UAE approves 100% foreign ownership of companies Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It’s no longer mandatory to have an Emirati partner or specify a fixed quota ratio for him/her.

The latest guidelines issued by Dubai Economy also state there are no additional fees, guarantees or capital requirement for full foreign ownership.

It further explained that a reduction of the percentage share of the Emirati partner from 51 per cent or his /her withdrawal from the partnership is “possible according to the legal procedures followed”.

However, the status of existing business licenses that include an Emirati partner remains unchanged. This is as per the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the partners’ decision.

The Dubai economic department also explained that though it’s not possible to convert the legal form of a company from ‘Limited Liability Company’ to a ‘sole Proprietorship’ under a foreign name as per the existing law, the license can be transferred to a one-person company with limited liability.

Full ownership does not apply to commercial agencies, as they are regulated by the Commercial Agencies Law. Branches of foreign companies do not require an Emirati agent.

Invest in Dubai

To obtain a licence or amend the Memorandum of Association, investors can log in to ‘Invest in Dubai’. The platform can be used for initial approvals, trade name reservation, and licence renewal services.

A big move for the UAE

The strategic decision for full ownership for foreign investors enhances the investment attractiveness of the UAE and its advanced position on the global business outlook, Dubai Economy stated. The decision will accelerate the UAE’s economic recovery and add to the gains the country has made so far. It will also help further enhance Dubai’s already high rankings in international investment indicators and leading global indices related to ease of doing business and business expansion.

A total of 59 investors in Dubai have already taken advantage of the new decision. The commercial activities in which full ownership was sought include general trade, contracting, jewellery, gold, pearls, luxury watches, foods, as well as cars and trucks trading. In the industrial category, full ownership was sought in the metals and construction, flooring, building materials, foods, water production and paints sectors. A kindergarten, an elementary and middle school, and a hotel also sought 100 per cent ownership.