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Dubai: Residents of the UAE will not be eligible to apply for a virtual business licence in Dubai.

Last week Dubai Economy announced the launch of the region's first 'Virtual Company Licence’, which will allow investors worldwide to do business in Dubai digitally without requiring residence.

It was unclear whether UAE residents would be able to apply for the licence, as the UAE was marked in green as an eligible country on the Virtual Commercial City website’s heat map, but the qualification clauses stated that entrepreneurs must be non-UAE residents.

A spokesperson at Dubai Economy, however, confirmed to Gulf News via email that only non-residents are eligible for the Virtual Company Licence. Dubai Economy already has a ‘DED Trader’ licence that allows residents to do business on social media.

The Virtual Company Licence will enable freelancers and business people abroad to have access to a regulated e-commerce platform and easily work with Dubai-based companies while also exploring new markets and investment opportunities digitally.

UAE residents who do not have a local partner or sponsor can only get business licences through UAE free zones, which costs an average of Dh15,000.