UAE announces 10-Year Residence Visas & 100% Foreign Ownership

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We welcome the news that the UAE Cabinet recently announced that it had approved 10-Year Residence Visas and 100% foreign ownership of companies as part of a new investment law. Details are yet to come and are not expected until the end of 2018, but the announcement has bolstered market sentiment, and thought by observers to be a very positive step. 

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, is quoted as saying: “The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents in the UAE.”

The 10-Year Residence Visa is aimed primarily at investors, innovators, and individuals in specialized professions, although there are also provisions for students and dependents. There is speculation that the residency would not be linked to employment, which would be a very significant step, and lead to expatriates making longer terms plans to stay in the UAE. The property market should see significant benefit with more people opting to buy homes. What remains to be seen is how the new rules will apply to retirees.

The local media has been abuzz with comments about the foreign ownership rules with industry professionals speculating on everything from ease of doing business, to the impact on the numerous free zones in the UAE. There seems to be consensus that the 100% foreign ownership rule will initially apply to larger global companies in selected industries, before being rolled out to others. Irrespective of how far reaching the new law is in its initial iteration, there is no doubt that it will have a positive impact on the UAE economy.

How do these new laws effect you? The answer to this question obviously depends on the details once released, and which category you fall into, either as an individual or as a business. What it should do however is give you further confidence to set up your business in the UAE, irrespective of what sector. It is clear that the UAE leadership is serious about attracting investment and cementing the country’s position as a growing global economic force. Let’s not forget how young the country is, and how far it has come since its formation in 1971.

If you would like professional advice on setting up your business in Dubai, the team at Sentinel Business Centres offers free impartial advice on all matters relating to business setup. They also look after the entire setup process on your behalf, and provide serviced offices and co-working space suitable for mainland Dubai licensing requirements as well as ongoing support to your business.

Contact Sentinel Business Centres for more information.