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UAE’s obstacles to attracting investment

UAE’s obstacles to attracting investment

Can you guess what they are? You can probably name a few, but we’d be mighty impressed if you listed 14. Yes, apparently there are 14.


January 12, 2011 1:43 by

Plus, the UAE has been the best of a bad bunch, really. Think about it, in this region, where would you invest your cash up until now? The stable, peaceful, relatively liberal UAE, which has invested heavily in infrastructure and worked hard to become a hub for the whole region, or one of its less liberal, less stable neighbours?

But things are changing, and with the downturn and a general slowdown in the UAE economy’s growth greedy investors are looking elsewhere. And they don’t have far to look – perhaps inspired by the UAE’s rapid development or driven by the growing populations, countries across the Middle East are getting their acts together and are beginning to look far more appealing. If the UAE wants to compete, it should begin to address these 14 concerns.

Just so you’re clued up, here are some numbers: The UAE is the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region after Saudi. FDI in 2008 was around $13.7 billion, but in 2009 it plunged to $4 billion. Despite this, and the vast amounts of capital exported from the UAE, the country remains a net capital importer, with a total net surplus position of $19.9 billion over its history.

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1 Comment

  1. jasmine on January 16, 2011 3:58 am

    I am amazed that there is no mention of lack of progressive legislation. What UAE badly needs is a rigorous change to laws, a rehab of the legal system and push for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. How can a country attract investors while hundreds (if not thousands) of them are jailed for bouncing cheques?! How can you have government related companies delay billions of dollars in dues to companies (Al Jaber aed6bm, Habtoor aed4bm, Arabtec aedxxbm) and not have a system whereby they and others get paid on time while a simple worker can go to jail for bouncing aed20,000 rent cheque? Building high rising towers and highways is easy. Building the legal framework to resolve disputes between elements of the society proves to be much more difficult and until this is addressed with vigor UAE will remain less attractive for investors.


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