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Foreign ownership reform a ‘great support’ for design and fit-out firms

Foreign ownership reform a ‘great support’ for design and fit-out firms

UAE Cabinet, Fit-out sector

The UAE’s decision to allow up to 100% foreign ownership for more than one hundred economic activities could benefit the creative industry, according to Design Infinity.

The UAE Cabinet said 13 sectors and 122 economic activities including art, construction and manufacturing could be eligible for up to total foreign ownership, subject to local government approval.

While interior design and fit-out firms have not been specifically mentioned in the regulatory reform, Dubai-based Design Infinity has praised the policy.

“Foreign ownership of companies in the UAE in our sector will provide great support to interior design and fit out firms,” Pratap Mendonca, managing partner, Design Infinity, told Commercial Interior Design.

Design Infinity is an interior design and fit-out business that has worked on projects with YouTube, Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Mendonca said the UAE Cabinet’s decision may encourage “reluctant investors” to pump in capital with the assurance that they have full control over the business.

It will also help to attract new workers to the region.

“This will further bring in new and innovative ideas and creativity to our industry and allow it to achieve higher standards in customer management and project delivery. With this new energy, the interior design and fit-out industry will catch a new vibrancy and be a great value addition to our sector.

“Dubai is very open in terms of ideas, innovation and technology and this flexibility in foreign investment will definitely be a great boon to the overall vision of Dubai. This will further form an integral and larger part of the economic future of Dubai. Multinationals once reluctant or limited by their policies of direct and complete ownership would now be favourable to invest in Dubai.”

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