Dubai mulls businesses without local partners

Under proposed policy GCC nationals could set up firms in emirate without local partner

(Image for illustrative purposes).

(Image for illustrative purposes).

The Dubai government is considering allowing GCC nationals to set up businesses with foreigners without the requirement of an Emirati partner, as part of a plan to boost the economy and attract capital.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) formed a committee, led by head of licensing Ahmed Ibrahim, to study requests from GCC nationals to allow them to set up partnership firms with non-GCC citizens, the government said in a statement.

"DED continues to streamline the business sector, propose policies, and prepare development programmes in line with the vision of the leadership to develop key economic sectors and create a competitive and attractive business environment for regional and international investments," Ibrahim said in a statement.

As part of the review process, the committee will consider whether the proposed projects include transfer of knowledge and technology to the UAE, or transfer of operations of well-known companies to the Gulf state, and whether the project is a priority for the emirate's economy.

Such businesses must be within the industrial, services, tourism or other sectors that "add critical value to the emirate's economy", the statement said. The minimum capital in each project must be AED10m (US$2.7m) and be transferred from abroad to a UAE bank with a certificate of deposit. 

An economic feasibility study and compliance with existing legislation are part of the required criteria in order for the proposal to be considered by the committee.

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