UAE allows 100% foreign ownership in 122 economic activities

Businessmen welcome 100% ownership in 13 sectors and said it will attract more foreign investment and also boost investors' confidence

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By Abdul Basit

The UAE’s wise leadership always think about ease of doing business that’s the reason the county has made another historic announcement by offering 100 per cent foreign ownership in 122 economic sectors.

The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the sectors and economic activities eligible for up to 100 per cent foreign ownership in the country.

The decision aims to support the growth environment and to reaffirm UAE’s position on the global arena as a hub for investment.

A total of 122 economic activities across 13 sectors were specified to be eligible for up to 100 per cent foreign ownership such as renewable energy, space, agriculture, and manufacturing industry.

The decision provides investors with an opportunity to acquire various shares in a number of economic activities including the production of solar panels, power transformers, green technology, and hybrid power plants.
Areas of foreign ownership also include transport and storage, which allows investors to own projects in the field of e-commerce transport, supply chain, logistics, and cold storage for pharmaceutical products.

The Cabinet’s decision includes other areas of ownership by foreign investors, including hospitality and food services, information and communications, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities, thereby allowing for ownership in laboratories for research and development in biotechnology. The list also includes administrative services, support services, educational activities, healthcare, art and entertainment, and construction.

Kamal Vachani

Kamal Vachani, Group Director, Al Maya Group welcomed wholeheartedly the UAE Cabinet decision for 100% foreign ownership in 122 UAE Economic activities. “This is a great step taken by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” Vachani said.

He added that the decision of 100% foreign ownership in 122 economic activities which cover many vital sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy, e-commerce, transportation, arts, construction, entertainment and others will further boost the economy of the country and confidence of investors as well as residents of Dubai to invest further in the UAE.

While welcoming the decision Kamal Vachani who is a long time resident of Dubai said that this decision will further stimulate the business and will attract investments, new investors and new talents and will enhance the global competitiveness of the national economy.

Rizwan Sajan

Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, said steps like these would boost foreign direct investment. “Sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, e-commerce, transportation, construction will definitely leverage from this announcement and any development in these divisions will help enhance the economy.”

“The move will facilitate more investments by the expat community. It will encourage more investors to bring fresh capital into the country. The recent moves, including the UAE Gold Card residency law, has already spurred the inflow of additional investments. Full ownership will be a further fillip,” said Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare.

Azad Moopen

Paras Shahdadpuri, chairman, Nikai Group of Companies, said the path-breaking initiative is well-timed, given the challenging business and economic environment prevailing in the region.

“In fact, this has been a long-standing demand of the business community who strongly felt that when they have invested 100 per cent foreign equity and manage the entire business, they still need to follow the rule of 51:49 ownership. Opening up 100 per cent ownership will, in fact, open doors wider for foreign investments, generating large scale employment and further fuelling the economic growth,” said Shahdadpuri. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com