UAE now allows 100% Foreign Ownership of Maritime Businesses

May 15, 2020by Admin0

Foreign Ownership of Maritime Businesses

The UAE Government has announced foreign ownership of maritime businesses in the country are now allowed. It follows the issuing of the positive list which is the official list of the commercial activities in which 100% foreign ownership is allowed. It will  allow people to register vessels under the Emirati flag and establish a new dispute mechanism to relieve pressure on the courts, while a new maritime development fund aims to support citizens who wish to invest in the sector. It provides several investment incentives for those who would like to make maritime investments.  

It will  allow people to register vessels under the Emirati flag and establish a new dispute mechanism to relieve pressure on the courts, while a new maritime development fund aims to support citizens who wish to invest in the sector. It provides several investment incentives for those who would like to make maritime investments.

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Economic free zones sprang up across Dubai and much of the UAE to satisfy foreign companies that could not fully own businesses onshore. The change allows the country’s seven Emirates to open their industries to foreign investors, many of whom demand full control over their operations. Although individual Emirates shall decide the foreign ownership cap limit.

The new rule essentially lifts the previous federal requirement that has long capped foreign ownership in local companies at 49%. Thus, removing the need for a local partner.

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A total of 122 economic activities across 13 sectors were specified to be eligible for up to 100% foreign ownership including renewable energy, space, agriculture, and manufacturing industry.

UAE OVERHAULS MARITIME LAWS:

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  • To protect sailors and allow foreign ownership
  • 100 per cent foreign ownership of maritime companies,
  • sets up a Maritime Development Fund to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and
  •  introduces a New Dispute Settlement System,

Updates Rules on Insurance and Collisions at Sea:

It includes a new maritime dispute settlement system

  • to sort out disputes arising from maritime investment between investors and maritime navigation authorities, through Dispute Settlement Committees in FTA (Federal Land and Maritime Transport Authority) centres in the country,
  • Addresses the problem of vessels abandoned in regional waters, provides greater protection to the rights of seafarers
  • Extensive update of the traditional rules of maritime legislations, such as rules relating to maritime collisions, assistance, insurance and passenger and goods transport.
  • Introduces new provisions as well as definitions for individuals of maritime law, such as maritime agents (ship’s agent, shipping agent and transit agent).
  • It also introduces provisions relating to freight forwarders.

UAE has been a prominent economic and maritime hub of global importance. With a diversification strategy to a more non-oil economy over the past decade with ambitious plans, along with some major investments in infrastructure and introducing business friendly laws, and now by removing barriers for FDI inflows UAE would be attracting more private investment momentum for its economic growth.

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