x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

DCCI backs more foreign ownership

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry backs plans to allow foreign investors 100 per cent ownership of local companies.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has thrown its weight behind plans to allow foreign investors 100 per cent ownership of locally based companies in some sectors of the economy. Currently, foreigners must have a UAE national as a sponsor and can own only 49 per cent of the company if they intend to start a business outside of designated free zones.

The business group supports the amendments of the proposed companies law "in some strategic economic sectors with big investments and high technology that can add value to the UAE economy", Hamad Buamim, the director general of the DCCI, said yesterday. The Government has been considering revising its Companies Law for more than two years and has received pressure from the US and Europe to permit greater foreign ownership of companies based in the UAE.

Analysts say the move could benefit the economy by attracting more investment, although foreign investments in already established free zones could come under pressure as a result. "It is potentially good for the economy but the free zones might feel pressured as they need to attract investments as well," said Ali Khan, a director at Arqaam Capital in Dubai. skhan@thenational.ae tpantin@thenational.ae