Full commercial ownership, smart data, sustainability at forefront of UAE’s business landscape

The ‘Changing Landscape of Business ownership in the UAE’ series aimed to simplify the various laws and regulations for business owners entrepreneurs in Dubai

Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

UAE - The UAE’s business landscape is witnessing major shift, with main focus being on full commercial ownership, smart data and sustainability, a panel of experts highlighted recently in a business series hosted at the Capital Club Dubai.

The ‘Changing Landscape of Business ownership in the UAE’ series aimed to simplify the various laws and regulations for business owners and entrepreneurs in Dubai. The panellists highlighted the commercial company law, ultimate beneficial owner, economic substance regulations, smart data, sustainability and digital transformation are at the helm of all the change taking place in the business ecosystem.

The past few months has seen the announcement of some significant reforms to the UAE economy, and while the announcements have been welcomed both here and internationally, businesses are now eagerly awaiting the details.

The panelist included Arshad Khan, CEO of The Arabian Bourse; Dr Anuraag Guglaani, Partner, UHY James Chartered Accountant; Hala Bou Alwan, founder Hala Bou Alwan Consultancy; and Deepak Ahuja, chief revenue officer, Sehteq.

“The UAE has displayed amazing abilities to handle the pandemic and stir forward the economy for robust recovery and plan for 2021 by creating invesment friendly business confidence,” said Khan.

The UAE enjoys an internationally recognised reputation as a business hub, with the government backing it up with world class infrastructure, free zones, ports, state-of-the-art airports, and cargo hub, amongst others.

Capital Club Dubai’s Entrepreneur Committee Co-chairman, Deepak Ahuja said: “I strongly believe that we at Capital Club have a role to play in helping the entrepreneurs and therefore, we aim to help them get better understanding of new rules and regulations and will answer many questions that they may have. This will also be helpful for budding entrepreneurs who are planning to start their own firms in UAE.”

According to a World Bank report on “ease of doing business rankings”, the UAE was ranked 11th in 2019 and 16th in 2020. Guglaani said: “Covid-19 has accelerated and broadened the 4th Industrial Revolution with the rapid expansion of e-commerce, online education, digital health and remote work. As economies emerge from the shock and stimulus of Covid-19, businesses face a shakeout, including stagnation in advanced economies and lost potential in emerging and developing markets, making it harder to achieve long-term sustainable development.”

New regulations allowing for full foreign ownership of onshore companies, as well as new 10-year visas for investors and professionals, is set to make UAE an inviting arena for business.

Capital Club Dubai CEO, Vic Barreto: “In the times that we find ourselves, it is imperative for businesspeople to have these conversations in order for them to be able to make informed decisions. The Capital Club Dubai is a platform to facilitate the exchange of such ideas, synergies and information to keep businesses and SMEs relevant.”

Dubai was placed third overall globally and second in the ‘Major Cities’ category according to the report published by fDi Intelligence, part of the Financial Times. The high ranking in the new ‘FDI Global Cities of the Future 2021/2022’ report validates the emirate’s status as a magnet for foreign direct investment.

Hala Bou Alwan said: “The changing landscape series came up as a result of diversified regulatory demands and intense requirements which might have resulted in confusion or tension among entrepreneurs and company owners, shareholders and stakeholders. While UAE has been providing amazing flexible platforms for entrepreneurs, there are many regulations & compliance requirements in place which needs to be adhered to. The Capital Club provides this platform to encourage these discussions, while laying all requirements on the table & learning from experts how to find ways where business development & growth work positively hand in hand with satisfying regulatory demands.”


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