Abu Dhabi and Dubai have recently issued their first Foreign direct investment licenses allowing foreign investors to own up to 100% of UAE companies engaged in certain types of activities. Abu Dhabi has also recently adopted its own positive list of economic activities eligible for an FDI License in the emirate, featuring a generous total of 1586 activities across the agricultural, industrial and service sectors.
These developments substantively complete the implementation, in the largest two of the UAE’s seven emirates, of the foreign direct investment regime which was first established by a law dated September 2018.
Further, the positive list recently adopted by Abu Dhabi is a corroboration of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and, more generally, delivers on several promises in terms of reinforcing the UAE’s commitment and continued efforts to attract foreign investment and achieve non-oil economic diversification.
This memorandum provides an overview of the Abu Dhabi positive list and outlines the process that foreign investors must follow to obtain an FDI License in the UAE.