In the first half of 2023, the Chambers of Commerce, a key entity within Dubai Chambers, has disclosed that Indian investors have emerged as the leading nationality among new companies joining their ranks.
The UAE secured the second position in terms of new chamber members, witnessing 4,445 new companies registering in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, Pakistan claimed the third spot with 3,395 new companies, signifying an impressive 59% surge compared to H1 2022 and taking the total count of registered Pakistani companies to 40,315.
A noteworthy 6,717 new Indian-owned enterprises enrolled for membership during H1 2023, showcasing a substantial 39% year-over-year growth from H1 2022 when 4,845 companies joined.
These Indian businesses comprised a significant 22.3% of the total 30,146 companies that became members of the chamber in H1 2023. By the close of June 2023, the number of Indian companies officially registered had surged to 90,118, underscoring their pivotal role in contributing to the sustainable economic growth of Dubai.
It is worthmentioning that more than 77.5 percent of total 829,549 Pakistani expat workers in 2022 opted Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates their new destination., according to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23.
The survey revealed that as of December 2022, more than 12.4 million Pakistanis had used official procedures to travel abroad for employment in over 50 countries including 829,549 Pakistani who travel in 2022.
“More than 96 percent of Pakistani registered workers for overseas employment are in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” the economic survey said.
The Economic Survey said more than 62 percent, or 514,725 Pakistanis workers, moved to Saudi Arabia followed by UAE, at 15.5 percent, to earn their livelihoods in 2022. Oman provided jobs to 82,380 or 9.9 percent and Qatar accommodated 57,984 or 7 percent Pakistani workers of different occupations. Bahrain and Malaysia welcomed 13652 or 1.6 percent workers, and 6175 or 0.7 percent workers, respectively.
The regional breakdown of those who travelled abroad during 2022 showed the highest number from Punjab (458, 241) followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (224,88) and Sindh (59,067).
Diversity and Dynamism
Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “The diversity of nationalities represented among the new companies joining the chamber reflects the vibrancy of Dubai’s dynamic business environment, together with the emirate’s strong ability to consistently attract a broad range of foreign direct investment.”
In the first half of 2023, there was a remarkable 43% surge in the number of new chamber members, a development emphasized by Lootah, who underscored the substantial value that the chamber’s facilities, services, and activities bring to businesses. These efforts align closely with the Dubai Economic Agenda’s objectives and the chamber’s strategic priorities.
Among the countries experiencing significant increases in new chamber memberships, Egypt stood out with a notable addition of 2,154 new companies. This marked an impressive 102% surge compared to H1 2022, taking the total number of Egyptian member companies to 18,028. Further, 1,184 new Syrian-owned companies joined, representing a 24% increase from the 956 recorded in H1 2022, and the cumulative number of Syrian companies registered with the chamber now stands at 10,678.
Bangladesh also contributed substantially, witnessing a year-over-year increase of 47% in new company registrations. The count rose from 711 in H1 2022 to 1,044 in H1 2023, contributing to a total of 10,975 companies. The United Kingdom saw a 40% increase, welcoming 963 new UK-owned member companies during H1 2023, raising the total to 10,010.
China emerged as another top nationality for new chamber members, with 664 new companies joining in H1 2023. This marked a robust 69% increase from H1 2022, bringing the number of Chinese-owned enterprises to 8,265. Additionally, 639 new Jordanian companies joined during H1 2023, representing a 36% increase from the 469 recorded in H1 2022, thus raising the total number of Jordanian businesses registered with the chamber to 8,368.
The growth trend extended to Lebanese businesses, which experienced a 26% year-over-year increase in H1 2023, with 588 new members compared to the 468 businesses that joined during the same period last year. As of the end of June 2023, the total number of Lebanese businesses registered as chamber members stood at 6,175. This surge in membership reflects the chamber’s attractiveness and its pivotal role in facilitating business growth and collaboration.
Highest Growth Rates
The list of countries with the highest growth rates in new member company ownership during H1 2023 included Japan, which increased by 253% to reach 60 – up from 17 new companies registered in H1 2022. New Kyrgyzstan-owned company registrations witnessed an increase of 167%, rising from 21 in H1 2022 to 56 in H1 2023. Tanzania’s new business registrations increased from 14 companies in H1 2022 to 34 in H1 2023, while Hungary saw a 138% increase from 16 businesses in H1 2022 to 38 during H1 2023.
Top Business Sectors
Trading and repair services accounted for 42.4% of the total activities among new member company registrations during H1 2023, followed closely by the real estate, renting, and business service sector, which made up 30.8% of new member companies. Businesses in the construction industry took third place with 7.2%, while the transport, storage, and telecommunications sector ranked fourth, accounting for 6.3% of the total activity among new companies joining the chamber during the first half of the year.