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Full Ownership for Foreign Investors in the UAE: A Comprehensive Guide

The UAE has always been a beacon for global investors, and recent amendments to its Companies Law have made it even more attractive. Let's delve into the significant changes that now allow foreign investors to have full ownership of companies in the UAE.

Investors ownership in Dubai

1. A Paradigm Shift in Ownership Laws 📜

The UAE government's recent amendment to the Companies Law has ushered in a new era for foreign investors. Previously capped at 49%, foreign investors can now own up to 100% of companies in most economic and industrial sectors.

2. Federal Law on Commercial Companies: A Closer Look 🧐

The Federal Decree Law No. (26) of 2020 amends the Federal Law No. (2) of 2015, allowing foreign investors to establish and wholly own companies without the need for a local agent or specific nationality. This change also introduces the concept of a "private joint stock - one person company," where a legal entity can own all shares.

Moreover, companies looking to transition into a public joint stock company can now sell up to 70% of their capital through public subscription, a significant increase from the previous 30%.

3. Abu Dhabi: Opening Doors for Foreign Ownership 🌍

The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi has identified 1,105 commercial and industrial activities available for foreign ownership. This move solidifies Abu Dhabi's commitment to attracting foreign direct investments and bolstering its global investment appeal.

4. Dubai: A Hub for Global Investors 🌆

Dubai Economy's guide highlights that foreign investors can now enjoy full ownership in over 1,000 commercial and industrial activities. However, certain strategic sectors remain exceptions.

5. Property Ownership and Residency in Dubai 🏠

Purchasing property in Dubai now comes with added perks. Foreign investors can:

  • Obtain a six-month multiple entry visa for properties valued over one million UAE dirhams.
  • Secure a three-year renewable residency visa upon property purchase.
  • Avail a five-year long-stay visa for real estate investments exceeding five million UAE dirhams.
  • Benefit from a ten-year long-term residence visa for investments over ten million UAE dirhams.

6. Conditions for Foreigners Buying Apartments in Dubai 🏢

While the UAE's real estate laws are favorable, there are specific conditions for foreigners:

  • Foreigners can't buy properties in Dubai's freehold areas using mortgages or loans.
  • All property purchases must be processed through the Dubai Property and Land Department.


The UAE's progressive approach to foreign ownership, both in the business and real estate sectors, showcases its vision to be a global investment powerhouse. For foreign investors, the doors to the UAE are now wide open, offering unparalleled opportunities in a thriving economy.

Note: Always consult with local experts or legal advisors when considering investments or property purchases in the UAE.

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