Sunday 14 July 2019
Foreign investors have welcomed the UAE Cabinet’s announcement to make 122 business activities eligible for up to 100 percent foreign ownership, extending the country’s FDI law passed in September 2018, The Financial Times' fDi Markets reported.
Whereas federal requirements previously capped foreign ownership of local companies at 49 percent, full foreign ownership will be allowed in numerous industries including e-commerce, agriculture, renewable energy and construction.
Other areas open to full ownership include information and communications, and professional, scientific and technical activities, allowing ownership in laboratories for research and development in biotechnology.
This aligns with the UAE’s aim to foster innovation and scientific breakthroughs as part of its Vision 2021 program, fDi said.
The legal change is intended to reaffirm Dubai’s position as a hub for foreign investment. Greenfield FDI in the UAE reached USD 14.97 billion between June 2018 and May 2019, compared with USD 7.40 billion between June 2017 to May 2018, according to fDi Markets, a data service from the Financial Times.
As part of its decision, the cabinet also announced plans to grant UAE residency visas to investors which will be valid for up to 10 years, an increase on the current two-year validity.