UAE healthcare to attract foreign ownership


The UAE Cabinet has announced the relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions for 122 business activities under the Foreign Direct Investment Law, to open up the UAE mainland market to foreign investors.

Details of the 122 business activities that are subject to the relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions are included in the ‘Positive List’ and includes dental clinics. medical clinics and hospitals.

Whilst the UAE Cabinet allows up to 100% foreign ownership for these listed business activities, the Department of Economic Development (DED) of each of the respective Emirates has the discretion to determine the extent to which a foreign investor can have a different proportion of ownership of the local business. It is not necessarily a given therefore that a business would automatically qualify for full 100% foreign ownership.

For example, Dubai DED is considering applications on a case-by-case basis from companies with activities included in the Positive List. But any company permitted to have 100% foreign ownership must appoint a UAE national (or a company wholly owned by a UAE national) to act as the local service agent of the company. The other emirates such as Abu Dhabi are considering their position.



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