The UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership of companies
United Arab Emirates: The new investment law allowing 100% foreign ownership is just one of the many groundbreaking rules announced in a UAE Cabinet meeting earlier this year that intend to bring in and retain foreign investments, as well as welcome top professionals in a number of sectors.
The Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, shared the news himself via Twitter. “At today’s Cabinet meeting, we decided to allow 100% foreign ownership of companies in UAE, with a 10 year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators. The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders.” He followed up with a potential timeline, “This decision will be enforced by third quarter this year. Our open society, tolerant values, excellent infrastructure and flexible legislation offer the best environment for international investment and exceptional talent.”
The amendments to the residency laws include residency visas of up to 10-years for key professional individuals including doctors and engineers and their families; residency visas of up to 10-years for foreign investors establishing businesses in the country; and allowing companies to own 100% of their business in the UAE.
According to M/HQ, a multi-service platform catering to individual entrepreneurs and local SMEs to wealthy international families and blue chip companies, the Cabinet announcement that foreign investors will be entitled to own 100% of the capital of companies registered in the UAE mainland constitutes a major breakthrough in relation to foreign investment rules.
M/HQ, which is headquartered in the UAE and has experience in facilitating entry-to-market for businesses across all major fields of activities, also concluded that the key take-away of the loosening on domestic ownership restrictions is the UAE’s continuous commitment to diversify its economy and increase the contribution of non-oil sectors. It will inevitably spur the local economic growth and attract foreign investment outside of existing free zones.
Astrid Krauser, Managing Director of Business Consultancy company Seges DWC LLC, agrees that the amendments will have a positive effect, saying that “100% foreign ownership of UAE based companies will bring confidence to international investors, and boost the UAE economy by making it more competitive.” Krauser, whose company focuses on providing solutions and performing services for companies entering the market, added that “attracting and retaining talents with the visa program also gives a strong and positive message to the international community”.
For Ali Reza Afghahi, General Manager of Ethos Nutri, the amendments are an encouraging sign for the continued growth of his company, “As a business owner and the founder of KeraHealth France, a multinational nutraceutical manufacturer, this new law has given us further incentives to establish our holding company in the UAE.”
“The UAE is offering an attractive option to entrepreneurs and business owners. Access to a wide variety of talent, advantageous tax benefits and now the long term residency laws make our decision to establish our holding company in UAE even more justified,” added Afghahi.
by Dina Spahi