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UAE opens up economy, allows 100% foreign ownership of firms: Report

Dramatic changes come as it prepares to host 25 mn visitors for the World Expo

UAE | UAE economy | Gulf countries


UAE, Sheikh Zayed Road
An aerial view of Sheikh Zayed Road, in UAE

Foreigners opening a company in the United Arab Emirates no longer need an Emirati shareholder or agent under changes to company law, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

Until now, companies in the had needed a certain shareholding to be held by Emirati nationals, or an Emirati agent, depending on what type of company it was.

“The amendments allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to fully establish (own 100 per cent) and own companies without any nationality requirements,” WAM said.

“The condition requiring a foreign company wishing to open a branch in the country to have an agent from among the country’s citizens has also been cancelled,” it added.

The approved a new foreign investment law in 2018 that would allow foreigners to own up to 100 per cent of some businesses and foreigners could already own up to 100 per cent of those registered in designated business parks known as “free zones”.

As an oil and gas producer, the has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, prompting the Monetary Fund to forecast in October that the Gulf’s second largest economy could shrink by 6.6 per cent this year.

The dramatic changes come as the UAE has spent billions of dollars preparing to host some 25 million visitors for the World Expo, which was pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

Yemen’s Houthis say they fired missile at Aramco site

Yemeni Houthi forces fired a missile that struck a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea city of Jeddah, a Houthi military spokesman said on Monday. There was no immediate Saudi confirmation of the claim.

The Houthi spokesman, Yahya Sarea, said foreign companies and residents in Saudi should exercise caution as “operations will continue”.

The strike had been carried out in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s actions in Yemen, he said. He posted a satellite image with the label “north Jeddah bulk plant-Saudi Aramco”. Reuters

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First Published: Tue, November 24 2020. 00:59 IST