The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently amended the Federal Commercial Companies Act, granting foreign investors full ownership of certain businesses. This means that foreign investors can now own up to 100% of a company, instead of the previous maximum of 49%. While most industries are open to foreign direct investment (FDI), there are still some sectors where full foreign ownership is not allowed. This has caused some hesitation among foreign investors and business owners when it comes to establishing or investing in domestic companies. The UAE government is also planning to allow full foreign ownership of companies within the Emirates.
However, the cabinet may impose specific requirements on investors who wish to acquire full foreign ownership of a Dubai company. The new decree has not yet been published, but it is expected to review foreign ownership rules with respect to business enterprises in the UAE. The new decree replaces (and annuls) the provisions of the FDI Act on foreign ownership requirements. However, it does not apply to state-owned entities and companies that are considered to operate in sectors of strategic importance, such as oil and gas exploration, public services and transportation.
The Companies Act does not allow full foreign ownership of companies in Dubai, but free zones in the Emirate do allow for companies to be 100% owned by international entrepreneurs. It is important to note that while legislation relating to foreign investment has become more permissive, entrepreneurs must still take into account the provisions of the Companies Act when registering a company in Dubai. One of the new regulations abolishes the number of shareholders and directors in limited liability companies, which is one of the types of business structures preferred by foreign businessmen. When opening a company in Dubai as a foreign investor, it is important to remember that if you are seeking to operate in an industry that is not on any of the lists, then the FDI committee will determine the percentage of foreign ownership. The UAE government has made significant changes to its laws and regulations regarding foreign investment in Dubai companies. These changes have made it easier for international entrepreneurs and investors to establish businesses in Dubai.
However, there are still certain restrictions that must be taken into account when setting up a company in Dubai. It is important for potential investors and business owners to understand these restrictions before making any decisions.