With greenfield foreign investment of $965.40m, 2018 was a record year for Cyprus, with more capital inflows than the previous six years combined and the highest number of FDI project numbers since 2010, according to fDi Markets, a Financial Times data service. 

Tier two cities saw the best gains, with Limassol receiving the lion’s share of investment, with Vokolida as runner-up and capital city Nicosia taking third place, finds fDi Markets.

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The largest foreign investment into Cyprus last year was a $651.80m casino project in Limassol, sourced by Hong-Kong based Melco International Development. This was Europe’s second biggest investment project in the leisure and entertainment sector in 2018, behind a $2.47bn Disney construction project in France. 

Melco’s casino resort in Limassol, known as City of Dreams Mediterranean, will be the first of its kind in Europe and is expected to create 4000 jobs every year during construction, and 6500 permanent jobs once the property is operational in 2021, according to Casino News Daily. 

Cyprus’s second largest foreign investment in terms of capital was a $134.17m hotel development in Vokolida, sourced by Turkey-based Limak Holding.

Although the population of Cyprus is only 854,800, the country receives about two and a half million tourists every year. Travel and tourism accounted for 21.9% of GDP in 2018, according to tourism data service Knoema.