The UAE  is reportedly reviewing a draft commercial law which would allow full foreign ownership of some companies.
“We recognise the importance of the foreign companies to have 100 per cent ownership, but within specific rules and conditions,” Mohamed Omar Abdulla, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, told Bloomberg.
The measure applies to some industries outside of free zones, the newswire quotes Abdulla as saying. The Abu Dhabi Government and others within the U.A.E. are reviewing the draft, he reportedly said, without specifying when it will be passed.
Under current law, foreigners are allowed to own a maximum of 49 per cent of companies registered outside of free zones. Corporations that are eligible would “have to be within the industries that have certain priorities within the economy, like petrochemicals, communications, logistics, aerospace, financial, and others,” Abdulla told Bloomberg.
While the federal government has been negotiating the revised commercial law for years, the financial crisis in 2008 has helped push discussions forward, Abdulla is quoted as saying. 
Abu Dhabi is also working independently on a competitiveness index and plans to release it in February, Abdulla told Bloomberg. “That will provide us with a picture of where we stand, and help us in building a comprehensive plan to improve the business environment,” he is quoted as saying.