UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership and 10-year visas

Earlier this year on 20th May, His Highness Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced in his official tweets, “At today’s Cabinet meeting, we decided to allow 100% foreign ownership of companies in UAE, with a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders “

The UAE Government in their pursuit of boosting local economy and foreign investments, decided to lift the restrictions on foreign ownership of local companies, which was limited to 49 % (51 % of the shares must have been held by UAE citizen, so called sponsor). 100 % foreign ownership was only allowed for free zone and offshore companies. Indeed, this was significant barrier for a lot of foreign investors considering UAE as their potential investment opportunity. This change alone is expected to significantly influence inflow of foreign investments and increase competitiveness of UAE in global markets. However, there is more good news coming, as UAE is also introducing 10-year visa scheme for investors and talented professionals while 5-year visa scheme for students studying in the UAE. Further, the families of these categories of expatriates will also receive the same visa validity. These schemes replace current 3-year visa scheme, which will greatly reduce costs and time needed for the renewals. Therefore, the new long-term visa scheme is indeed an extraordinary news not only for the foreign investors who are planning to invest their funds in the UAE but also for the other professionals who wish to settle in the UAE. Aforementioned adopted changes clearly demonstrate how UAE is consistently acquainting admirable strategies and activities to support the creative masterminds and business leaders to utilize the assets to the extreme and improve the nation’s economy while achieving the heights of their business goals.

It is expected all measures will be effective in 4th quarter of 2018, so we will closely follow this topic and bring you more details as soon as final wording is presented. If we can assist you in any way with incorporation in UAE or with visa process, do not hesitate to contact us at or call us +971 55 7650531.

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