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UAE Changes Foreign Ownership Laws to Boost Economy

The United Arab Emirates will allow foreign businesspeople and investors to own companies in the country without requiring local shareholders, according to reports citing state-run media. The announcement on Monday appears to be an effort to attract more foreign investors amid the economic downtown brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic. The corporate law was changed by presidential decree. The law previously capped ownership by foreigners at 49 percent outside of the country’s 45 free-trade zones. The change also will remove the requirement that Emiratis hold the majority of board positions at foreign-owned companies and will allow publicly traded companies to sell up to 70 percent of their shares. The changes will take effect in six months. Israelis are expected to open businesses and purchase apartments in the UAE in the wake of the normalization of relations.