The long-awaited UAE investment law, which seeks to allow more than 49 percent ownership to foreign investors in some specific business sectors, is expected to be introduced in the first quarter of 2018, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.
The final draft of the landmark law is awaiting the UAE Federal National Council approval before it becomes a law by the beginning of 2018, Al Mansouri told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the UAE-India Partnership Summit in Dubai.
The impending reform, which is expected to drastically change the investment landscape of the UAE, is widely expected to create significant growth opportunities by attracting more foreign direct investments, especially into the non-oil sectors.
The law will allow foreign equity ownership up to 100 percent in certain sectors. The recently introduced UAE Commercial Companies Law, contrary to the expectations of the global investor community, did not amend the 49 percent limit on foreign ownership. Under the new CCL, a foreign investor can only own a maximum of 49 percent of a locally incorporated company, apart from companies incorporated in a free zone in which they can own 100 percent. In a public joint stock company, while there is no 51 percent UAE ownership needed, but there is a 51 percent GCC stake-holding requirement.