Healthcare group Aster gets approval for 100% ownership of its business in Dubai

The UAE has passed a new law granting complete ownership to foreign companies in approved sectors

Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare has received approval from the UAE government to have 100 per cent legal ownership of its business in the emirate, it announced on Thursday.

The approval comes in line with the new law passed by the UAE government granting complete ownership to foreign companies in approved sectors.

Previously, UAE nationals were required to be the legal/registered owners of companies in the UAE and the foreign investors were allowed to hold up to 49 per cent.

Read: UAE law allowing 100% foreign ownership now in force

Aster said the completion of transfer of 100 per cent legal ownership of its subsidiaries in Dubai is expected to be concluded by the end of current financial year.

Aster, one of the largest private healthcare service providers in the GCC, operates clinics and hospitals throughout the region under three brands – Aster, Medcare and Access.

The company, which is also expanding operations in India, currently employs over 20,000 people across its workforce.

Founder, chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, Dr. Azad Moopen said: “Dubai is a significant market for us as it contributes almost 80 per cent to our GCC business… This forward-looking change in law will give impetus for more investments into the country.”

The new UAE took effect in November 2018, and in July last year, the UAE released the list of sectors which could hold 100 per cent foreign ownership, which included 13 sectors across 122 economic activities.

Some of the sectors covered include education, healthcare, space, renewable energy, manufacturing, agriculture, transport and storage, hospitality and food services, information and communications, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities.

Read: UAE Cabinet approves 100 per cent foreign ownership in 13 sectors