Monday 21, May 2018 by Jessica Combes

UAE allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of businesses


The United Arab Emirates cabinet approved steps that would allow foreigners 100 percent ownership of UAE-based businesses by year-end

In a statement on social media, the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai said, “At today's Cabinet meeting, we decided to allow 100 per cent 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. 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,”

Currently foreigners can exercise 100 per cent ownership of businesses in designated free zones, though they require a local partner for ‘mainland’ businesses and can only hold 49 per cent ownership.

The announcement has been generally well-received across social media, though questions remain regarding the costs for setting up these fully-owned businesses as well as fees for their renewal.

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