The UAE investment law has come into effect, and its implementation is expected to change the business setup scene by attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) growth. The issued new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) law aims to promote and progress the nation’s investment setting in line with the UAE’s development policies.
With FDI inflows at about $11 billion last year, the UAE has been the prime destination of foreign investors and accounted for 22% of total flow to the Middle East region. Additionally, the UAE’s FDI inflow had increased from $80.6 billion in 2012 to an approximate of $130 billion in 2017.
As per Article II, the Decree-Law No. (19) of 2018 aims to consolidate the UAE’s position as a major FDI attraction at the regional and global levels to further encourage its foreign investment.
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority’s executive chairman, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, stated that the decree arises at a time when the UAE’s capital and foreign direct investment inflows continue to experience good growth.
“This decree underscores the UAE’s keenness, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to further diversify sustainable development and cement our position on the world map as a leading foreign investment destination,” the executive chairman noted.
In addition to growing the foreign direct investment flow in priority sectors, the new law also seeks to diversify the production base by fostering advanced technology, knowledge, and training to achieve the nation’s sustainable development.
With these goals in mind, it will help provide job opportunities in various fields, achieving the best returns of investment and an added value to the UAE’s growing economy.
“Our strategic location, economic resilience, and diversified sectors are the main responsible for the UAE’s lucrative and stable environment, which continues to attract global businesses that benefit from the vibrant local economy,” Sarkal further explained.
The new law, published in the Official Gazette, states that a ‘Foreign Direct Investment Unit’ is to be established in the Ministry of Economy. The FDI Unit will be responsible for proposing FDI strategies in the UAE by determining its priorities and setting up associated programmes under the UAE Cabinet’s approval.
Furthermore, the unit will also be responsible for launching a comprehensive database for UAE investments which includes existing FDI projects data. They will also review and update information on a periodical basis.
Additionally, the authorities shall provide data on approved investment projects to the FDI Unit. The FDI Unit will also be responsible for creating an attractive FDI environment,, facilitate the registering and licensing of foreign direct investment projects, as well as monitoring and evaluating their performance.
Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Sharjah FDI Office’s CEO, noted that the decree aligns with the developments that impact economic growth.
“Economic growth is impacted by modern-day legislative systems and policy decisions. The UAE has many competitive advantages, which have bolstered its position as a formidable hub for trade and commerce in the region and around the world, given its annual growth rates and progressive legislation imbued with ample flexibility and foresight. With this decree, the UAE continues on its mission to offer a first-rate investment environment to foreign businesses,” he said.
Licensed foreign investment company formations shall be treated the same as national companies but within the bounds allowed by the state’s legislation and the international conventions.
Article 10 of the Decree-Law orders that the licensing authority shall determine the conditions for licensing of FDI projects based on the required documents of the Decree-Law, and the UAE laws.
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