13 Business Sectors in UAE now eligible for 100% Foreign Ownership

13 Business Sectors in UAE now eligible for 100% Foreign Ownership


The Foreign Direct Investment Law (Federal Law no. 19 of 2018) (“the FDI Law”) issued last year outlined a framework wherein foreign shareholders could own up to 100% of shares in companies in UAE in certain economic sectors. A negative list including the sectors and activities that are not available to Foreign Investors was also mentioned in the FDI Law. However, the Positive List was yet to be declared. 

The much eagerly anticipated announcement was made last week by the authorities. The UAE Cabinet has approved the Positive List which included the economic sectors and activities that are fully or partially available to Foreign Investors in the UAE. 

A total of 122 economic activities across 13 sectors were specified to be eligible for up to 100 percent foreign ownership. 

The 13 sectors include: 

  1. Renewable energy,
  2. Space 
  3. Agriculture 
  4. Manufacturing industry
  5. Transport and storage
  6. Hospitality and food services
  7. Information and communications
  8. Professional, scientific and technical activities 
  9. Administrative services & support services 
  10. Educational activities
  11. Healthcare
  12. Art and entertainment
  13. Construction 

Local governments in each Emirate will determine the ownership percentage of foreign investors in these activities and shall accordingly issue more guidelines. 

This decision definitely aims to support the growth environment and to reaffirm UAE’s position on the global arena as a hub for investment.

Watch this space for more updates as our offices are in constant contact with the licensing officials at the Department of Economic Development & Ministry of Economy to update you with more information on the execution and development of the FDI Law.

Being one of the top law firms in Dubai, James Berry & Associates have qualified and experienced lawyers in Dubai who can assist you with your company incorporation requirements. 

To know more contact Deepa.

This is a general guide on the subject matter and should not be construed as specific legal advice.

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