100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in the UAE with a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators
New visa rule in UAE: Magnet for investments, talent
“The decision reveals the transparency and clarity of policies implemented by the UAE’s federal government, a key incentive in attracting foreign direct investments to the country,” said Al Hajiri in a statement.
What are the new rules for 100% foreign investment?
Under the new decision, foreign companies will be allowed to own 100 per cent of their business in the UAE outside free zones — a major departure from the current practice of requiring an Emirati partner with a majority stake. Currently, only companies based in various free zones around the UAE were eligible for the 100 per cent ownership rule. Further, foreign investors establishing a business or simply investing money in the UAE will now be eligible for a visa of up to 10 years. A range of businesses — from start-ups to city-based trades to knowledge economy companies — will be the biggest benefactors from the decision. This will also attract new capital infusion into the UAE economy from investors around the world.
When will these measures come into effect?
Shaikh Mohammad has directed the Ministry of Economy to implement the resolution and follow up on its developments, in coordination with all concerned stakeholders. He has asked for a detailed report to be submitted in the third quarter of this year, and the measures will come into force by the end of 2018.
Why did the UAE undertake these new measures?
The Cabinet resolutions mark a bold new era for the UAE, but they are in line with the UAE leadership’s continued focus on attracting top international investments as well as exceptional talent to the country and build a solid foundation for a diversified knowledge economy. The UAE is already the most diversified and open economy in the Middle East, but these policies with long-term implications will further lift the UAE’s economic competitiveness globally.
How will these measures help the UAE?
In the words of Shaikh Mohammad, the UAE “will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents to the UAE”. That position will not only transform the quality of the UAE’s workforce, but also ensure social and economic stability and ensure a strong surge in home-grown talent. Along with that, the funds remitted by the UAE’s expat population — which stood at Dh164.3 billion in 2017 — could well be spent back in the local economy if residents settle in the country and possibly invest in the local real estate due to the benefit of a long-term visa.
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