The number of enquiries from companies looking to invest in Dubai doubled during the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to the head of the government’s direct foreign investment office.

Fahad al-Gergawi, chief executive officer of FDI/Dubai, part of the Department of Economic Development (DED), would not comment on whether this increase was due to the political unrest that has discredited other locations, such as neighbouring Bahrain, as a base in the region.

“The number of enquiries we are getting has doubled, as compared to the same period last year,” says Al-Gergawi, adding that “Dubai has positioned itself as a safe haven for many years”.

His statement is supported by a study by consultancy AT Kearney released in early 2010, in which Dubai topped its Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index.

The political situation in the region favours Dubai, said the head of one company that has recently set up its global operations office in the emirate.

“No major company or multinational can disregard the Middle East, they will still try to grow their business in the region. Dubai being very stable, will help it grow faster than other locations,” said Claus Rubenius, chairman of Rubenius, a cleantech company.

Al-Gergawi attributed the rise in enquires to the economic recovery taking hold.

“We are seeing a nice trend of Dubai coming back slowly within very acceptable numbers in terms of total trade, GDP [gross domestic product], company interest,” he adds.