Dubai and Foreign Ownership: Are There Restrictions?

Dubai is a thriving city and a global commercial hub, attracting investors from around the world. As a result, many entrepreneurs and businesses seek to open companies in the emirate. However, foreign ownership is a complex matter that requires understanding the rules and regulations in place. In this article, we will explore the question of whether there are any restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses in Dubai.

Understanding the Rules of Business Ownership in Dubai

Foreign entrepreneurs and investors are allowed to establish businesses in Dubai, but only under certain conditions. In general, the UAE government requires that the majority of shares in a company must be owned by UAE nationals. This means that foreign investors can only hold limited amounts of equity in a business, usually capped at 49 percent.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, foreign investors can hold 100 percent ownership of businesses in free zones, such as Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Dubai Media City. These zones were created to attract foreign investment and provide a more relaxed regulatory environment, making them an attractive option for businesses looking to establish themselves in Dubai.

Additionally, the UAE government has introduced recent changes to the ownership laws, allowing foreign investors to own 100 percent of their companies in several sectors, such as agriculture, renewable energy, and manufacturing. These changes are part of the government’s efforts to diversify the economy and attract foreign investment to the country.

Dubai and Foreign Ownership: Are There Restrictions?

In conclusion, while there are restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses in Dubai, the government has taken steps to create a more welcoming environment for foreign investors. As a result, entrepreneurs from around the world can establish businesses in free zones or in certain sectors without having to involve UAE nationals in the ownership structure.

At, we understand the complexities of setting up a business in Dubai, and we offer a range of services to help entrepreneurs and investors navigate the process. From company formation to visa applications, we can handle all aspects of business setup, allowing our clients to focus on growing their companies. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish a successful business in Dubai.

Contact Conciergerie Dubai today for more information on how we can help you navigate the rules and regulations of business ownership in Dubai!