Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets has tracked a resurgence in FDI destined for the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) during the first two quarters of 2014. In the first half of 2014, fDi Markets tracked 293 such projects, 57% of the total number tracked in the whole of 2013. Should this trend continue, 2014 will mark the end of a two-year downward trend, which saw FDI decrease by 10.05% between 2011 and 2012, and by a further 12.72% between 2012 and 2013.

The United Arab Emirates remains the most attractive destination for FDI entering the GCC, accounting for 58.7% of projects so far in 2014. This is a trend that has remained consistent since 2003, with the UAE never accounting for less that half of inward GCC FDI.


The GCC’s resurgence in 2014 can largely be attributed to the increasing levels of greenfield investment originating from both western Europe and Asia-Pacific. Data so far obtained for 2014 shows that FDI from western Europe is already 59.22% of the total recorded in 2013. Asia-Pacific has witnessed an even larger increase in investment, with 2014 levels standing at 76.74% of the total recorded in 2013.

Of those companies that established operations within the GCC in 2014, and that stated their motives for investment, 51% listed the domestic market’s growth potential as being a key determinant, an indicator of the renewed economic optimism prevalent in the region.