UAE relaxes limits on foreign ownership

Published November 24, 2020
In this Nov 18 file photo, people walk past the US Pavilion at the site of Dubai Expo 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. — AP
In this Nov 18 file photo, people walk past the US Pavilion at the site of Dubai Expo 2020, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. — AP

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates has relaxed and removed a range of limits on foreign ownership of companies, state-run media reported on Monday, in the country’s latest bid to boost its global status and attract foreign investors.

The overhaul signals yet another startling change for the federation of seven desert sheikhdoms as it grapples with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the UAE announced a series of reforms to its Islamic legal code, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, improving protections for women and loosening restrictions on alcohol consumption.

The dramatic changes come as the UAE has spent billions of dollars preparing to host some 25 million visitors for the World Expo, which was pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The emirates are also expecting Israelis will join the legions of foreigners who have opened businesses and bought apartments in the coastal cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi following a breakthrough US-brokered normalisation deal between the countries.

The presidential decree changing the corporate law helps the UAE strengthen its leading position regionally and globally as an attractive destination for projects and companies, state-run WAM news agency reported.

State-linked newspaper The National reported the decree in further detail, saying the foreign ownership amendments would take effect within six months. Companies could take an entire year to start complying with the changes, it added.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020

Opinion

Living in Karachi
19 Jan 2021

Living in Karachi

The poor often end up paying more than middle-income segments.

Editorial

Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...
Updated 18 Jan 2021

More ignominy for PIA

Decades of mismanagement, nepotism and political opportunism were bound to take their toll.
18 Jan 2021

Agriculture woes

AGRICULTURE is the lifeline of Pakistan’s economy. It is a source of livelihood for two-thirds of the country’s...
18 Jan 2021

Internet access

AS the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, and shows few signs of dissipating, one of the many lessons policymakers should ...