Dubai issues revised decisions on commercial ownership for foreign investors

Dubai issues revised decisions on commercial ownership for foreign investors

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy) recently announced new decisions on foreign ownership, which became effective from the 1st of June 2021. The Dubai Economy issued guidelines along with their new decisions which clarify the procedures necessary for full ownership for foreign investors, ensuring compliance with the Federal Decree-Law No. (26) dictated in 2020, which amended provisions in regards to ownership of commercial companies from Federal Law No. (2) imposed in 2015.

The strategic decision is planned to enhance the UAE’s investment attractiveness and its advanced position on the global business map, while also reinforcing the competitive advantages that Dubai enjoys as an ideal investment destination, accelerating the UAE’s economic recovery and adding to the gains the country has made so far. It is also planned to help further enhance Dubai’s already high rankings in international investment indicators and leading global indices related to ease of doing business and business expansion.

What has changed?

Decisions on 100% ownership does not bring any change to current procedures or requirements for licensing, except that it will no longer be mandatory to have an Emirati partner, therefore, meaning it is no longer necessary to specify a quota ratio for him/her. The new guidelines also state that no additional fees, guarantees, or capital will be required for full foreign ownership, making it even more accessible to investors.

What activities are included in this new scheme?

As per the guidelines published by Dubai Economy on its website, 100 percent foreign ownership is available for more than 1,000 commercial and industrial activities, only excluding economic activities with a strategic impact.

A full list of activities open for 100 percent foreign ownership can be viewed online.

How can my business benefit from this?

Business owners must follow specific procedures to be able to effectively utilise this new opportunity. By doing so, however, businesses can benefit from a variety of services including renewing/amending existing licenses, beginning new applications, initial approvals, Dubai SME licences, Intelaq licences, and many more…

Dubai’s Minister for the economy, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, said on the matter “The amended Commercial Companies Law aims at boosting the country’s competitive edge and is a part of UAE government efforts to facilitate doing business.”

Nearby, both the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) and The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) announced shortly after that they would be following Dubai Economies lead, and from June 2021, they too would be implementing similar full foreign ownership policy, allowing investors to own 100 percent of commercial and industrial companies in these Emirates.

 How can Animo help?

Our expert consultants welcome the opportunity to offer guidance and advice for both new and existing clients, across a range of services. Our Dubai offices allow us specialist, local insight into Dubai’s economy. If you would like to find out more about how your business may be able to utilise this new opportunity, or if you have any other relevant business queries, get in touch with us today by calling  +971 4705 0383, emailing at, or by filling in a contact form below.

    Data Privacy

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
    This form collects your data for our records and marketing purposes. For more information on how we use, protect and manage your submitted data, please read our privacy policy.

    I consent to you collecting the information provided in this form