The foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UAE surged 44.2 percent to reach nearly $19.88 billion in 2020, despite the pandemic which disrupted the global economy, according to a report by the Ministry of Economy.
The cumulative value of foreign direct investment inflows amounted to $174 billion which marks a growth of 12.9 percent during the reference period. Though FDIs covered all economic platforms, the UAE’s significant inflows of foreign investments in last year were largely due to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) monetizing some of its non-core assets.
Last year, ADNOC attracted $16.8 billion FDI to the UAE, mainly through various multibillion-dollar transactions signed in the midstream and infrastructure segments.
Over the past four years, the national oil company helped drive $64.5 billion in FDI flows to the UAE. ADNOC opened up partnership opportunities across its midstream and real estate sectors to allow foreign private equity and pension funds to pool in capital.
Further, the UAE has drawn FDIs for the digital economy, including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), robotics, self-drive automobiles, renewable energy, innovation, agritech, etc.
“The investment landscape of the UAE has been steadily developing over the past years with the rapid introduction of progressive measures that have earned the nation a coveted position internationally while leading regionally, thanks to the directives of our wise leadership to provide a business-friendly environment conducive to facilitating doing business and development that serves the greater good of the country.”
The significant growth levels secured by the UAE in terms of FDIs indicate the increased investor confidence over the country’s investment ecosystem, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said.
The FDI outflows amounted to $9.2 billion and covered various vital economic sectors, including aviation, transportation, mining, renewable energy, real estate, construction, communication, oil & natural gas, traditional & renewable energy, logistics, ports and infrastructure, tourism, leisure, banking, and agriculture sectors.