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GCC nationals and foreigners can form partnerships without Emirati sponsorship

Investors will be required to move the headquarters of the business to Dubai

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The Department of Economic Development building in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai has allowed partnerships between GCC investors and foreigners without Emirati sponsorship, on condition that investors finance projects through capital inflows, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) said. Mohammad Shael Al Sa’adi, CEO of Business Registration & Licensing Sector at DED, told Gulf News: “GCC nationals can have foreign business partners without third local party in Dubai for any project worth a minimum of Dh10 million and based on foreign knowledge and finance.”

“These investments should come under the categories of enabled sectors like industrial, services, tourism or other businesses that add critical value to the emirate’s economy.” Al Sa’adi also stressed that another compulsory condition for this new initiative is that investors move the business headquarters to Dubai and engage experienced professionals. “One more of these businesses conditions is there should focus on the quality of the employees rather than quantity. All workers should fall under the skilled worker category.”

However, such new businesses can’t be set up before submitting a concrete business proposal to be approved by the DED committee.

Approvals for starting these businesses is speedy and won’t take more than two weeks, he added. While the regulations of the GCC Common Market allows GCC nationals to set up businesses in Dubai without local partners, the new initiative grants them a chance to have partnerships with foreigners without local partners.

Al Sa’adi said: “The aim of this initiative is not only to facilitate doing business across the GCC countries but it will increase the flow of Foreign direct investment into Dubai, bringing new opportunities at different levels.

Development programmes

DED continues to streamline the business sector, propose policies, and prepare development programmes in line with the vision of the leadership to develop key economic sectors and create a competitive and attractive business environment for regional and international investments,” said Ahmad Ebrahim, Director of Business Registration in the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) Sector in DED. “Dubai’s robust infrastructure and business environment makes it a unique and diverse commercial centre not only in the GCC but also among growing economies around the world.”

Moafaq Al Gaddah, a leading businessman in the Gulf and Chairman of MAG group said: “Despite all the business facilities we enjoy in the UAE, this initiative will definitely expand the scope of businesses in Dubai as well as help transfer knowledge and business potential across the GCC.” Gassan Al Aridi, CEO of Alpha Tours, added that the new regulation will boost different business sectors and enhance competitiveness in the market.