August 2014 marked a turning point for FDI into the United Arab Emirates. Data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that investment levels hit their lowest level in the year in the month, with just 11 projects representing $132.5m of investment capital. But, in the months following this, there was a steady increase of investment entering the UAE, with overall investment capital increasing to $3.16bn in November.

Growth was first recorded in September, which saw 54.5% more projects recorded and 39.9% more jobs created. This increase was compounded in October when the number of tracked projects increased to 25 and the number of jobs created rose to 1303. In November, 31 projects were recorded, 29.1% more than the monthly average in the year.


The business services sector witnessed the greatest increase during this period with a 300% rise in the number of such projects recorded. Dubai is the most popular emirate among investors, accounting for 72% of inward investment projects in August, a figure which rose to 80.7% in November.

fDi Markets has long tracked the US and UK as key source markets for UAE-destined FDI and this trend continued in 2014. Between January and November 2014, the two countries accounted for more than 50% of UAE-destined capital investment, a statistic that is unlikely to change once data for December is published.