DUBAI (Reuters) - Foreigners opening a company in the United Arab Emirates no longer need an Emirati shareholder or agent under changes to UAE company law, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
Until now companies in the UAE had needed a certain shareholding to be held by Emirati nationals, or an Emirati agent, depending on what type of company it was.
“The amendments allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to fully establish and own companies without any nationality requirements,” WAM said.
“The condition requiring a foreign company wishing to open a branch in the country to have an agent from among the country’s citizens has also been cancelled,” it added.
The UAE approved a new foreign investment law in 2018 that would allow foreigners to own up to 100% of some businesses and foreigners could already own up to 100% of those registered in designated business parks known as “free zones”.
As an oil and gas producer, the UAE economy has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, prompting the International Monetary Fund to forecast in October that the Gulf’s second largest economy could shrink by 6.6% this year.
Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Alexander Smith
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