All about Foreign Ownership in the United Arab Emirates

If you are an investor, business owner, or even planning to start a business as a foreigner, we have good news for you. Recently, the laws of the United Arab Emirates have been changed to allow foreigners to fully own their companies and businesses.

Since this is an important topic and you may have some question marks about it, we will explain it in more detail in this article; just scroll down.

What is the foreign ownership law in the UAE?

Foreign Property Law is a new law recently enacted in the United Arab Emirates that allows 100% of the business or corporate property rights of foreigners.

Prior to this law, there were some UAE restrictions on foreign ownership.

For example, any overseas or foreign investor wishing to set up a business in the mainland in the UAE had to find a national partner. Since the partner must own 51% of the shares in the company and the foreign investor or expatriate would only own 49%.

Therefore, such a law will bring you one step closer to starting your own business if you had concerns beforehand.

Who will benefit from this law? Those who will be using the 100 UAE properties are overseas investors, entrepreneurs, and business people. Even if you recently thought of starting your own position, you can do so now without looking for national partners. What is the significance of foreign ownership in the UAE? Foreign ownership is very important in the United Arab Emirates. As an expat:

  • You can finally have your own business without an Emirati partner
  • You will have more independence in managing and planning your work
  • You no longer have to negotiate and debate with UAE partners to get 51% of the company’s equity stake.
  • You can expand your business located outside of the UAE Free Zones.

In addition, under this law, now, if you are thinking of, surely not only that, but you also have the opportunity to enjoy an extended stay in Dubai after the long-term investor visa is issued.

What is the 100% Foreign Ownership Positive List in the UAE? The positive list includes economic activity in the 13 sectors through which the UAE allows full foreign participation. Here is the list of the main sectors in which you can fully own your business:

  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Storage and Transportation
  • Construction
  • Scientific Activities
  • Health Industry
  • Administration and Support
  • Renewable energies
  • Information technology and communication
  • Space technology
  • Arts and entertainment industries
  • Product manufacturing
  • Food and hospitality services.

The UAE gives you 100% foreign ownership in 122 positively listed industries in each of the above sectors, giving you a variety of options to start a new business. Ownership of the UAE’s economy Foreign ownership in the UAE will have a positive impact on the UAE’s economy by:

  • attracting more investors worldwide
  • increasing the flow of investment
  • strengthening the UAE’s position as a major world economic center
  • making the country a more encouraging environment for expats to build an independent business
  • The UAE is becoming more foreign-friendly which makes it a more sought-after location for investment by people from all over the world.