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The United Arab Emirates allows 100% Foreign Ownership Dubai

The United Arab Emirates adopted an amendment to the commercial companies act that has given the green signal to 100% foreign ownership in Dubai of companies in the country. The 100% foreign ownership Dubai policy is already in effect starting from June 1, 2021. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the economy minister of UAE stated that the Commercial Companies Law had been amended to boost the country’s competitive edge. It is a part of the UAE government’s efforts to make the country business heaven by granting 100% foreign ownership in Dubai.

The newly amended act was introduced by the Federal Decree-Law No. (26) of 2020. It amended some provisions of Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on multiple commercial companies. The Dubai Economy has also issued its criteria for the procedures required for effecting the hundred per cent foreign ownership policy as per the Federal Decree-Law no. 26 of 2020.

What Changed After the 100% foreign ownership Dubai Came into Effect?

The new 100% foreign ownership in Dubai amendment to the Commercial companies act has introduced a great window of opportunity to the businessmen waiting eagerly for it. Some of the updates that have been made to the previous act are as follows:

  • More than 1000 commercial and industrial licences got approved for getting a hundred per cent ownership
  • Existing trade licences have been updated as per the amendment without any additional costs
  • The UAE Government also stated that no additional capital is required to effect these changes on the existing trade licences of the companies.
  • Complete foreign ownership is not allowed for the ‘professional licences’ in the UAE.
  • The branches of foreign companies in the UAE are now exempted from the requirement of appointing a National Service Agent or NSA
  • Commercial activities that fall under the hundred percent foreign ownership Dubai policy are now allowed in the UAE including general trading, gold, pearls, jewellery, cars, luxury watches, food among others
  • Industrial activities allowed under this new amendment include amongst others the industrial segments of construction, building materials, water production, paint, food, flooring etc.
  • A reduction of the share capital of the Emirati partner or full withdrawal of the Emirati partner can affect the trade licence of the company as per the new changes.
  • A limited liability company can now be converted to single-person ownership with a limited liability structure along with 100% foreign ownership.

The UAE has always been at the forefront of developing innovative measures to facilitate business in the region. The 100% foreign ownership Dubai is brought into effect to liberalise business in the UAE. Foreigners make up more than eighty percent of the population in this affluent country.

Firms can now become joint-stock companies after the approval of relevant authorities. They can also start selling through IPOs and the limit has also been raised to 70 per cent of the company, instead of the earlier 30 per cent.

Dubai as the Investment Capital of the World

Dubai had also introduced a new venture called the Virtual Company License. It is meant to allow companies all over the world to access an e-commerce platform under government regulations. It is populated by major Dubai-based companies. The platform gives businesses a chance to digitally explore new markets and investment opportunities. This latest decision by the UAE government is positioned to accelerate the UAE’s economic progress and to further add to the gains of the country.

Strategic decisions like these enhance the prospects of investment in the UAE. It has an advanced position on the global business map and the new amendments to the existing laws are going to reinforce the competitive business advantages of the United Arab Emirates over other nations of the world.


  1. Is it possible to own 100% of a company in Dubai?

Ans: Yes, UAE’s Ministry of Economy had made the foreign ownership amendment effective on 1 June 2021.

  1. Can foreigners own a company in the UAE?

Ans: Yes, a foreigner can entirely own a business in Dubai.It means that the foreign investors’ shares are no longer limited to 49 per cent like before, but up to 100 per cent instead.

  1. Which body regulates the companies in the UAE?

Ans: In the UAE, a company is under the jurisdiction of one of the following bodies, namely, Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore.

  1. What is the cheapest freezone in Dubai?

Ans: Currently, the cheapest freezone in Dubai is the Ajman Media City.

  1. What is the registration cost of a company in Dubai?

Ans: The registration fee is determined based on the company’s legal structure, and  the chosen free zone. The range usually lies between AED 9,000 to AED 10,000.

How Spectrum can help you?

Spectrum Auditing and Accountingis an end-to-end accounting and audit services company andis a registered Tax Agent from Federal Tax Agency, UAE, based in Dubai. We offer VAT Agency& Audit services in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwaincovering the whole of UAE. We provide a comprehensive portfolio of services in everything related to Value Added Tax (VAT) from Tax Advisory Services, VAT Implementation Services,VAT Return Filing, VAT Compliance Review, TAX Consultancy Services and Tax Agent Services apart from Tax Audit Service.

Apart from the mandatory Value Added Tax (VAT), we also specialize in a spectrum of services which includes Accounting, Auditing, Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Company Formation and Liquidation, Country by Country Reporting (CbCR), Business Advisory Services and other business services. Our magnitude of experience, competence and reputation makes us a distinctive world-class accounting service provider.

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