It was identified that Dubai takes the lead globally in attracting FDI for the cultural and creative industries’ sectors during 2022. The Dubai FDI Monitor report published by the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET) with information from the Financial Times fDi Markets of 451 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in this sector, which was a record high with 107 for an increase from 2009.

Dubai Tops Global Rankings

As we have seen, it was FY 2013-14 where it reached an overall business growth of 7% over the previous year. This accomplishment establishes Dubai’s sustained efforts toward the support and promotion of the creative economy and its goal of being designated as the Capital of the Creative Economy in 2026.

The total FDI capital in Dubai in the cultural and creative industries reached AED 7 billion according to E×pВ, C3. It has doubled from $170 billion in 2021 to reach $357 billion in 2022 ranking the retail industry first in the MENA region and 12th worldwide, despite a ranking of 14th in 2021. The cumulative FDI directly created roughly 12,368 jobs, specifically attesting to Dubai’s capability in creating employment through FDI and ranking sixth globally in this context.

It is therefore to this end that this paper seeks to identify and discuss the following fundamental aspects: This impressive growth can be attributed to several key factors. Leadership in Dubai has played a big role in the encouragement and sustenance of creativity and development of the creative culture. H. H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority pointed to creation of an enabling environment that supports creative sector innovativeness through development of right infrastructure, and proper laws and regulations to govern the industry.

The official mentioned this accomplishment is in accordance with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) through which the direction general of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai is to make the emirate one among the three paramount cities of the world. He attributed it to the backing and leadership of Dubai headed by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the entire team effort of relevant parties and investors.

Dubai’s strategic engagement with key markets such as the United States, India, the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland has also played a crucial role. These countries emerged as leading foreign investors in Dubai’s creative sectors, both in terms of project numbers and capital inflows. This targeted engagement strategy, which included global missions and collaborations, has bolstered Dubai’s attractiveness as a premier destination for creative talent and investment.

The types of FDI projects attracted to Dubai are diverse, with Greenfield (wholly-owned) projects accounting for 76% of the total in 2022. This is followed by new forms of investments, mergers and acquisitions, and reinvestment projects. Notably, sectors such as non-video game software publishing, custom computer programming services, architectural and engineering services, and data processing have seen significant growth, reflecting Dubai’s emphasis on digital transformation and sustainable development.

Dubai’s achievement in topping global FDI inflows in the cultural and creative industries not only showcases its current capabilities but also sets a precedent for future growth. The city’s unique blend of cultural diversity, world-class infrastructure, and a supportive business environment continues to attract innovative projects and talented individuals from around the world. As Dubai moves towards its goal of becoming the global capital of the creative economy, it remains a prime example of how strategic vision and robust support systems can drive substantial economic growth and development in the creative sectors.