UAE President issues foreign direct investment decree

The decision comes as the country looks to introduce 100 per cent foreign ownership in some sectors

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a decree to establish a new foreign direct investment unit at the Ministry of Economy.

The decision, which is published in the latest Official Gazette, comes as the country looks to introduce 100 per cent foreign ownership in some sectors by year-end.

Under the details, published by state news agency WAM, the FDI unit will be responsible for proposing new policies and “determining its priorities, plans and programmes associated with them”.

It will also establish a database of investment data and existing FDI projects and help create an attractive environment for investment by facilitating registration and licensing of projects.

“The foreign direct investment projects existing before the entry into force of the provisions of this Decree Law shall retain all the privileges prescribed for them in accordance with the legislations, agreements and contracts derived therefrom within the period specified in such legislations and agreements, according to the statement.

The plans aim to boost the UAE’s attractiveness for investment, create jobs and diversify the economy.

A separate decree was also issued concerning the collection of revenues and public funds, stating that the minister of finance would select the unit and determine its procedures relating to debt collection and settlement and other areas.

Dubai investment officials told Reuters earlier this month that a new foreign ownership law would not hurt Emiratis, who have traditionally been required as 51 per cent partners for onshore businesses in the country.

Read: UAE law allowing 100% foreign ownership to apply selectively, won’t hurt locals