The Synergistic Emirates

The Synergistic Emirates

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  • The UAE, the second-largest economy in the Arab world, dominated mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in MENA region during the first half of the year. The country led both in terms of volume and value of transactions, driven by government policies and efforts to enhance the ease of doing business, resulting in increased deal flow and foreign direct investment (FDI). Despite this, overall deal activity across the MENA region slowed due to rising interest rates amid global economic challenges. The number of deals decreased by 14% year-on-year to 318, with GCC states accounting for 254 of those deals.
  • The UAE's M&A dominance was evident as it ranked highest among MENA target countries with 82 deals valued at $6 billion and also emerged as the leading bidder country with 115 deals valued at $20.2 billion in the first six months of the year. The government's focus on improving the ease of doing business, offering foreign ownership of companies and flexible visa schemes, has been instrumental in attracting FDI. The establishment of the Ministry of Investment in July further aims to boost foreign investment and advance deal activity in the country. The UAE's success in attracting FDI is highlighted by its highest recorded FDI inflow of $23 billion in 2022, signaling a 10% annual increase, as reported by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

Why it matters

Despite the overall slowdown in the MENA region's deal activity, the UAE's focus on enhancing the ease of doing business and introducing measures to attract foreign investors has enabled it to stand out as a top destination for M&A transactions. This success reflects the UAE's commitment to economic diversification and growth, making it an appealing market for both local and international investors seeking opportunities in the region.


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