UAE implements 100% foreign ownership for expat entrepreneurs, primarily Indians

  • Expat entrepreneurs can now establish their entities in the UAE without the need of onboarding an Emirati shareholder
  • The move has been rolled out primarily to leverage the skilled manpower of India

The UAE government, earlier this week abolished the condition for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to have an Emirati shareholder to set-up businesses in the UAE. Now, foreign business owners can own 100 percent of their businesses established in the UAE.


Based on various news reports, the move has been rolled out primarily to leverage the skilled manpower of India and ultimately create strong technological and innovative ties between the two nations.

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As published on Arabian Business, various experts say, “the UAE may have green-lighted the “right vaccine” for Indian investors by abolishing the clause on local partnership. The latest move, coming close on the heels of the decisions on long-term stay visas and remote working for professionals, is also expected to lead to the next generation Lulus, Asters, Landmarks and Sobhas, successful companies set up by Indian nationals in the UAE.”

Speaking of the development, Ashok Jha, former Indian finance secretary and a leading policy expert, in a statement to Arabian Business, highlighted,

“This decision will naturally pave the way for many Indian investors to look at UAE seriously for setting up operations there. This will also lead to many investors – Indian as well as global investors who may have been holding back their plans – to have a second look at investing in the UAE,”

Ashok Kapoor, managing director of Organisation Pivot, a Dubai-based leading management consultancy firm, said,

“This is a very positive development for both existing businesses and new businesses looking for a ‘hassle-free’ country for foreign direct investment (FDI) from an ease of doing business perspective.”

R Guha, a leading financial sector consultant and a former CFO of a multinational company in India, said,

“It is refreshing, given that most developed countries are moving towards ‘protectionism’,”

Editor’s Note

In 2018, the UAE government implemented a law that allows foreign expats to establish their businesses in UAE’s free zones whilst keeping 100 percent equity. The move indeed strengthened ties between UAE and other countries. But establishing larger-sized corporates in the UAE, earlier required expats to establish their entities in the mainlands of the UAE, and onboard at least one Emirati shareholder.

This new policy for expats is indeed a great move, also for Indian entrepreneurs – mutually benefitting. Sharing the same goal on an individual level, we at LAFFAZ leveraged the COVID-19 slowdown to create ‘INDO-UAE Corridor‘ that aims connect Indian tech startups with UAE’s startup ecosystem enablers and help them launch and establish their startups in the UAE. The initiative is projected to launch by early 2021.

M Haseeb
M Haseeb

Co-founder & CEO of LAFFAZ Media. A tech enthusiast, digital marketer and critical thinker. Has helped over 50 Indian startups by building digital marketing strategies.

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