The President of the State, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a decree-law amending the Companies Law, in light of the government's continuous efforts to develop the legislative environment for the economic sectors in the UAE, in a way that strengthens its leading position regionally and globally as an attractive destination for projects and companies.
The amendments allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to fully establish and own companies without the need for a specific nationality, and the condition requiring a foreign company that wishes to open a branch within the country has been canceled to have an agent of the country's citizens.
The amendments included reorganizing some provisions and rules for limited liability and shareholding companies, and canceling Decree-Law No. 19 of 2018 regarding foreign direct investment.
The Decree-Law grants the competent local authority powers that include determining a certain percentage of citizens' participation in the capital or boards of directors of all companies that are established within the scope of their jurisdiction, approving applications for establishing companies other than joint-stock companies and determining fees according to the controls approved by the Council of Ministers.
The decree-law stipulates to reorganize the governance of boards of directors and the general assembly in joint-stock companies, and to allow non-joint-stock companies to practice fund investment activities for the account of others in the event that the laws regulating these activities or the decisions issued thereunder are approved.
The Decree-Law granted the Securities and Commodities Authority the authority to set controls and procedures for assessing in-kind shares, and to register the names of shareholders to attend the company's general assembly meeting.
It is permissible to appoint experienced members of the Board of Directors who are not shareholders without specifying a specific percentage, and it is also permissible to remove the Chairman or any of the members of the Board of Directors of the company or any of its executive management from their positions in the event of a court ruling proving that they have committed acts of fraud, abuse of power, or acts By concluding deals or transactions involving conflict of interest in violation of the provisions of this law or the decisions implementing it.