Saudi Megaprojects to Drive FDI in MENA in 2024

Capital adviser firm Lumina predicts a surge in foreign direct investments (FDI) across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2024, driven by major Saudi megaprojects and other significant undertakings in the region. The report emphasises the impact of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, a high-tech mega-city under the Vision 2030 plan, with an estimated investment of $500 billion. Other projects contributing to the FDI drive include the UAE’s Palm Jebel Ali, the Tower at Creek Harbour, and various energy transition initiatives.

The focus on renewable energy is evident through projects like the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s Shuaibah 2 Solar Facility. Infrastructure developments such as the King Salman International Airport in Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Metro Blue Line are expected to provide economic benefits and improved connectivity. The report underscores the promising investment landscape for the MENA region in 2024.

In 2022, the Middle East experienced a record-breaking year for FDI, with Saudi Arabia surpassing the UAE in FDI figures for the first time. Saudi Arabia witnessed a 71% increase in FDI in 2022, establishing its status as a regional investment hub.

The Kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil are reflected in the 4.6% growth in non-oil activities in 2023, according to the General Authority for Statistics. FDI inflows to Saudi Arabia reached SR17 billion ($4.53 billion) in the third quarter of 2023, according to GASTAT.