ANNOUNCEMENT 23 Nov 2020

In November 2020, the president issued a new decree that allows 100% of foreign ownership in Emirates.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

2

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 1 liberalising

SOURCE

Emirates News Agency, UAE allows full foreign ownership of commercial companies, 23 November 2020, Available at: https://wam.ae/en/details/1395302889305

The National News, UAE revamps foreign ownership rules for commercial companies, 23 November 2020, Available at: https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/economy/uae-revamps-foreign-ownership-rules-for-commercial-companies-1.1116335

Inception date: 01 Dec 2020 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On 23 November 2020, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a decree amending the commercial companies law by allowing 100% of foreign direct investment in Emirates. The new decree amends the following:

  • Eliminating the requirement for commercial companies to have a major Emirati shareholder or agent that makes the foreign investor only own 49% of the company while the Emirati national own 51%. 

In addition to the amendments of the commercial companies law, the Cabinet issued in the first quarter of 2020 resolution no. 16 of March 2020 that included a positive list of activities covered 122 economic activities within thirteen sectors that will allow 100% of foreign ownership (see related state act). 

The new decree will take effect starting from 1 December 2020. 

AFFECTED SECTORS

 
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AFFECTED PRODUCTS

 
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Inception date: 01 Dec 2020 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On 23 November 2020, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a decree amending the commercial companies law by allowing 100% of foreign direct investment in Emirates. However, the new decree issues a new negative list that restricts FDI in the following sectors:

  1. Oil exploration and production activities
  2. Post, telecommunication, and other
    audio-visual services.
  3. Defense and security-related activities
  4. Road and air transport
  5. Banking and financial activities
  6. Printing and publishing
  7. Insurance activities
  8. Commercial agency
  9. Certain recruitment activities
  10. Medical retail
  11. Provision of water and electricity
  12. Poison centers, blood banks and
    quarantine facilities
  13. Fishing and related services

The new decree will take effect starting from 1 December 2020.

 

 
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