Full foreign ownership of firms in Abu Dhabi: ADDED releases activity list

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Abu Dhabi
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The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has released a list of 1,105 registered commercial and industrial activities that are open for ownership by natural and legal non-citizens, enabling them to fully or partially own commercial companies to practice these activities in the Emirate.

The Department’s decision on foreign ownership of commercial activities is in accordance with Federal Decree-Law No. (26) of 2020, which amends the provisions of Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on the Commercial Companies Law and its amendments by inserting articles that enable 100 percent foreign-owned companies to be formed in Abu Dhabi.

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi
Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi
Chairman – ADDED

“This announcement of the list of economic activities available for foreign ownership reflects the keenness of the Abu Dhabi Government to attract further foreign direct investments and to promote an open and resilient competitive business environment. The decision is one of many decisions and initiatives to provide incentives for the private sector in Abu Dhabi and to enhance the status of Abu Dhabi on the global investment map. The Department is keen to continue improving the business environment through enhancing the ease of doing business in the emirate and removing all impediments facing investment projects, by reducing the burden on business facilities.”

The Department also offers incentives and introduces programs to improve these businesses’ success rates and ensure their continuity to promote their long-term growth and expansion. According to the Department’s decision on activities available for foreign ownership, the list of activities available for foreign ownership is revised by decisions of the Council of Ministers defining strategic activities.

These activities are applied to companies licensed following the federal and local laws regulating business licensing controls according to the type of activity, as per the reports. Furthermore, the decision noted that the existing firms have the right to adjust their status, provided they comply with the regulations on activities or other applicable restrictions, in line with ADDED-adopted procedures.

Related: UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership of onshore companies from June 1