The UAE remains the Middle East’s most popular destination for foreign manufacturing investments.
The UAE secured 20 greenfield FDI projects in manufacturing in 2018, outstretching its neighbouring Middle East countries, according to greenfield investor monitor fDi Markets. Saudi Arabia and Oman respectively attracted 11 and seven manufacturing projects, while Bahrain, Israel, Qatar and Iran combined recorded just 50% of the UAE’s intake.
Within the UAE, Dubai received the most investment announcements, with 14. The Jebel Ali free zone – just outside Dubai – was the most popular free zone, with five projects established or announced there.
US companies were the most active investors in the UAE manufacturing sector, announcing six projects, followed by Indian companies, which announced four investments. Other source countries tracked by fDiMarkets all invested in one manufacturing project apiece, including companies from Germany, Switzerland and Finland.
The leading manufacturing sectors were industrial equipment, chemicals, metals and plastics, with three manufacturing operation projects recorded in each.
The UAE’s 2018 performance represents the continuation of a long standing trend, having attracted 130 greenfield FDI projects in manufacturing between 2012 and 2018, 25 more than Saudi Arabia’s total and more than triple that of Oman’s.
The UAE is on track to remain the Middle East’s top destination for foreign manufacturing investments, having attracted 11 greenfield projects between January and September 2019, followed by Saudi Arabia and Oman.
SOURCE: fDi Magazine – Financial Times