United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the top destination for foreign investors in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region according to the most recent Kearney’s 2023 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI).
As a result of its excellent economic development, notably in the past year, UAE was ranked first in the region and third globally in the report’s Emerging Markets ranking, after China and India.
The top ten emerging markets are included in the following table:
|China (including Hong Kong)
The FDICI offers a business-friendly environment and assists investors and companies in determining which market and nation are most fit for them. The report praised the UAE’s achievements in 2022, noting that when other economies were struggling due to the pandemic, the GDP of the UAE increased by 7.9 percent.
The index predicts that the UAE will continue to grow in 2023 and 2024, with growth rates of 3.2% and 4.8 percent, respectively. The UAE’s conducive environment for business and the introduction of the $8.7 trillion Dubai Economic Plan, a strategy to increase trade and investment and turn the nation into a global hub, are credited with this boom.
The UAE government, according to Rudolph Lohmeyer, a partner at Kearney Middle East’s National Transformations Institute, is committed to diversifying the economy of the nation and enhancing the business climate. These reforms encourage investment, which makes the UAE a very alluring location for them.
UAE was placed 18th globally in the Developed Markets rating, with Saudi Arabia coming in at 24th and Qatar at 21st. A number of elements, including an 8.7 percent GDP growth in 2022, pro-business reforms, a positive fiscal outlook, and advancements in economic diversification, contributed to Saudi Arabia’s good performance.
The fact that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 has boosted investor interest and helped the country move up three positions globally from the previous year. In order to further increase investor trust, Qatar’s National Vision 2030 also aims to diversify the economy of the nation away from the oil industry.
The GCC nations of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are ranked fourth and sixth globally in the emerging markets ranking respectively, also did well. Other Middle Eastern nations including Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco were ranked 14th, 15th, and 16th, respectively, indicating that investors are becoming more confident in the area.