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News & Knowledge

Foreign direct investments in the UAE expected to rise by 20%

29th November 2019

H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of UAE, issued Federal Law Number 19 of 2018 on 23 September 2018, about the Foreign Direct Investment Law or the Law moderating the constraints imposed on foreign ownership within UAE. Sheher Bano of MSI's Abu Dhabi law member firm Middle East Alliance explains further.

Lawyers of UAE take this as a right step in a positive direction to enhance the UAE’s economy in the international market. The introduction of 100% ownership in several business sectors for onshore entities is a remarkable decision towards projecting the UAE as the hub for international investors.

The new legislation provides the framework for the UAE Cabinet to permit foreign shareholders to own increased levels of foreign ownership (more than 49% of shares) in companies operating in certain sectors. As per the law, a ‘Foreign Direct Investment Unit’ is to be established in the Ministry of Economy

Following the enactment of the UAE Federal Law No. 19 of 2018 on Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI Law”), the UAE Cabinet has announced the positive list of activities covered by and benefiting from Article 7-3 of the FDI Law.

The UAE cabinet has approved 122 economic activities across 13 sectors that will be eligible for up to 100% foreign ownership. These sectors include:

  • Transport and storage;
  • Agriculture;
  • Space;
  • Manufacturing industry;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Hospitality and food services;
  • Information and communication;
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities;
  • Administrative and support services;
  • Educational activities;
  • Healthcare;
  • Art and entertainment; and
  • Construction.

About Middle East Alliance Legal Consultancy LLC - Abu Dhabi

Middle East Alliance Legal Consultancy LLC (MEALF) is a progressive, multicultural regional law firm based in Abu Dhabi, the capital and center of United Arab Emirates. Our firms provides a wide spectrum of legal services encompassing corporate, commercial, financial and administrative regulations, litigation, and arbitration.

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