DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates cabinet approved steps on Sunday that would allow for 100 percent 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.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. He 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 percent of any UAE firm unless it is incorporated in a special “free zone”.
Reporting By Hadeel al Sayegh; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Catherine Evans