Three recent announcements have got people talking. The first was that of allowing 100% foreign ownership for mainland companies and of issuing ten-year residence visas for certain categories of residents. This was accompanied by the possibility of a five-year visa (ten years if they excelled) for students studying in the UAE. The second announcement was that of the AED 50 billion Abu Dhabi Government spending package over the next three years. And the third was the announcement from Dubai Government of fine waivers, government fee reductions and freeze on school fees. With respect to the foreign ownership of mainland companies, this will be welcome in many sectors and reflects the country’s continued opening up of its economy. The five and ten year visas will also be very welcome, providing people with an increased level of security if they are investing in the country. We are yet to see any detail but there could be wide ranging implications for companies and individuals already in situ.
The AED 50 billion spending package announced by the Abu Dhabi Government covered a multitude of initiatives such as public private partnerships, Emirati job creation, SME support, dual licences for Abu Dhabi free zone companies, exemption from workspace requirements, instant licensing, settlement of debts and reviewing building regulations. The Dubai Government announcement across sectors is also expected to bring relief to many in times of rising costs.
All of these initiatives are designed to increase private sector investment in the country and provide more security to those invested here.
We feature in this issue an interview with Mr. Adel Al Taheri, Acting General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone. We also have an article on the threat posed, and the opportunity available, on account of digital disruption. The article on IFRS 9: Financial Instruments discusses the wide-ranging changes in the accounting rules relating to financial instruments.
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