UAE eases limits on foreign ownership to attract investors

The latest legal reforms come as the UAE has spent billions of dollars preparing to host some 25 million visitors for the World Expo, which was pushed back to 2021 because of the pandemic. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 24 November 2020

UAE eases limits on foreign ownership to attract investors

  • Earlier this month, the UAE also announced a series of reforms to its Islamic legal code
  • The reforms allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to set up their own companies without involving local shareholders

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has relaxed and removed a range of limits on foreign ownership of companies, state-run media reported Monday, in the country’s latest bid to boost its global status and attract foreign investors.
Earlier this month, the UAE announced a series of reforms to its Islamic legal code, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, improving protections for women and loosening restrictions on alcohol consumption.
The dramatic changes come as the UAE has spent billions of dollars preparing to host some 25 million visitors for the World Expo, which was pushed back to 2021 because of the pandemic.
The UAE also expects Israelis to join the legions of foreigners who have opened up businesses and bought apartments in the coastal cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi following a breakthrough US-brokered normalization deal between the countries.
Dubai in particular, which was teetering on the brink of an economic downturn before the pandemic thanks to a weak real estate market, is eager for the influx of capital and travelers. COVID-19 has battered its economy, which draws largely from the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries.
The presidential decree that alters the corporate law helps the UAE “strengthen its leading position regionally and globally as an attractive destination for projects and companies,” state-run WAM news agency reported.
The reforms allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to set up their own companies without involving local shareholders, the agency said.
That’s a welcome development for the country’s many expatriates who long had their ownership capped at 49 percent in firms outside free zones.
Other legal amendments remove quotas requiring that Emiratis hold the majority of board positions and serve as chairs for onshore companies. Companies that want to be publicly traded will be able to sell up to 70 percent of their shares instead of the current 30 percent limit.
The amendments will certainly diminish the appeal of 45 “free” zones across the UAE, where those wanting to avoid local-hiring quotas and retain full foreign ownership would set up shop.


Iraq calls on Iran to help stop attacks in Baghdad Green Zone

Updated 19 January 2021

Iraq calls on Iran to help stop attacks in Baghdad Green Zone

DUBAI: Baghdad was working to prevent further attacks on the Green Zone, Iraq’s Foreign Minister told AL Arabiya TV on Monday.

The missile attacks on the Green Zone were embarrassing for the government, Fuad Hussein said, adding that a number of those connected to the attacks were arrested.

“We are working with diplomatic missions to provide the necessary protection,” he said.

Iraq asked Iran to participate in stopping those who target the Green Zone, the minister said.

“Washington may take drastic measures if its embassy is targeted,” Hussein claimed.

Tension between Washington and Iran negatively affects the Iraqi arena, according to the minister.  

Iraq, the minister asserted, was in need of coalition forces to confront Daesh, which he said was still present in border areas with Syria.

Meanwhile on the upcoming elections, the foreign minister said that Iraq had discussed the participation of the United Nations to ensure a successful outcome.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
Enter
keywords