UAE Inc welcomes pro-investor reforms

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UAE Inc welcomes pro-investor reforms
The new measures are likely to give a major fillip to the UAE economy and brighten the nation's long-term investment outlook.

dubai - Major global firms will now be keen to set up branches in the country, say industry stalwarts


Issac John

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Published: Mon 21 May 2018, 6:50 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 May 2018, 10:47 PM

Business, professional and investor communities in the UAE greeted the much-anticipated landmark residency and investment reforms with enthusiasm and hoped the new measures would give a major fillip to the economy and brighten the nation's long-term investment outlook.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the decision of the UAE Cabinet to raise global investors' ownership of companies to 100 per cent, and the launching of an integrated system for UAE visas aimed at attracting talents, is a landmark step that fast-tracks the country's efforts towards achieving the objectives of the National Agenda 2021.

He said the Cabinet decisions play a significant role in enhancing the development of the country in line with the UAE Centennial 2071, by providing a distinct advantage to UAE's competitiveness in attracting global investments and consolidating its position as a preferred destination for exceptional talents and competencies across different priority sectors and disciplines.

"These decisions strengthen the wisdom and vision of our leadership, which continues to propel the UAE from strength to strength. He added that it underscores the UAE government's accurate estimation of current conditions and its capacity to anticipate future trends towards a more sustainable and progressive economy," he said.

He said that the new 100 per cent ownership system for global investors will bolster the UAE's image on the global investment map and major global firms will now be keen to set up branches in the country. He added that this strategic step would increase the inflow of foreign direct investment in the UAE, particularly key sectors that help boost trade and increase the number of projects and firms, which in turn will aid the prosperity of the business environment and the growth of the national economy.

The minister also highlighted that the UAE offers several investment-friendly advantages and incentives, whether it be in terms of strategic location, political security and stability, social and cultural openness, active economic policies, investor-friendly legislations, world-class infrastructure, professional and customised services and a global edge in terms of innovation and leadership in vital sectors such as trade, aviation, ports and logistics.

"Over the past years, these factors have succeeded in establishing the UAE's position as the first Arab country for attracting foreign investment. However, the new directives allowing 100 per cent ownership to foreign investors, the provision of 10-year visas for investors and their families and for those with advanced skills and expertise, represents a significant first step among many in developing a system of investment and development legislation in the country. It sends out a clear message that the UAE is one of the best destinations in the world for high-profile investors and investments, and also for innovators in various disciplines, all of which are pillars for building the economy of the future," said Al Mansouri.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said the decision by the visionary rulers of the UAE would have a far-reaching positive effect on the economic and social life. "It will give confidence to existing residents and investors and attract many more to this oasis of peace and prosperity. This is bound to exponentially increase the flow of talent and capital to the UAE, which will be a paradise for entrepreneurs and professionals."

Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, LuLu Financial Group, said the decisions taken by the UAE Cabinet would boost international investments while fostering talent in a number of areas of expertise. "The visionary leadership of this country has transformed the UAE over the years into an inspiring global community that presents great opportunity to follow dreams and realise them. We are extremely proud to be a part of this country which ranks high in many of the crucial measures of a progressive nation."

Ahamed pointed out that the UAE has always been at the forefront when it comes to implementing such initiatives which help boost the investment climate in the country, making it a preferred investment destination.

Firoz Merchant, founder and chairman, Pure Gold Group, said the decision of 100 per cent ownership for international investors along with 10-year residence visa would further establish the UAE as the ultimate destination for investment and business. "This thoughtful gesture made in the 'Year of Zayed' will enhance investor confidence and showcase the UAE as the global talent incubator giving an overall boost to the economy."

Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC Network, Dubai, said the new changes marked the beginning of the next economic wave and it clearly answers the question about the driver behind the ongoing construction.

Santosh Varghese, general manager - MEA, Toshiba Gulf FZE, said new investment reforms would go a long way in reinforcing the UAE's positions as a preferred global investment destinations. "The 10-year residency rules for professional and investors will serve as a catalyst to attract bigger flow of foreign direct investments from other parts of the world, especially from the Far East."

