UAE ownership law to 'make life easier' for entrepreneurs, says Fadi Ghandour

100% ownership is 'extremely encouraging' for start ups and investors alike, says Aramex founder and Wamda managing partner
The lives of UAE entrepreneurs will be "much easier" in line with the country’s new ownership law, according to Aramex founder and Wamda Capital managing partner Fadi Ghandour.
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 22 May 2018 09:11 AM

The lives of UAE entrepreneurs will be "much easier" in line with the country’s new ownership law, according to Aramex founder and Wamda Capital managing partner Fadi Ghandour.

The UAE Cabinet announced on Sunday that it will allow 100% ownership of companies in the country, which was previously limited to freezones.

“I think the new law for 100% ownership is huge and extremely encouraging. It will make life much easier for entrepreneurs and businesses in general, it will attract new investments, new talent, new capital, certainly startups,” Ghandour told Arabian Business.

Known as the 'father of entrepreneurship', Ghandour is a regular advocate for start up and SME investment in the region, often urging more investors to ‘take risks’ in early stage concepts in the Middle East.

He said the new ownership law is "truly a game changer anyway you look at it".

The UAE also revealed a ten-year visa that will be made available to investors in the UAE, as well as specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields. Scientists, innovators and ‘exceptional’ students will also be included.

Fares Ghandour, partner at Wamda Capital, said longer residency will especially help the likes of freelancers.

“Beyond employment, the residency will give more cushioning for freelancers and researchers alike, to reside in the country without the need to depend on employment,” he said.

As for the ownership decree, he said it will likely reduce dependence on freezones.

“I think the local ownership laws are more interesting than the residency permit laws actually, because [they] will reduce dependence on freezones and freezone real-estate which is inflated relative to the onshore market,” he said, adding that a sense of ownership will also encourage the public to give back to the community.

“People will have an entitlement towards giving back to the community and investing in it when they feel they're a part of it. It’s a win-win situation that deepens the sense of entitlement towards the community in the UAE,” he added.

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Last Updated: Tue 22 May 2018 10:04 AM GST

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