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Asset Publisher

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Investment Opportunities in

Promising Economic Sectors

Key economic sectors in the UAE are witnessing a steady growth in the flow of investments, and several national companies are entering into partnerships with foreign firms. The country seeks to attract further investments into promising sectors such as advanced technology, artificial intelligence, research and development, and digital economy, which stimulate innovation and improve the performance of the economy.

Unique Opportunities

Promising Foreign Investment Sectors

Compelling Reasons to

Invest in Promising Economic Sectors

Invest in Promising Economic Sectors

Promote the UAE’s position as a major regional and global hub for foreign investment
Develop the production base and infrastructure
Support sectors of national priority
Strengthen partnerships between local and foreign investors
Increase employment opportunities and boost localisation in the private sector
Facilitate sharing of technology, knowledge and training
Achieve a better return and high added value to the national economy
Stimulate investment in research and development

Strategic Impact Activities

Under Cabinet Resolution No (55) of 2021, the list of activities “with strategic impact” was announced, which are excluded from obtaining 100% ownership by foreign investors, unlike the rest of the economic activities in the UAE, which are open to 100% foreign ownership. The list includes 7 activities with a strategic impact, 6 of which are subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities in terms of:

Ranked 10th globally in

Determining the percentage of the Emirati and/or the foreign investors’ ownership of the capital.

Ranked 10th globally in

Determining the citizens’ and/or the foreign investor’s contribution to the membership of boards of directors (if any).

Ranked 10th globally in

Other conditions or controls deemed by the regulatory authority.

List of Activities with Strategic Impact:

Security, defense and activities that have a military nature

subject to the approval and requirements of the Ministry of Defense or the Ministry of Interior, each in its field of competence.

Banks, exchange houses, finance companies and insurance activities

subject to the approval and requirements of the Central Bank of the UAE.

Currency printing

subject to the approval and requirements of the Central Bank of the UAE.

Telecommunication

subject to the approval and requirements of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority.

Pilgrimage (Hajj and Umra Services)

subject to the approval and requirements of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments.

Holy Quran memorisation centres

subject to the approval and requirements of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments.

Services related to fisheries

100 percent Emirati ownership required

Licensing Procedures for Companies Practicing Activities with Strategic Impact

  • 01

    A foreign investor who wishes to engage in an activity with a strategic impact shall submit a license application to the Department of Economic Development in the emirate concerned.

  • 02

    The Department of Economic Development concerned submits the application to the regulatory authority concerned with the activity to be licensed within 5 working days from the date of receiving the application, provided it fulfills all requirements.

  • 03

    The relevant regulatory authority shall issue its decision within 14 working days from the date of the request or the fulfillment of all requirements and conditions it deems appropriate. The decision includes the following:

    • Approval of the application and the criteria of the minimum national share, with any controls and conditions it deems appropriate.
    • Rejection.

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