The United Arab Emirates cabinet approved steps on Sunday that would allow for 100 percent ownership of UAE-based businesses by foreign investors by year-end, the state news agency WAM said.
Home to financial hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is also loosening its residency laws and will grant long-term visas for up to 10 years to investors and highly-skilled professionals.
The decision is part of a wider change to the system that would grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists in scientific, technical, medical and research fields, the agency said.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. He directed the economy minister to implement the resolution and submit a study following up its impact in the third quarter of this year, WAM said.
Under current laws, foreign companies must have an Emirati owning 51 per cent of the shares, unless the company operates in a free zone. Major brands Apple and Tesla are believed to be exceptions to the rule.