The United Arab Emirates is to allow firms owned by nationals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to operate on its own shores and receive similar privileges to national firms, according to a decision taken by the cabinet.
The new directions came at the request of UAE vice president and prime minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al-Maktoum on Sunday, in a bid to improve an investment environment by creating a regional hub for businesses.
The initiative comes four years after the six Gulf countries decided to unify themselves in to one common currency market in 2008, like that of euro, for political and economic gains.
The move also intended to facilitate Gulf firms in expanding their businesses in the UAE market and benefit from local resources and funds.
Companies owned by citizens of GCC states will therefore be allowed to open branches for the same activities across the six-nation bloc.
They will also enjoy equal treatment across the GCC, according to a statement released after the 31st GCC summit also on Sunday.
Mohammad Bin Obaid al-Mazroui, former GCC assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs and currently director of the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting, told Gulf News: “This move will boost the investment climate in the GCC and is expected to deepen economic citizenship and improve joint investment climate.”
GCC companies will also have a better advantage at competing within a broader Gulf scope, once the initiative gets fully implemented by other Gulf states.
“There is no need to even get a license for the new branch. What is required is ownership documents for the company and three years of financial statements and the branch can be opened soon after,” said Mazroui.
Najib Abdullah al-Shamsi, director of the Studies and Research department at the GCC General Secretariat, told Gulf News that this initiative is one of the Gulf Common Market's targets.
“This will enlarge the scope of the Gulf Common Market and ease the flow of goods and services across GCC countries as well as create a lot of job opportunities,” Shamsi said.