100% foreign ownership on UAE mainland; date of commencement Announced

One of the most anticipated law amendments in the UAE, offering 100% foreign ownership on uae mainland for foreign investors, will come into effect from June 1st, 2021. Ever since the news was announced last year, business investors and entrepreneurs were excitingly awaiting for further updates on it. Now, the UAE government has come up with the complete list of positive sectors that will come under this law. 122 categories will be granted 100% foreign ownership on uae mainland, provided certain conditions are met.

The positive list includes sectors such as agriculture; manufacturing; transport and storage; hospitality and food services; information and communications; science and technology; healthcare; education; art and entertainment; and construction.

Even though UAE mainland is one of the most preferred business jurisdictions for many investors, the lack of complete ownership is something that holds them back from investing here. They can start a business on UAE mainland only with the help of local sponsor and the major share of the company will be held by the sponsor. The new amendment is a welcoming initiative in the business landscape of UAE and it will surely reap many positive benefits. Many investors will flock into the country to establish a business on UAE mainland, which will boost the economy of the country.

We have explained in details about the activities included and the conditions that must be fulfilled, in the table below;

Agriculture sector

ISIC4Business activityMinimum CapitalConditions and controls for foreign direct investment
101111Grain cultivation (wheat, corn, barley, etc.)– use of modern technology

– achievement of high added value

– contribution in the research and development field

– satisfaction of the requirements of the licensing entities in the state

201112Cultivation of bean crops
30113Cultivation of vegetables, melons, roots, and tubers
40114Cultivation of sugar cane
50116Cultivation of fiber crops
60119001Flowers and Flower Buds Cultivation
70121Growing of grapes
80123001Fruits and Citrus Cultivation
90124Growing of pome fruits and stone fruits
100125Growing of other tree and bush fruits and nuts
110126Growing of oleaginous fruits
120127Growing of beverage crops
1301289Growing of aromatic, drug and pharmaceutical crops
140161Support activities for crop production10
150162Support activities for animal production
160163Post-harvest crop activities
170164Seed processing for propagation
180210Silviculture and other forestry activities
190240Support services to forestry


Manufacturing sector

ISIC4Business activityMinimum CapitalConditions and controls for foreign direct investment
2010Manufacture of food products (except):

1071- Manufacture of bakery products

105 – Manufacture of dairy products

Cultivation of fiber crops108 – Manufacture of prepared animal feeds

15– use of modern technology

– achievement of high added value

– contribution in the research and development field

– satisfaction of the requirements of the licensing entities in the state

2110Manufacture of beverages (except):

1101 -Distilling, rectifying, and blending of spirits

1102 -Manufacture of wines

1103- Manufacture of malt liquors and malt

2214Manufacture of wearing apparel (except):

14109 – Tailoring and Sewing of Wearing Apparel

1410122 – Military Garments Manufacturing

2315Manufacture of leather and related products15
2416Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials15
252012002Straight or Complex Fertilizers Manufacturing15
262013Manufacture of plastics and synthetic rubber in primary forms15
272021Manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemical products15
282022Manufacture of paints, varnishes, and similar coatings, printing ink and mastics15
292023Manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes, and toilet preparations15
302029006Glues and Prepared Adhesives Manufacturing15
312029008Manufacture of dyestuffs and pigments15
322029009Textiles and Leather Finishing Used Chemical Materials Manufacturing15
332029013Manufacture of photographic plates, films15

Gelatine and Its Derivatives Manufacturing

15– use of modern technology

– achievement of high added value

– contribution in the research and development field

– satisfaction of the requirements of the licensing entities in the state

352029021Essential Oils Manufacturing (Essence)15
362029022Extracted Natural Aromatic Products Manufacturing15
372029023Aromatic Distilled Waters Manufacturing15
382029024Matches Manufacturing15
392029025Welding Powders and Pastes Manufacturing15
402030Manufacture of man-made fibres15
412100Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products15
4222Manufacture of rubber and plastics products15
4323Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products15
4424Manufacture of basic metals (except):

242 Manufacture of basic precious and other non-ferrous metals

2432 Casting of non-ferrous metals

4525Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (except)

2529 Manufacture of weapons and ammunition

4626Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products15
4727Manufacture of electrical equipment20
4828Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c. (except)

