UAE: The UAE decided on Tuesday to allow 100% ownership of businesses for foreign nationals starting from December 1, 2020, raise the percentage of foreign investors owning commercial companies from 49% to 100%, which opens the door for foreign investors to own full shares in commercial companies.
The decision, which was taken during a government meeting chaired by Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, gives the seven emirates the power to set their ceiling for the percentage of foreign ownership in major business sectors.
To avoid the 49% ceiling, a number of Emirates, including Dubai, have established free trade zones in which foreigners can own 100% of their companies.
Sheikh Mohammed said that Tuesday’s decision opens the UAE’s economy to all nationalities, “to make it one of the most important global investment poles.”
The decision opens up to 13 large commercial sectors in the UAE, which has the second largest economy in the Arab world, and allows full ownership of foreign investors in 12 business sectors.
Among these sectors are renewable energy, agriculture, transport, electronic commerce, telecommunications, education and pharmaceuticals.
The UAE economy is considered the most diversified in the Arab world thanks to Dubai, the second largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, which generates about 95% of its revenues from non-oil sources.
The UAE is the largest attractor for foreign direct investment, attracting more than $ 11 billion last year.
However, economic growth slowed down last year, only to 1.3%.
To counter this, the UAE has taken a set of measures, including a permanent residency system.
Residents, who are mostly Asians, make up about 90 percent of the UAE’s population of 10 million.
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