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Legislation in Dubai for Foreign Investments

Legislation in Dubai for Foreign Investments

Updated on Tuesday 19th April 2016

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Legislation-in-Dubai-for-Foreign-Investments.jpgDubai is a city known for its investments in the gas and oil sectors, but there are also other sectors that have high potential for foreign investments. Entrepreneurs who want to open a company in Dubai should know that the United Arab Emirates has special laws concerning foreign investments and company ownership by non-residents.
Our Dubai law firm can give you detailed information about the laws that govern the procedures related to foreign investments.

The Dubai Free Zone system

Dubai and the rest of the Emirates that comprise the UAE have established special areas for investments, known as the free zones, which have differed laws in terms of foreign ownership. Companies incorporated in these areas, as opposed to those incorporated outside of the free zones, will typically allow full foreign ownership.
The most important free zones in Dubai include the Dubai International Financial Center, the Dubai Airport Free Zone, the Dubai Media and Technology Free Zone etc. In order to facilitate foreign investments in the area, the United Arab Emirates has also signed a number of double tax treaties and other bilateral agreements. Our Dubai attorneys can give you information about the provisions of these treaties and how they can influence your business in Dubai, if you own a branch or a subsidiary of an international company.

Laws for foreign investors in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, has an investment policy that favors nationals and also restricts foreign investments in certain strategic sectors. According to the Commercial Companies Law, enterprises incorporated outside of the special free zones must have no less that 51% of the share capital owned by a UAE national. This prevents foreign investors from owning more than 49% of a Dubai company, if it is not incorporated in one of the areas that allow full foreign ownership.
Restrictions for investments exist in certain business sectors like insurance, financial services, the real estate (where in certain cases foreign ownership is not allowed at all) or for commercial agencies. Our Dubai lawyers can give you more information about the foreign ownership limitations in certain business sectors.
Although investments in the Dubai free zones are more permissive and straightforward for foreign investors, the UAE welcomes foreign investments. Our Dubai law firm can help you, if you want to invest in one of the special areas or if you want to incorporate a company outside of the free zones.
You can contact our law firm in Dubai for more information about foreign investments in the UAE.


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