Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE, issued the decree, which replaces the Commercial Companies Law No. 2, passed in 2015.
Under current UAE law, foreign shareholders can own an up 49% of a locally registered company, with a local partner holding the 51% majority.
“We can now expect an unprecedented explosion of foreign direct investment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi."
However, several sectos deemed strategic are exempt from the new rules announced today. These include energy and hydrocarbons, telecommunications and transport.
Nonetheless many welcomed the new rules as "landmark reforms." Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of Dubai-based deVere Group said the changes will prompt an "unprecedented explosion" of foreign direct investment.