“Liberalization Of UAE” – Its Rapid Reforms

Dubai is the second largest out of the 7 United Arab Emirates (commonly known the UAE). Known for its luxurious lifestyles, modern architecture and bustling nightlife, Dubai is becoming home for the vast number of expats migrating there everyday.

迪拜是七个阿拉伯联合酋长国(俗称阿联酋)中的第二大酋长国。迪拜以其奢华的生活方式,现代建筑和繁华的夜生活闻名。每天都会有许多人移民到迪拜,它正在成为外籍人士的新家园。

Over the past three decades, Dubai has come a long way in terms of improvement of its trade and daily life and has earned the status of the world’s trade hub. Due to its strategic location, low logistical and operational costs, excellent infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies, Dubai is attracting investors in a big way. Activities such as trade, transport, tourism industry and finance have shown steady growth and helped the economy to achieve a high degree of expansion and diversification.

在过去的三十年间,迪拜在改善其贸易和生活方面取得了长足的进步,并占据了世界贸易中心的地位。由于其战略位置优越,物流和运营成本低,基础设施良好,国际视野广阔,政府政策自由等等,迪拜对投资者具有极大的吸引力。贸易、运输、旅游业和金融等活动的稳步增长也帮助其经济实现了高度扩张与多样化。

Dubai has been open to investors since the 1960’s and year on year, it has been relaxing it’s policies in order to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world.

迪拜自20世纪60年代以来一直向投资者开放,并且以放宽政策来吸引来自世界各地的企业家。

“Liberalization Of UAE” – Its Rapid Reforms(图1)

Photo Source:https://www.pexels.com/


Policy Reforms

政策改革

In the year 2021, the UAE government announced a major plan to liberalize the economy and the stringent residency rules for foreigners, as the country sought to overhaul its finances and attract visitors and investment. Recently, especially post-Covid, the UAE government has rolled out various policies designed to counter the recent deterioration in the UAE’s growth prospects, the decline in its expatriate labour force, and to enable it to remain competitive as its Gulf neighbours pursue their own economic liberalisation programmes.

2021年,阿联酋政府宣布了一项重大计划,旨在放开经济,并放松对外国人的严格居住规定,以此试图进行财务改革,吸引游客与投资。近来,尤其是在新冠疫情爆发之后,阿联酋政府推出了各项政策应对阿联酋发展前景的恶化、外籍劳动力的减少等问题,希望在其海湾邻国推行各自的经济自由化计划时保持竞争力。

Economic Reforms 

经济改革

On June 1st, 2021, the UAE government passed a new law allowing foreign investors to hold a 100 percent stake in companies throughout the UAE (except for strategic sectors such as oil, gas, and defence). Previously, full foreign ownership was only permitted within the UAE’s designated Free Zones and selected economic sectors. Foreign investors could previously only own a maximum 49 percent stake in a business, with the majority stake being held by a local Emirati partner. This change in the legal and economic system have proven to be attractive to foreign investors who were subject to the decisions of the local Emirati partners and had to undergo a tedious legal process to set up their business. The new law no longer requires an Emirati chairman or half of the board comprising of Emiratis for joint stock companies throughout the UAE.

2021年6月1日,阿联酋政府通过了一项新法律,该法允许外国投资者持有阿联酋企业100%的股份(石油、天然气、国防等战略部门除外)。此前,完全的外国所有权只在阿联酋政府指定的自由区或特定的经济部门存在,除开这些区域,外国投资者最多拥有企业49%的股份,多数股份由当地的阿联酋合作伙伴持有。事实证明,法律和经济体系的这一变化对外国投资者很有吸引力。在此之前,他们需要受制于当地阿联酋伙伴的决定,并且经过繁琐的法律程序才能开展业务。新的法律在对于阿联酋成立的股份公司规定中,不再要求必须有一名阿联酋人担任董事长,也不再要求董事会中有一半是阿联酋人。

As per statistics, within the first 2 days of the introduction of law, 59 foreign investors reportedly took up 100 percent stakes in companies. It is believed that since the Free Zones are concentrated in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, liberalizing economic regulations outside of Free Zones can help attract economic growth especially in the UAE’s other five emirates – Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm Al Quwain. With the advantage of custom duties and other taxes available in the Free Trade Zones, that shall assist them in leveraging the branding and influence with the UAE government. Full foreign ownership  outside the Free Trade Zones could also start a trend as the UAE strives to make its entire business environment more competitive.

