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UAE to allow 100% foreign ownership of businesses

The United Arab Emirates' cabinet approved measures that would allow foreign investors 100% ownership in UAE-based businesses by the end of 2018, Reuters reported May 20, citing state news agency WAM.

Currently, foreigners can own 49% of a UAE company unless it is incorporated in a special "free zone."

The decision is a part of a broader change to the system that would grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and experts in scientific, technical, medical and research fields, WAM said.

"The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors," Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said in a Gulf News report. He directed the Ministry of Economy to implement the resolution and submit a study on its impact.