UAE To Allow 100% Foreign Company Ownership

June 12, 2007
Preference will go to companies that help to attract cutting edge technology, says government official.

Up from 49% now, the booming United Arab Emirates will allow foreigners to own a full 100% of local companies, the economy minister said on June 12. "The company law has been handed to the justice ministry and could be ready this summer," Sheikha Lubna al-Qassimi was quoted as saying by Dubai's Al-Bayan newspaper.

"Preference will go to companies that help to attract cutting edge technology and bring major benefits to the national economy," she said.

Talks were underway at the federal and local levels within the seven-member UAE federation, as well as with the private sector, to determine which sectors would be open to 100% foreign ownership, the minister said.

Direct foreign investment in the UAE was $12.8 billion in 2006, up from $10.9 billion in 2005. The UAE includes Dubai, a business and tourism hub, and Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital.

A report by the International Monetary Fund last month said the UAE's gross domestic product would register real growth of 8.2% in 2007.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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