Read how the UAE supports foreign direct investments (FDIs) and the steps to license an FDI project.
According to the World Investment Report 2022 (PDF, 500 KB) issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UAE amounted to USD 20.667 billion (AED 76 billion), compared with USD 19.884 billion (AED 73.04 billion) in 2020.
The UAE was ranked 1st in the West Asia region to receive 37 per cent of the total FDI inflow to the region, amounting to USD 55.5 billion.
The UAE was ranked 1st in the MENA region to receive 31 per cent of the total FDI inflow to the region, amounting to USD 66.6 billion.
Promising foreign investment sectors
Ministry of Economy identifies the following as promising foreign investment sectors:
FDI projects may take any of the following legal forms:
The licensing authority and the competent authority in any of the emirates of the UAE, concerned with the affairs of foreign direct investment, each within its jurisdiction will specify the conditions and procedures required to establish and license foreign direct investment projects listed in the Positive list and the documents required in accordance with the provisions of the FDI law and other the federal or local laws in force. The following image shows steps for licensing FDI projects in the Positive list.
Learn about the business regulations applicable in the UAE and laws that are specific to the industry.
Check the UAE Foreign Direct Investments Dashboard from Ministry of Economy.
Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is the government hub supporting investment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADIO enables opportunities for domestic and foreign investors aligned with Abu Dhabi’s economic priorities. It has launched many projects that encourage foreign investments. View investor journey with ADIO. Investors can also apply for a virtual licence to fully own and conduct economic activities either under a Limited Liability Company or Sole Proprietorship LLC. Request for a virtual licence.
Dubai FDI offers essential information and invaluable support to foreign companies who intend to invest in Dubai. Dubai FDI guides, advises and provides practical assistance with all aspects of business decisions and management, starting from determining the best legal structures to identifying the appropriate business activities.
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) launched Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) to promote a diverse set of investment opportunities in the emirate. Sharjah FDI Office helps investors to fully understand processes, investment advantages and insights on key sectors that fit their business profiles.