The UAE has been ranked the eleventh most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), improving upon its performance last year, according to a survey from global consultancy firm AT Kearney.
Last year, the emirates came fourteenth in the poll. It has been able to better its position mainly as a result of the fact that local firms have increased their foreign ownership quotas recently. The UAE was the only country from the Middle East and Africa to make it to the top 25.
It was also ranked in the top ten countries for positive outlook, coming sixth behind China, Brazil, Canada, the UK and the US. Of those surveyed by AT Kearney, 39 per cent rated the prospects for the UAE as encouraging compared to 2012.
“The UAE reclaims its position from 2010 after a minor dip in the rankings in 2012 and 2013. It reported a $9.6 billion (£5.7 billion) inflow of FDI in 2012, up from $7.7 billion the year before. Following of the opening of new areas for foreign investment, several large Emirati companies are lifting the total value of equity that may be held by foreign investors,” the report said.
There were a number of UAE companies that announced they were lifting the ceiling for foreign ownership, including Dubai Investments, Deyaar, Union Properties and Mashreq.
According to AT Kearney, FDI in the hospitality business is expected to increase as Dubai begins its preparations in the run up to hosting the World Expo 2020. The total investment needed for the event is $8.8 billion, which would cover development plans that include a project that double the number of hotel rooms available in the emirate.
The 300 participating companies were based in 26 different countries across the globe and were based in all industry sectors. Respondents to the survey including members of senior management, as well as regional and business heads.