Draft law allows full ownership of firms

Law currently allows for foreigners to own 49% of companies

The Federal National Council (FNC) in Abu Dhabi will be reviewing a draft commercial companies law to allow full foreign ownership of certain firms. The review will take place on Tuesday, in a two-day session.

“Members of the House will debate a draft commercial law that will allow 100 percent foreign ownership of some companies, within specific conditions,” said Al Nuaimi, a representative from Ajman. The draft legislation would authorise the Cabinet, on advice from the Minister of Economy, to name companies which could be fully owned by foreigners.

Under current UAE law only citizens are allowed full ownership of companies operating outside free zones. The law currently allows foreigners to own a maximum of 49% of companies outside of free zones – and requires foreigners to have an Emirati as a partner or sponsor, to conduct business.

Al Nuaimi told Gulf News that eligible companies would “have to be within the industries that have certain priorities within the economy, such as aerospace, communications and petrochemicals.”

“These companies should bring added value in terms of providing their expertise to support the UAE’s continued development and growth. They should also hire large numbers of Emiratis, with each offering 100 jobs or more to citizens,” said Al Nuaimi, who is also rapporteur of the parliamentary financial committee.


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