UAE mulls 100% foreign ownership of companies

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Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies.

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies.

Officials in the UAE are reviewing a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies, Bloomberg reported, citing the undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

The Abu Dhabi government and others within the UAE are reviewing the draft legislation, which would allow some sectors to operate outside of free zones, said Mohamed Omar Abdulla.

“We recognise the importance of the foreign companies to have 100 percent ownership, but within specific rules and conditions,” he said.

Companies that are eligible would “have to be within the industries that have certain priorities within the economy, like petrochemicals, communications, logistics, aerospace, financial, and others,” he added.

Under UAE law, only nationals are allowed full ownership of companies operating outside of free zones. The law currently requires foreign citizens to have a UAE national as a partner or sponsor to conduct business.

The Gulf state has been trying to diversify and modernise its economy, developing areas including tourism and finance, in a bid to reduce its dependence on oil exports.

The UAE’s state news agency in December said the cabinet had approved a draft companies law that may allow foreign ownership above 49 percent.

The legislation lays down a framework for the governance of public companies, ensuring transparency and disclosure of financial data as well as the efficiency and integrity of the board of directors, WAM said.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Paolo C

They really believe our memory is so short. Most of us clearly remember all these kinds of announcements made over and over again.

Posted by: Despairing

This is such a non-story. I've been a corporate lawyer in the UAE for seven years and every year this story resurfaces and every year they realise that the current 49% / 51% ownership model is such a gravy-train for well-connected Emiratis that it's never going to come to an end .....

Posted by: langyaw

methinks what the UAE government needs to do is give more security and protection for employees against being abused by employers, i.e., not paid on time if paid at all, being forced to pay for own employment visa, forced to work long hours, no break day, the list of woes goes on and on.
this new proposal only serves the owner, and could open the door for more abuse.

Posted by: ahmed

They have been 'mulling' since years...nothing will change

Posted by: Salvatore

quote: The legislation lays down a framework for the governance of public companies, ensuring transparency and disclosure of financial data as well as the efficiency and integrity of the board of directors.Unquote.
Very impressed.
It is a pity Dubai developers don't play per the same rules.

is this is the same law announced a year ago?

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