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Abu Dhabi Allows Full Foreign Ownership For 725 Classes of Professional Licenses

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Professional licenses will be allowed by The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) across 725 industrial activities which are fully owned by foreign nationals with a total investment of Dh286.4 million. The idea behind this announcement is to further attract foreign direct investments in the city. The emirate’s Industrial Development Bureau also plans to add 50 industrial facilities over the next three years as part of a push towards self-sufficiency in the local manufacturing of basic commodities from food to medical supplies, Added said.

Currently, the new professional license will allow foreigners full ownership of their businesses in around 725 activities covering multiple sectors including, but not limited to, fields such as accounting, training, consultancy, beauty centres, computer and internet network companies, and others, “as they are fully owned by foreign professional partners,” The aim behind this introduction is making the Abu Dhabi emirate “self-sufficient in the production of basic and consumer commodities” in July 2020 along with increasing the private sector’s involvement in meeting local demand and to promote exports.

The licence is appropriate for new investors as t requires minimum investment, and is easy to issue, making it beneficial for the new investors. A range of targeted licenses have been offered for private sector entities including cash and non-cash incentives, small to medium enterprise (SME) enablement and public-private partnerships. The local share of the industrial commodities in fields like food, medical and electrical industries will be increased to over 25 percent. The list of investment fields recognized within the basic industries project included food industries that hold 17 fields, 8 new industries, and the development of nine industries which already exist. The medical industries cover 23 fields, introducing new 14 industries, and the development of nine existing ones. Whereas electrical industries cover 12 fields, among which seven are new industries and five are the development of existing ones. Seven licences specialised in food industries field were issued where the total investment was Dh9.8 million, with a total investment of Dh261.8 million, six licences specialised in medical industries were also issued. According to the IDB report, 9 industrial licences were issued in the electrical industries sector with a total investment of Dh14.8 million. Abu Dhabi‘s initiative for owing commercial and industrial activities that will allow 100 per cent ownership by non-UAE nationals is going to benefit both the Emirate and the investors. Owners of existing companies also have the right to amend their status, provided they fulfil all the requirements of the regulations on activities or other applicable limitations. 

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