28259 Tobacco Processing Machinery Manufacturing

4929Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers100
503011101Building of Commercial Vessels100
513011103Ships and Floating Structures Sections Manufacturing100
523011905Construction of Drilling Platforms, Floating or Submersible100
533011906Construction of Floating Structures100
543011907Building of Hovercraft100
553012Building of pleasure and sporting boats15
563020Manufacture of railway locomotives and rolling stock20
573030Manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery (except):

3030006 Military Ballistic and Guided Missiles Manufacturing

583090Manufacture of transport equipment n.e.c.20
5931Manufacture of furniture15
603220Manufacture of musical instruments2
613230Manufacture of sports goods3
623240Manufacture of games and toys3
633250Manufacture of medical and dental instruments and supplies20
643290Other manufacturing n.e.c.3
653312001Repair and maintenance of train engines15
663312002Repair and maintenance of engines ship15
673315001Repair and maintenance of ships15
683315004Repair and maintenance of trains and railway equipment15
693315005Maintenance and Repair of Aircrafts Engines15
703315006Repair and maintenance of aircraft15


Service sector

ISIC4Business activityMinimum CapitalConditions and controls for foreign direct investment
716910002Legal Consultancy OfficesAs per the applicable regulations– Not to advocate before the UAE courts.

– Not to carry out any judicial procedure before courts, arbitral tribunals, and judicial and administrative committees.

– Not to carry out attestation activities

– To obtain the approval of the relevant entities in charge of licensing such activities in the State

– To be a natural or legal person known for its excellence in this field

72692Accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing activities; tax consultancyAs per the applicable regulationsOnly permissible for tax planning for businesses and consultancies, preparing and reviewing taxes on businesses
73711Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancyAs per the applicable regulations

To be a natural or legal person known for its excellence in this field

74862Medical and dental practice activities
7575Veterinary activities
76620Computer programming, consultancy, and related activitiesAs per the applicable regulationsTo provide a technical team of no less than 5 specialized programmers by the end of the first year of the company
7772Scientific research and developmentAs per the applicable regulationsAs per the applicable regulations
787730-77300Renting and leasing of other machinery, equipment, and tangible goods
79471Retail l sale in non-specialized stores (except Cooperative Societies 4711001)
81732Market research and public opinion polling
82702Management consultancy activities
83712Technical testing and analysis
84331Repair of fabricated metal products, machinery, and equipment (except ships or aircraft and other transport equipment)
858121-81210General cleaning of buildings
86742Photographic activities
878292-82920Packaging activities
88823Organization of conventions and trade shows
89741Specialized design activities
907490005Legal Translation Services
917490006Translation services, movies, and television programs
927490012Translation Publications Services
938299002Translation Services
9441Construction of buildingsAs per the applicable regulationsOnly permissible for large-scale infrastructure projects such as airports, highway roads, sports facilities and projects whose value exceed AED 450,000,000
9542Civil engineering
96432Electrical, plumbing, and other construction installation activities
97433Building completion and finishing
98431Demolition and site preparation
99439Other specialized construction activities
1007730009Construction and Building or Demolition Machines and Equipment Renting
101851Pre-primary and primary educationAs per the applicable regulations
  1. Public education excluded.
  2. To obtain the approval from the entities in charge of education to license such activities and to comply with such standards and controls as may be determined by them.
  3. To comply with the conditions and standards of school facilities and to ensure a high level of education quality
102852Secondary education
103853Higher education
104854Other education
105370SewerageAs per the applicable regulationsAs per the applicable regulations in this regard
106382Waste treatment and disposal
1073900001Pollution Consequences Treatment and Environment Protection
108861Hospital activities100
  1. Subject to the approval of the relevant authorities in light of the economic need taking into account the number of hospitals, medical and health centers in a specific area.
  2. Dubai Healthcare City is excluded from the above condition.
109869Other human health activities70As per the applicable regulations
1108211001Hotel ManagementAs per the applicable regulations
1118211004Restaurants Management
11290009Creative activities and presentation of art drama (theater)Permissible only for theater activities and live bands

As per the applicable regulations

1139000104Music Band
1158130002landscape and gardening services
1169103-91030Botanical and zoological gardens and nature reserves activitiesPermissible only for public garden services and specialized garden services.
1175012-50120Sea and coastal freight water transportAs per the applicable regulations
1185022001Internal Water Transportation of Goods
1197730016Commercial Ships Rental
1205222002Ship Piloting and Towing
1215222007Marine towing of boats and jet sk
122NewActivities of holding companies in intellectual property