据统计,在法律出台后的两天时间内,有59名外国投资者持有了公司100%的股份。由于自由贸易区集中在阿布扎比和迪拜,放宽自由贸易区以外的经济法规有助于吸引经济增长,特别是在阿联酋的其他五个酋长国——阿治曼、沙迦、哈伊马角、富查伊拉和乌姆阿奎因。凭借自由贸易区关税和其他税收政策的优势,这将有助于他们利用阿联酋政府的品牌和影响力。同时,自由区以外的完全外国所有权也将促使阿联酋的整个商业环境更具竞争力。

Social Reforms

社会改革

In November 2020, the UAE introduced new reforms to liberalise its social environment and place the UAE on a more secular footing, thereby making it a more attractive destination for expatriates to live and work.

2020年11月,阿联酋推出了新的改革以开放其社会环境,将阿联酋置于更世俗的立足点,使其成为对外籍人士生活和工作更具吸引力的地方。

New policies were introduced to tackle harassment against women, making the law more strict in this area. Reforms were made allowing expatriates to apply the laws of their country regarding divorce and inheritance; scrapping reduced sentences for “honour” killings; the decriminalisation of alcohol consumption and suicide; and the decriminalisation of couples co-habiting without being married.

阿联酋为解决对妇女的骚扰问题出台了更严格的法律规定。新的规定允许外籍人士适用本国关于离婚和继承的法律;取消了“名誉”杀人可减刑的规定;取消了对饮酒和自杀的定罪;取消了对未结婚而同居的伴侣的定罪。

The UAE has also been promoting female economic empowerment, a recent example arose by recently ordering all firms listed on its stock exchanges to have at least one woman member on their board of directors.

阿联酋一直在提升女性经济赋权,例如,近期出台规定要求所有在其证券交易所上市的公司董事会中至少有一名女性成员。

Legal reforms

法律改革

As per the old laws, expatriate’s enjoyed fewer rights and privileges than Emiratis, with the residency rights often being conditional on employment. This has meant that expatriates often had to leave the UAE after employment, taking their money with them and divesting any property or investments held there.

根据以往法律的规定,外籍人士享有的权利和特权少于阿联酋人,其居住权往往以就业为条件。这意味着外籍人士在失业后往往不得不带着钱离开阿联酋,放弃在当地持有的财产或投资。

However, since January 2021, the UAE government has opened up a pathway to citizenship announcing that skilled professionals, including senior business executives, investors, scientists, doctors, and engineers, will be able to obtain UAE citizenship. With greater access to UAE passports, expatriates enjoy visa-free travel throughout the GCC, and can open bank accounts more easily and establish businesses. The UAE also introduced a retirement visa in 2020, to allow expatriates aged 55 and over to obtain a renewable five-year visa provided they meet certain financial criteria, such as having one million dirhams ($US 272,000) in a UAE bank account for foreign nationals.

然而,自2021年1月起,阿联酋政府开放了一条获得公民身份的通道,对象涵盖高级商业管理人员、投资者、科学家、医生和工程师在内的技术专业人员。随着阿联酋护照办理更加便利,外籍人士在整个海湾合作委员会享受免签证旅行,使得开设银行账户、创办企业等更为便利。阿联酋还在2020年推出了退休签证,允许55岁及以上的外籍人士在满足某些财务标准时获得可续签的五年签证,例如在阿联酋银行账户中拥有100万迪拉姆(27.2万美元)。

“Liberalization Of UAE” – Its Rapid Reforms(图2)

Photosource:https://www.pixabay.com/

The UAE has been credited as being more liberal with relaxed policies,  building better infrastructure and amenities for their foreign workforces and establishing better connectivity to the world compared to other gulf countries.  With the UAE continuing to innovate and reform in order to liberalise its economy in the interests of attracting foreign investment and talent, foreign firms are considering the UAE as their most favored hub for trade and investments.

与其他海湾国家相比,阿联酋更加自由,其政策更为宽松,为外国劳动力提供了更好的基础设施,与世界的联系更紧密。为吸引外国投资及人才,阿联酋持续进行创新和经济自由化改革的努力,外国公司也在考虑将阿联酋作为他们最青睐的贸易和投资中心。

With a few risk that undermines the delicate social contract between Emiratis and their government, UAE remains the most politically-stable investment destination in the Gulf with the UAE’s leadership actively working to convince its citizens that welcoming foreign investment and labour benefits the UAE and Emiratis.

尽管风险的存在破坏了阿联酋人与政府之间微妙的社会契约,但阿联酋仍然是海湾地区政治最稳定的投资目的地。阿联酋领导层积极说服其公民欢迎有利于阿联酋与阿联酋人民的外国投资与劳动力进入。

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We at D'Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel constantly monitor the latest developments in the UAE market. If you have any inquiry or want to know more about investment policy in UAE, feel free to shoot an e-mail to: 

info@dandreapartners.com.

德恩瑞法律咨询的专业人员一直在关注阿联酋市场的动向。如果您对阿联酋的投资政策有任何疑问或想了解更多信息,请随时发送电子邮件至:

info@dandreapartners.com

“Liberalization Of UAE” – Its Rapid Reforms(图3)

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