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Sharjah offers investors insights on new UAE Commercial Companies Law

July 18, 2021

The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) and the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) recently organised a business seminar to offer insights to investors, entrepreneurs and businesses in Sharjah about the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL), which provides the full benefits of 100 percent foreign ownership across 1,289 industrial and commercial activities.

Held in partnership with professional services firm, KPMG, the seminar titled 'New UAE Commercial Companies Law and Business Setup in Sharjah' was held at the House of Wisdom, and aimed at offering insights to business professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors on how businesses can leverage the new UAE Commercial Companies Law when setting up operations in Sharjah.

The event featured prominent dignitaries and speakers, including Mohamad Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah; Ahmed Saif bin Saed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Commercial Affairs at SEDD; and Pascal Cange, Director of Trade and Customs Middle East at KPMG.

The UAE had introduced several significant changes to the law that came into effect in June 2021, affecting not only foreign ownership of onshore companies but also transactional issues for UAE corporates. Under the revised law which addresses the need to attract greater foreign investments, new businesses launched onshore can have 100 percent ownership of local operations.

Speaking at the seminar, Al Musharrkh said the amendments have helped boost the country’s competitive advantage and attract foreign capital to the UAE.

The creation of a conducive investment environment for foreign investors, the UAE’s leading role in strengthening healthcare infrastructure during the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent resumption of trade and travel, will lead to a huge increase in the influx of FDI by 2022, Al Musharrkh added.

In response to a question on the benefits for local and global investors in Sharjah with the updated law, Al Suwaidi said, 'In Sharjah, there are no limitations on 100 percent foreign ownership for companies engaged in industrial and commercial activities, and this can be availed without a requirement for capital or additional fees. Foreign investors can set up wholly-owned companies on the mainland across 1,289 business activities falling within the broad umbrella of industrial and commercial sectors.'

Under the federal guidelines, foreign investment has been prohibited in seven strategic impact activities including security and defence; banking, exchange houses and finance-related activities; telecommunications, and fisheries, amongst others, he added.

The new CCL impacts international companies looking to enter the UAE market, companies in the free zone who are keen on exploring opportunities onshore, and existing mainland companies set up with Emirati shareholders, Cange said.