By Shane McGinley
CEO of Dubai export unit said 100% ownership a good idea, if investment is large enough
A leading figure in the Dubai trade sector has called on authorities to consider easing regulations in relation to foreign ownership of companies in the emirate.
“Personally, I think if there is a viable project and huge investment I think it is a good idea to give them 100 percent ownership, even outside the free zone,” Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC), a unit of the Department of Economic Development (DED), told reporters.
Under current UAE laws, foreigners can only own a maximum of 49 percent of businesses, with an Emirati sponsor holding the remaining 51 percent. The exceptions are the free zones, which allow 100 percent ownership..
In November it was reported the UAE government plans to liberalise regulations in the trading of services and goods by professional services.
"Under our offer we have opened some service sectors to other countries," Juma Al Kait, the executive director of foreign trade affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, was quoted as saying by The National.
"The offer is conditional and is subject to other countries' offers.”
Al Kait did not specify which professions would be impacted by changes, but it is believed to include accountants, lawyers, engineers, architects, designers and other consultants.
I lived here 33 years and there is no sign of giving citizenship even though we have a clean record. Why? At least authorities can give citizenship mainly business expatriates and professionals who have contributed the growth of the country.
Now expatriates and business communities have no confidence in the country they repatriate all the funds to their country of origin. If authorities give citizenship these funds will remain in the country and country's economic condition will be strong.
When country is growing it is advisable to make the changes to go forward. Our main question is why the foreign investor has to come to this place (UAE) when other countries are offering flexibility. So sponsorship rules obstruct the progress of the country for various reasons. Any investor wants their money must be safe while investing so there should freedom to repatriate the funds they earn over here and stability of the government policies.