recent years all national economic sectors have continued attracting FDIs.

Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the UAE witnessed significant growth in recent years, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by the Ministry of Economy, during the past decade from 2012 to 2021, FDIs in the country increased by 116 per cent, amounting to$20.667 billion in 2021 compared to $9.566 billion in 2012.

FDI inflows witnessed remarkable growth over the last decade, rising from $9.764 billion in 2013, $11.071 billion in 2014, $8.55 billion in 2015, $9.604 billion in 2016, and $10.354 billion in 2017, $10.385 billion in 2018, $17.874 billion in 2019, and $19.884 billion in 2020.

In light of this growth, the UAE was ranked 19th globally in the list of top 20 countries that attract FDIs, and the first in West Asia and the Middle East and North Africa region.

Moreover, the cumulative FDI balance received by the UAE also increased by 141.6 percent from 2011 to 2021, rising from $71.02 billion to reach $171.563 billion last year, representing an increase of more than $100.5 billion over 11 years.

In recent years, all national economic sectors have continued attracting FDIs. According to data from the Central Bank of the UAE, the national manufacturing sector grew by 13 percent, the healthcare sector by nine percent, the information and communication technology sector by six percent, the financial, banking and insurance sector by four percent, the real estate sector by four percent, the oil and gas sector by three percent, and the services sector by two percent, compared to 2020.

Meanwhile, the value of global FDI inflows amounted to $1.6 trillion, an increase of 64 percent compared to 2020.

Last year, most developed countries witnessed growth in terms of FDIs. In the US, FDI inflow more than doubled to $367 billion while in developing economies, FDI inflows increased by 30 percent to $837 billion.

Meanwhile, The Ministry of Economy announced one of the first businesses to join the landmark NextGenFDI initiative – Krush Brands, a full stack food technology, multi-kitchen food service company. The announcement comes three weeks after the launch of the global initiative in collaboration with seven strategic partners and representatives of key national entities in the UAE. Under the initiative, Krush Brands will relocate its global headquarters to the UAE with an aim to triple its growth by creating 700 jobs within two years, in addition to moving its technology arm from Europe to the UAE.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The UAE’s vision aspires to promote FDI flows to the new economic sectors. In line with this vision, NextGenFDI is set to cement the country’s efforts in building a successful economic model based on knowledge and innovation. The Ministry of Economy continues to work alongside its strategic partners to attract new companies to our market and promote business activity and innovation, in accordance with our wise leadership’s directives and the Principles of the 50, thus consolidating the UAE’s position as a leading global FDI destination.”

He added: “Krush Brands joining the initiative marks a big step forward in this direction as it is clear that the company sees the UAE as the perfect place for sustainable development and digital business expansion. We are also committed to offering the necessary support to facilitate the setting up of technology startups in the UAE and look forward to welcoming more companies and stakeholders to the initiative in the near future.”

The NextGenFDI initiative offers multiple incentives to digital companies, including faster business setup processes, banking readiness, simpler visa procedures and attractive commercial and residential real estate options. The initiative also complements other UAE initiatives such as the National Program for Coders, which is offering golden visas to 100,000 coders.

The Ministry of Economy, along with other committed stakeholders, will support Krush Brands’ business journey by offering practical support that includes introducing them to potential strategic partners across aviation, hospitality, real estate and retail. The integrated efforts by the Ministry and other stakeholders will enhance value chains and help develop the digital business ecosystem throughout the country.

Ian Ohan, Founder and CEO of Krush Brands, said: “This is a win-win for us and gives us the opportunity to build our technology company in a world class digital economy, right here in the UAE. This is a milestone in Krush Brands’ evolution as we focus on accelerating our proprietary technology, our brands, operations and last mile logistics capabilities to scale with strategic partners in the UAE and the across the region. We are proud to be a founding member of the NextGenFDI program and contribute to the growth of the UAE digital economy.”

Krush Brands has championed economically sustainable delivery and is the only digitally enabled full-stack, fully integrated, omni channel food and beverage company in the region. It has proprietary food technology, operates its own loved food and beverage brands and has its own professional and ethically treated delivery fleet. Its unique business model provides an economically sustainable and profitable ecosystem for innovative, local foodpreneurs to thrive and re-connect with the communities in which they operate.



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