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The latest law in the UAE allows 100% foreign ownership of businesses

The government of the United Arab Emirates announced that foreign investors can fully own local companies without the need for an Emirati sponsor.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said the UAE now enjoys a fertile legislative environment for foreign direct investors in order to enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

The FDI law, which was adopted in September 2018 through Federal Legislative Decree No 19 of 2018 and an ensuing resolution by the UAE Council of Ministers No 16 of 2020 in March 2020, amends Commercial Companies Law (CCL) No 2 of 2015.

Under the existing CCL, foreign shareholders are restricted to own only up to a maximum of 49 percent in a ‘limited liability company’ (LLC) operating as an onshore UAE business. The law, therefore, requires an Emirati individual or 100 percent Emirati-owned company to hold the balance 51 percent share as a local sponsor.

The new law has amended 51 articles of CCL and added new ones, mostly focusing on the regulation of provisions of establishing companies with limited liability shareholding.

The UAE Cabinet Resolution in March 2020 determined the ‘Positive List’ of sectors and economic activities in which the FDI law is permissible and the percentage of ownership is 100 percent in companies outside free zones. However, this remained subject to certain criteria being satisfied.

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source : Khaleej Times

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