A planned companies law is unlikely to usher in full foreign ownership as previously thought, a senior Abu Dhabi government official has said.

The remarks cast doubt on earlier statements from a senior Ministry of Economy official who said that international firms in certain sectors or certain projects would be allowed to own their companies entirely.

Full ownership is allowed now only in specific business parks known as free zones.

“We will make some relaxation of foreign ownership rules. It will not be 100 per cent but some improvement and more than 49%,” said Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the Under Secretary at the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.

The National