Written by: George Prior
Landmark business reforms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will prompt an “unprecedented explosion” of foreign direct investment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and will cement their growing status as major international financial centres.
The bold prediction is from Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.
It follows His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announcing on Monday amendments to the law regarding business ownership.
Under the new legislation, the UAE will allow 100% ownership of businesses for foreign nationals from December 1, 2020. Previously, all businesses were required to have a UAE citizen sponsor.
Mr Green notes: “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are already recognised as two of the most powerful business and financial hubs in the world by international investors who are lured by the incredible possibilities offered in terms of finance, trade and commerce, plus the famous ‘can do’ attitude and the low tax environment in these destinations.
“This appeal has just sky-rocketed further due to the reform of the business ownership law, which now permits businesses to be fully owned by foreign nationals.
“We can now expect an unprecedented explosion of foreign direct investment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and they will further cement their growing status as major international financial centres.”
He continues: “This is especially the case after the UAE government in September changed legislation so that expatriates are now legally able to remain in the country long after they retire.”
Earlier this year, the deVere CEO said that over the next decade, the UAE will become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.”
He noted: “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are helped in this regard by having an independent regulator, an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure and telecommunications, English as its defacto business language, and their enviable geographical location and time zone.”
During the height of the pandemic, deVere announced it is to develop a major digital finance and fintech operation from its Dubai base.
Mr Green concludes: “This reform has just significantly boosted the UAE’s already substantial competitive advantage. This is a game-changer.”