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UAE law allowing 100% foreign ownership now in force

A law allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in the UAE is now in force after being published in the country’s Official Gazette.

The long-awaited law is designed to make the country more attractive for investors while limiting the impact on local businesses, officials have said. Foreign companies seeking to establish an entity onshore in the UAE would previously have to team up with a UAE national, who was required to own 51 per cent of the shares of the company.

Law firm Clyde & Co confirmed the law’s publication on Sunday afternoon.

Among the key details is a framework allowing the UAE Cabinet to exercise its powers to permit increased levels of foreign ownership, it said. Clarification regarding the steps required of companies to apply to own more than 49 per cent of shares in selected sectors of the economy were also revealed.

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