Ownership of Commercial Companies in UAE-Business Setup

Dubai Mainland Company Formation Cost
Dubai Mainland Company Formation Cost

Federal law on commercial companies

Foreigners are allowed to set up organizations with 100% complete ownership, primarily based totally at the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020 amending the provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies. Click here to learn more.

The law eliminates the need that commercial businesses have a significant Emirati shareholder or agent, granting non-Emiratis of all nationalities full foreign ownership of onshore companies founded by them.

Additionally, firms that want to become joint stock companies can sell no more than 70% of the company through initial public offerings (IPOs), as opposed to the previous 30% cap, with the approval of the competent authorities.

The decree gives the UAE Cabinet the authority to form a committee with members from the relevant agencies with the goal of proposing activities with strategic significance and the steps necessary to license businesses that operate in such sectors. The Cabinet will establish the activities that will be regarded of strategic importance based on the committee’s recommendations.

Foreign ownership activities in Abu Dhabi

According to the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, there are 1,105 registered commercial and industrial activities for which non-citizens, whether natural or legal persons, are allowed to own economic licenses, form commercial companies with 100% or less ownership, and carry out these activities in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The declaration of 100% foreign ownership demonstrates the Abu Dhabi Government’s desire to support an environment that is open and flexible for business, encourage the private sector, and strengthen the emirate of Abu Dhabi’s place on the world investment map.

Foreign ownership activities in Dubai

According to Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2020, which revised some aspects of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies, Dubai Economy permits full ownership for foreign investors.

According to the regulations listed on Dubai Economy’s website, more than 1,000 commercial and industrial activities are open to 100% foreign ownership, with the exception of economic activities with a strategic importance that pertain to seven sectors.


At Dubai Business Setup, we have a complete list of business setup and company formation activites available to be sent to you. Contact us today to learn more by clicking here.