International equity index compiler S&P Dow Jones Indices has decided to upgrade the United Arab Emirates to emerging markets from frontier market status, with effect from September 2014, the company said on its website.

S&P Dow Jones said that the UAE’s current foreign ownership limit of 49 percent is satisfactory and there is an expectation that it will be relaxed in coming years.

Rashed Al Baloushi CEO of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, said: "We are delighted to have the UAE market upgraded to emerging markets status by S&P Dow Jones. We believe the upgrade reflects international investors’ confidence in our markets and their satisfaction with what we have accomplished. This decision firmly establishes the UAE market on the emerging markets growth map in the minds of global institutional investors. It certainly reflects a growing realization of how far our economy and financial markets have developed in recent years."

S&P Dow Jones indexes are used as investment benchmarks by some fund managers. In June this year, index compiler MSCI said it would upgrade the UAE to emerging market status from May 2014. The UAE markets are already classified as emerging markets by FTSE, Russell Investments, and S&P.