During September 2018 over 1,500 new investors demonstrated their confidence in the Emirates economy by seeking to set up businesses in Dubai. 22,113 new business registrations were processed by the Business Registration and Licensing division of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development in September, with 1,509 licences issued. Investment is predominantly in the commercial and professional sectors – 64.1% and 34% respectively, with 1.1% in tourism and 0.8% in industry.

In addition to standard licences, 94 instant licences were granted, allowing businesses to operate for one year without needing to have an existing location or a memorandum of association. There was also significant growth in the number of commercial permits, which increased by 19.8%, while trade name applications increased by 32.2%. Although Dubai is the magnet for the majority of investors, Deira and Hatta are also seeing an increase in investment.

Why is Dubai attracting so much investment?

Vice President and Prime Minister His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has played a big part in encouraging new investment into Dubai by bringing in the law which required the Dubai Investment Development Agency to be established. It is his vision for drawing investment in new technologies to Dubai which has transformed the fortunes of the city-state.

The Investment Development Agency was set up to position Dubai as a world-leading economic hub. Its initial role was to analyse the business climate in Dubai, assess opportunities and identify and remove barriers to future investment.

Dubai’s authorities are able to make incentives available to investors where necessary for projects in a range of sectors, including education, healthcare and infrastructure. The agency can also make exemptions on standard restrictions where appropriate for investors.

The work of the Dubai Investment Development Agency has helped to create a business environment which is ideal for new, innovative businesses. In 2017 Dubai reached the fourth position in the world in terms of the number of new investment projects and fifth for re-investment projects.

Who is investing in Dubai?

Much of the recent investment is coming from India, Pakistan and China. There are also significant numbers of investors from Bangladesh, Jordan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Perhaps more notable still is the big rise in investment from Austria, France, the UK and the US, for whom Dubai is ideally positioned to act as a regional hub across the Middle East.

What are the leading investment industries?

Dubai is seeing huge levels of investment in technology, with over 60% of investment projects relating to medium and high technology. The areas of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are particularly important. Dubai is now becoming one of the top foreign direct investment destinations in the world in these fields, rivalling the global leaders Shanghai and Singapore.

What does the future hold?

Dubai will build on the reputation it has developed as a high tech, sustainable city. Investor confidence continues to be high thanks to stability in the region and an ideal business climate for foreign investors.