UAE approves 100% foreign ownership for 122 economic activities
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

UAE approves 100% foreign ownership for 122 economic activities

Another step to boost economic growth

In a new step to bolster economic growth and attract foreign investment, the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has approved 122 economic activities in 13 sectors to be eligible for 100 percent foreign ownership.

Amidst fears of global economic slowdown, we are always excited to hear about the new steps the UAE is taking for sustainable long term growth of the country and its residents. In the past few months, UAE has introduced long-term residency to investors and high-earning expats, new rules to speed up SME payments, signed MoUs to boost trade, as well as implemented the passporting regime for domestic funds to support startups.

While the full list has not been included in the report by WAM, the state news agency, we are aware that it includes renewable energy, allowing entrepreneurs to develop solar panels, green technology, hybrid power plants and power transformers with complete ownership of their business.

The UAE has previously shown its move towards sustainable energy resources with a number of projects, such as the world’s largest solar power plant and RAK retrofitting 3000 buildings with IoT for efficiency in energy consumption.

The list also includes manufacturing, transport and storage businesses that support the growing e-commerce industry, as well as logistics and supply chain companies, cold storages and more.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the list also includes the agriculture and space sector, considering the country’s move towards food security and soaring space ambitious.

This historic announcement takes the UAE a step further to become a hub for foreign investment on a global stage.

The Cabinet's decision also covers the hospitality and food services sector, information and communications, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities—enabling ownership of laboratories for research and development in biotechnology.

Some of the 122 economic activities include administrative services, support services, educational activities, health care, art and entertainment, as well as construction.

Local governments will identify relevant ownership percentages in every activity. Our goal is to stimulate, facilitate and activate business, open and expand new economic sectors, attract new investors and talents, and enhance global competitiveness of our national economy.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri added, "There is an investment committee that will hammer the details of these sectors; these are a priority for us. We feel these sectors are the ones we need to pay maximum attention to, to attract investment from overseas for the reason we don't have solid capacity in these areas."

Previous moves by the UAE government to diversify from its dependence on oil and support the country’s economy for sustainable long term growth have exceeded expectations.

It has also been working to explore the benefits of blockchain and AI technologies, as well as support SMEs and startups that form the bulk of its economy.

We are certain that this move will bolster the UAE’s growth to reach new heights. Foreign ownership has been a concern for many entrepreneurs in the region, and UAE being one of the first to offer this will instill confidence in the wider community to follow suit for a more sustainable economic future.