New Abu Dhabi residency rules to encourage expat investment

The changes are expected to be announced in the next few weeks
The changes – which have yet to be announced in detail – are being prepared by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and the UAE cabinet, and are expected over the course of the next several weeks. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Sun 20 May 2018 02:12 PM

Changes to Abu Dhabi’s residency regulations will soon to be made in a bid to encourage expat investment in the capital and increase social stability, it was recently announced.

The changes – which have yet to be announced in detail – are being prepared by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and the UAE cabinet, and are expected over the course of the next several weeks.

“What you can expect is further opening of ownership in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in coordination with the Ministry of Economy,” Ahmad bin Ghannam, the acting executive director of international economic relations of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development told journalists in April.

It was previously announced that a UAE investment law – which will allow 100 percent foreign equity ownership in a number of non-oil sectors – was expected to be ratified in Q1 2018. At the moment, foreign companies in Abu Dhabi must have a local partner own 51 percent of shares.

Among the changes expected are changes to visa regulations for retirees, several new types of visas and longer student and residency visas.

“The aim is to protect the local investor in a way that does not weaken the opportunities, efficiency and competitiveness of all categories of investors,” noted WAM.

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Last Updated: Sun 20 May 2018 02:40 PM GST

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