Between 2003 and 2013, greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets has tracked overall job creation in the Middle East in the software and IT sector as having fallen by 8.73%. This downward trend has been recorded despite an increase in the number of projects recorded.

Since 2003, the United Arab Emirates has remained the most popular destination for Middle East-destined FDI, with a total of 316 projects recorded in the software and IT sector. The highest number of projects recorded in this sector for UAE-destined FDI was between 2008 and 2013, when figures peaked at 51 projects in 2008. According to fDi Markets, companies cited the domestic market growth potential, market proximity and the business climate as the top three reasons for investing in the country. Despite this, job creation fell from 1475 in 2008 to 206 in 2013.


Within the UAE, Dubai appeared as the most popular emirate for FDI, with a total number of 264 projects recorded, creating 7813 jobs between 2003 and 2013. However, despite an increase in project numbers from 14 in 2003 to 24 in 2013, jobs created fell from 1115 to 194.  

The US has emerged as the most common investor in the software and IT sector for Middle East-destined FDI. fDi Markets recorded a total of 12,559 projects undertaken by companies based in the US between 2003 and 2013. Figures for job creation consistently remained above 1000 from 2003 onward before falling significantly to 373 in 2013. Although the US was the most common investor at a country level, fDi Markets recorded the highest number of Middle East-destined FDI at a city level as coming from Dubai. The greatest number of jobs created came from San Jose, California.