UAE to allow 100% FDI; offer 10-year residency visas for exceptional talents

United Arab Emirates cabinet on Sunday approved a new investment policy that would allow 100 per cent ownership of UAE-based businesses by foreign investors by year-end, the state news agency WAM said.

The decision is part of a wider change to the system that would grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists in scientific, technical, medical and research fields, the agency said.
UAE also on Sunday announced an upgraded visa programme that offers five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students.
The UAE would issue long-term residency visas for up to 10 years to international investors and "exceptional talents" including professionals and students, the Cabinet has announced.
The Cabinet, chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted the new policies at a high-level meeting on Sunday.
Al Maktoum directed the economy minister to implement the resolution and submit a study following up its impact in the third quarter of this year, WAM said.
At present, foreigners generally cannot own more than 49 per cent of any UAE firm unless it is incorporated in a special "free zone".
The decision is in line with the country's position as a primary destination for international investors and global talents, the official WAM news agency reported.
"The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors.
"Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents," the prime minister said.
The UAE will also review the current residency system to extend the residency time for the dependent students after completing their university studies.
This will give them the opportunity to study their practical options in the future, the report added.