Following the ratification of the UAE Business Stimulus Package aimed at reducing the cost of doing business and simplifying business procedures, the UAE Cabinet has also approved the long awaited Positive List of activities permitted for foreign investors looking to establish their presence in the UAE with 100% ownership interest.

The long-awaited Positive List is the final component to the implementation of the UAE Federal Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018, also known as the UAE Foreign Direct Investment Law (FDI Law) lifting the restriction of 49% limited foreign ownership for commercial establishments in the UAE. While still a limited number of 122 activities will be permitted for incorporation with 100% foreign ownership, the changes brought by the FDI Law provide for a more competitive commercial environment across the emirates.

The 122 activities cover various sectors and are divided as follows:

      1. 51 Industrial activities;
      2. 52 Services related activities including scientific research and development;
      3.  19 agricultural activities;

and require the investors to use modern technology, bring high added value to the enterprise and the industry, invest in research and development in each respective field and abide by the local licensing and capital requirements.

This demonstrates the UAE’s flexibility and adaptability to the global economic developments and changes and it is aimed at supporting innovation and development across education, healthcare, artificial intelligence, food security and quality of life. For details regarding conditions applicable to foreign entities or individuals looking to establish commercial entities in the UAE under the conditions of the FDI Law please contact us at