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Dubai retained its position as the world's top destination for foreign direct investment within the tourism sector in 2021, reported The National.

The emirate attracted Dh6.4 billion ($1.7bn) in FDI spanning 30 projects in the past year, climbing to the top of the ranks across FDI capital, projects and job creation in the tourism sector, according to The Financial Times’ fDi Markets data.

These new investments and projects created 5,545 new jobs during the year, according to the Dubai FDI Monitor report, published by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI).

“Dubai’s rank as the top FDI destination for tourism is a testament to the sector’s resilience and stability. It reaffirms the sector’s role as a key economic driver that offers international investors confidence and an exceptional opportunity for stable and sustainable returns,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said on Twitter.

Across the tourism sector, Dubai attracted over 7.28 million international overnight visitors in 2021, a 32% increase on the previous year as the city pursues its goal to become the world’s most visited destination.

Over 7 million visited Dubai in 2021 tourism turnaround

At the end of last year, it was reported that Dubai was merging the tourism and economy departments, creating a new entity titled, ‘Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism,' with the aim to secure 25 million tourists in 2025.

The merger was secured in order to streamline government agencies, keep up with rapid changes while ensuring the competitiveness of the business and tourism sectors in Dubai.

"The newly-formed department seeks to support the economic and tourism transformations taking place in the emirate. It will adopt the same competitiveness and efficiency of the private sector and work together with it on various development projects," Sheikh Hamdan was quoted as saying.

Dubai to merge economy, tourism departments, aims to attract 25mn tourists in 2025

Business activity across the private sector rose at a steady speed in June, improving at the quickest pace in three years, as new orders rose sharply despite an inflationary environment.

The headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 56.1 in June from 55.7 in May to its highest reading since June 2019.

The travel and tourism sector remained the key driver of growth in the emirate.

Businesses reported a marked rise in tourism-related business activity in Dubai, the Middle East's commercial and tourism hub, as travel restrictions continued to ease around the world, further anchoring Dubai’s position as a global travel destination.

Earlier, Dubai became the very first destination in the Middle East to be awarded the coveted Michelin star, cementing it further as a global culinary and tourist destination. In all, 11 restaurants were honored for excellence in dining.

Dubai restaurants earn Middle East's first Michelin stars

Dubai has also stayed ahead of “leading international cities, including London, Paris and Shanghai” in attracting FDI into tourism during the last five years, the report said.

At the beginning of the year, popular booking platform Tripadvisor named Dubai as a top destination according to the Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022: the Best of the Best Destinations, ahead of popular tourism spots like London, Paris and Rome.

The platform chose winning destinations by analysing the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings and looked at factors like accommodation, restaurants and things to do.

2022: Dubai tops Tripadvisor’s best destination ranking; London in 2nd place

The emirate's tourism sector registered Dh83.5bn in FDI capital across 205 FDI projects between 2017-2021, generating 30,082 new jobs.

“While consolidating its advantages as a well-connected hub with world-class infrastructure, attractions and lifestyle, Dubai also launched concerted efforts in key source markets to showcase its capabilities in enabling business growth and as a leading global tourism centre,” Helal Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said.

“Dubai’s top rank reflects the effectiveness of the multi-geographic campaigns and its diversified offering across sectors.”

The value of total FDI capital flows into all sectors in Dubai exceeded Dh26bn from 618 announced FDI projects in 2021, growing by 5.5 per cent from 2020, the report said.

“The new policies and legislation being adopted to align the UAE economy with global developments and the long-term residency being offered to investors and entrepreneurs will see Dubai and its tourism sector sustaining the FDI momentum through to 2022 and beyond,” Almarri said.

Dubai introduced a five-year multi-entry visa for multinational companies' employees in 2021, adding to previously launched initiatives such as Golden Visa initiative targeting investors, entrepreneurs and specialised talents. It also introduced the Virtual Working and Retire in Dubai programmes.

“The new system of entry and residence aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers from all over the world, boosting the competitiveness and flexibility of the job market and fostering a high sense of stability among UAE residents and families,” the UAE government stated earlier in the year.

5-year tourist, job exploration visas: UAE offers more options, eases requirements

“Dubai’s top ranking in terms of jobs created by FDI into tourism proves that the exemplary investment environment developed by the city will continue to attract, retain, and grow financial as well as human capital,” Fahad Al Gergawi, chief executive of Dubai FDI, said.

For Pakistanis, the UAE remains the top destination to seek employment in, with the number of expats that moved in 2022 up 128% when compared to 2021.

According to data available with the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE & OE), the number of Pakistanis that registered for employment in the UAE is 62,615 till May, up from 2021’s total of 27,442.

UAE and Dubai’s popularity surges among Pakistanis seeking jobs


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