Growing Investor Optimism in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a major economic player in the Middle East, boasting one of the most dynamic and booming economies in the region. As a result, investor confidence is expected to remain high in the coming years. In 2023, investors will likely be looking to the UAE for great opportunities with the potential for high returns. The Emirates is known for its pro-business policies and the availability of resources, making it an attractive destination for international investors. With a modern infrastructure and a wide range of services and products, the UAE is well-positioned to remain an attractive investment destination in the years ahead. With the right investment strategy, investors can expect to see great returns in 2023.

The UAE has the highest per-capita GDP in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and is expected to maintain its lead over the next few years. The economy will be supported by robust oil and gas production, as well as non-oil activities, including financial services and tourism. The main investors in the UAE are from: Switzerland, the United Kingdom, India, the United States of America, France, Austria, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and The Netherlands. Most of them invest in the sectors of: wholesale and retail trade, real estate activities, financial services and insurance, manufacturing, mining and quarry exploitation.

Influx of European investors

The UAE is one of the most attractive places for economic emigration in the world and is well-known as one of the major business hubs in the world. An influx of investors from around the world has been on the rise for the past few years, mainly, European investors, making them the main group of investors in the country. Economic emigration from Europe to the UAE has seen a sharp rise, as people are increasingly attracted to its flourishing economy, tax-free income, low cost of living, attractive business opportunities, world-class infrastructure, stable political environment, and vibrant cultural scene.

A recent online survey conducted by Advantage Austria in the UAE has shown a positive response among Austrian subsidiaries. The data shows 83% of the respondents indicated that the economic climate in the UAE has improved in 2022 and all of them stated that they experienced an increase in turnover, orders, capacity utilization, workforce size, and investment. One-third of the subsidiaries foresee more opportunities in the following sector: consulting, cooperations, and expansion of activities in Saudi Arabia.

The current conflict in Ukraine has also contributed to this inflow of investors into the country who are looking to escape the uncertain reality in Europe. People want to relocate easily and live in another country without dealing with a plethora of bureaucratic obstacles. Having a second residence gives you the right to work, invest, and establish residency for a prolonged period of time. With the ever-changing global landscape, having a backup plan in the UAE could provide assurance and security. Not only does the UAE offer a desirable lifestyle, but it also offers stability, access to world-class healthcare and education facilities.

Potential Investment Opportunities in the UAE

As the UAE’s economy continues to grow, demand for different commodities and products is expected to increase. This will create viable investment opportunities in the coming years. The UAE’s strong economic growth and positive outlook will likely boost demand for commodities in the country.

The energy sector in the UAE is also particularly attractive to investors. With nearly 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves, the UAE is a major player in the global oil and gas industry. This makes it a great option for investors looking to capitalize on the growing demand for energy resources. Furthermore, the country is investing heavily in renewable and sustainable energy sources such as solar, nuclear, and hydrogen power. This forms the basis for new opportunities for investors, as the UAE looks to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a more sustainable energy future. The UAE is also taking the lead in the region in terms of sustainability, with initiatives such as the UAE Green Agenda and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. These initiatives are aimed at improving the country’s environmental performance and reducing its carbon footprint.

The UAE is also a great place for investors looking to capitalize on the growth of the tourism industry. Boasting a first-class infrastructure, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, the UAE is a top tourist destination for visitors from around the world. This has led to a thriving travel and tourism sector, with numerous opportunities for investors interested in capitalizing on the country’s growing travel and hospitality industry.

Real estate is another attractive investment sector in the UAE. The country’s rapidly growing population, coupled with an ever-expanding economy, has led to an increased demand for residential and commercial property. This has created a range of opportunities for investors, as they look to capitalize on the growing real estate market. Furthermore, the UAE’s tax-free environment and a range of other incentives make it an ideal place for investors to grow their capital.

Furthermore, the construction sector in the UAE has seen a major transformation in recent years. With new developments such as smart cities and cultural centers, the landscape of the country is rapidly evolving. By 2023, UAE will be home to an impressive 7 mega projects, designed by experienced professionals from around the world. These projects in the UAE will be groundbreaking and are set to revolutionize the region. Meed’s Top 100 ranking of regional megaprojects ranks UAE in 3rd place with an active project value of US$62.6 billion. The UAE stands out in the rankings primarily due to the gas development at its Hail and Ghasha sour gas fields valued at $10.5bn. Subsequently, the Upper Zakum oil field development is valued at $8bn and the second phase of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi free zone and logistics hub is estimated at $7.8bn. With a lot of anticipation surrounding these projects, the UAE is getting ready for a new era of development and progress. This has led to increased investments within the sector, resulting in a surge in job opportunities for citizens as well as foreign workers. As the UAE continues to expand, the construction sector is expected to grow exponentially, with many more projects and initiatives on the way.

Advantages of Investing in the UAE

Businesses in the UAE are highly receptive to innovation and new business opportunities. There is also a growing focus on cultivating and promoting entrepreneurship among youth. A resilient legislative framework and a well-developed infrastructure support the startup ecosystem, making the country a great place for entrepreneurs. There is a high level of support and incentives provided to entrepreneurs, allowing them to easily start a new business. Major advantages of investing in the UAE include:

  1. A growing economy fueled by robust oil and gas production

The UAE’s economy is expected to continue growing, driven by robust oil and gas production. Increased demand for crude oil, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon-based products will fuel economic growth in the UAE.

  1. Positive outlook is driven by non-oil activities

Non-oil activities, such as financial services and tourism, are expected to positively contribute to the UAE’s economic growth and diversification. As a result, economic growth will also be supported by other non-oil activities.

  1. A strong legislative framework and well-developed infrastructure

The UAE has a well-established legislative framework that has been in place for decades. This framework, along with a well-developed infrastructure, supports the country’s economic growth.  The UAE, aware of the influx of expats, has spearheaded legislative amendments to align with global practices and facilitate a smooth transition for investors setting up in the country.

  1. A low rate of unemployment

The UAE has the lowest unemployment rate in the MENA region. This is a good indicator of positive economic growth.

  1. Availability of resources

The UAE boasts plenty of resources that are in high demand worldwide. This includes natural gas, crude oil, gold, copper, and aluminum


Without a doubt, the UAE is a major economic player in the Middle East and its dynamic and vibrant economy has solidified investor confidence. 2023 is the year for many to take advantage of the great opportunities across the various emirates with the potential for high returns. The UAE is also well-positioned to remain an attractive investment destination in the years ahead.

To provide a balanced view, there is no investment without risk and any prudent investor would ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the legal and regulatory landscape, potential economic and political risks, and cultural and language barriers. While the UAE has an advanced legal system and is committed to maintaining a stable political environment, potential investors should be aware that the legislative landscape is quite dynamic and differs in nuanced regards from their home countries.  It is therefore recommended that interested investors find an experienced trusted advisor who can help them understand the potential risks and navigate any hurdles in setting up a business or second home in the UAE.  An investor that makes informed decisions regarding their investment in the UAE will be able to mitigate foreseeable risks.

At Strohal Legal, we have decades of experience providing legal counsel to both local and international customers on a wide range of topics, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate and labour law, energy and climate change regulation, taxation, and all other business-related projects. We also regularly assist with company formation and business operations. Our expertise in the field and our extensive network of contacts allow us to conduct the process quickly and cost-effectively. Get in touch with our experts at

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