Dubai has continued to lead the world in luring foreign direct investment (FDI) into the tourism industry in 2021.

The emirate attracted Dh6.4 billion ($1.7 billion) in foreign direct investment (FDI) over 30 projects in the last year, placing it at the top of the list for FDI capital, projects, and job creation in the tourism sector, according to The Financial Times’ FDI Markets data.

The Dubai FDI Monitor report, released by the Dubai Investment Development Agency, states that these new projects and investments resulted in the creation of 5,545 new jobs over the course of the year.


“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.

As the city strives to become the most popular travel destination in the world, Dubai attracted more than 7.28 million foreign overnight visitors in 2021, an increase of 32% from the previous year.

The goal of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, which will be created with the merger of the tourism and economy departments, is to attract 25 million visitors to the city by the year 2025.

To streamline government organisations, keep up with quick changes, and maintain Dubai’s business and tourism sectors’ competitiveness, the merger was achieved.

“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,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

In spite of the inflationary environment, business activity in the private sector grew steadily in June, expanding at the quickest rate in three years.

Its highest reading since June 2019, the headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index increased to 56.1 in June from 55.7 in May.

The main engine of growth in the emirate continued to be the travel and tourism industry.

As travel restrictions around the world continued to loosen, businesses in Dubai, the commercial and touristic centre of the Middle East, reported a noticeable increase in tourism-related business activity. This solidified Dubai’s position as a major travel hub.

Prior to that, Dubai became the first Middle Eastern location to receive the coveted Michelin star, further solidifying its position as a top culinary and travel destination. Eleven restaurants in total received awards for outstanding dining.