UAE businesses upbeat on the new visa policy.
This is a great news announced and it not only gives opportunity to businessman and investors like us but also to other specialists like doctors and engineers who have added value for the growth of this country. This shows true vision for all countrymen residing here.
Anis Sajan, managing director, Danube
The proposal to grant 10 year residency visas, is a much awaited policy decision aimed to attract and retain the best professional talent pool within the UAE. It is aimed to provide long term stability, employment and confidence for this segment of qualified people, who in turn, will contribute significantly to the overall productivity and economic development of the UAE. The world economies are moving rapidly towards adapting new generation of technologies and these demand high quality qualified people across the various business spectrum.
Krishnan Ramachandran, CEO of Barjeel Geojit
UAE has been home to many entrepreneurs and professionals for decades together and, particularly for businesses. Attracting the right type of talent on a long-term arrangement will certainly enhance the quality of business output. As UAE is one of the fastest growing economies in the region, retention of talent will enhance investor confidence and in turn continue to accelerate the rapid economic growth.
Nisith Naik, CEO, Centra Hub
I am sure similarly 100 per cent de jure ownership by the investors will also be allowed outside the free zones of UAE which will be a masterstroke to invite, in my estimate, 2 to 3 times of the current FDI. Dubai and UAE are amazing destinations for business and investments, given extraordinary business oriented approach of the government, ease of doing business, world class infrastructure and most importantly safe and secure living, making UAE one of the happiest countries of the world.
Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group
The investors and their families with 10-year residence visa will plan to invest on real estate projects and increase their participation in SMEs. In addition to this, more small entrepreneurs will emerge creating new possibilities.
Bharat Bhatia, CEO, Conares
The move will serve as a cornerstone for the UAE Vison 2021 to achieve socio-economic development and shift to a diversified and knowledge-based economy. This will have a positive impact on businesses as UAE further strengthens its position as a global business hub and positions itself a serious contender to be counted amongst global innovation centres. This will, no doubt, also lead to UAE's increased attractiveness amongst global investors.
Sanjay Uppal, CEO, StraitsBridge Advisors
The passing of the extended visa law for top professionals is a very positive move from the UAE government. The ability to attract and retain top talent is eased by providing top professionalswith a longer term, more secure view, when working in the UAE. Although the ability for top professionals to secure work and visas has always existed, the extension of the visa period will result in less cumbersome renewal periods and is set to provide longer term security.
Mechelle Buys Du Plessis, Managing Director - UAE, Dimension Data
Developments like these encourage the youth to excel and contribute to the nation's growth while attracting global innovators to become part of the local business community. We are grateful for such positive developments put forward by the Government of UAE and look forward to seeing the multiple effects of its implementation. Expats such as myself have spent most of our lives here so this decision will further give us confidence to strengthen our ties with this country. It is truly a milestone in UAE's continued growth.
Anil Dhanak, managing director, Kanz Jewels
This will surely boost the competitiveness of the economy and will result in a strong influx of capital as well as top notch professionals. As always, UAE is in the forefront when it comes to the welfare of the people and this announcement reiterates the fact that UAE is on the verge of an unprecedented growth.
Dhananjay Datar- chairman and MD- Al Adil Group
The 10-year visa is a great initiative by the UAE government, which will encourage companies to look at long term investment opportunities to build the talent pool and infrastructure.The UAE has proven how it is thinking ahead to attract talent from across the globe to contribute to the growth of the nation. This initiative will further help us attract, retain and build a good pool of talent from all the segments. We also expect innovative companies from all segments to open investment in the region.
Mohammad Meraj Hoda, VP - Business Development at Ring
The grant of long term residency permits will make UAE with a strong rule of law and social infrastructure which includes education and healthcare more attractive. There is a strong probability of Wealthy and affluent families across the globe buying properties and opening up their business here as UAE is one of the major business hubs. Expect UAE stocks, especially DFM to get a leg up on this move as real estate has high weightage in this index. Overall UAE economy will be benefiting a lot on further investment and long term permits to students could also make it an
innovation hub. 
Vijay Valecha, Chief Market Analyst, Century Financial

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