UAE GVT 100% Foreign Ownership

UAE GVT 100% Foreign Ownership

On 23 November 2020, UAE GVT allowed for 100% foreign ownership of firms.

  • UAE GVT presidential decree relaxed limits on the foreign ownership of onshore firms.
  • As announced by media reports; decree is meant to strengthen UAE's global status.
  • Follows DIFC Courts, FDI partnership to boost foreign direct investment.

Amendments to Corporate Law

  • Amended UAE Federal Law No. 2/2015 to allow foreigners to own 100% of companies.
  • Previously, expatriates' ownership was capped at 49% for firms outside of free zones.
  • Foreign firms wishing to open branch in UAE, no longer need an agent with citizenship.
  • Removed quotas requiring Emiratis to hold majority of board positions, serve as chairs.
  • Companies going public can sell 70% of their shares, instead of the current 30% limit.


  • Decree takes effect 1 December 2020, firms have one year from effective date to comply.