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                       Dubai Tourism License

In recent years, Dubai has positioned itself as one of the most visited cities in the world. In 2018 alone, it was the fourth city with the most visitors, with more than 16 million tourists.

Dubai has an extraordinary natural beauty and with the correct management, it has gone from being a desert to one of the most modern and beautiful cities in the world.

Skyscrapers, artificial islands, and beautiful parks are some of the attractions that tourists can enjoy every year.

However, people who visit Dubai are not only for entertainment, medical tourism and Halal tourism also attract millions of visitors annually.

In addition to this, many people decide to visit Dubai in search of better job opportunities.

All this ensures that Dubai will continue to be a point of reference in relation to tourism, which benefits those businesses directly related to tourism and travel in the Dubai sector.

In order to start the formation of a travel and tourism business, you need to acquire a Dubai Tourism License.

What is a Dubai Tourism License?

A Dubai Tourism License is an official document required by all establishments and companies to legally operate in the Travel and Tourism sector in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

As the economy and the tourism sector are constantly expanding, the demand for Tourism License in Dubai is growing every year.

Types of Tourism License in Dubai

According to the activity carried out by your Tourism Business, there are three types of licenses available in Dubai.

The three main licenses are the following:

Tourism License in Dubai for outbound tour operators

This type of license allows your business to organize outbound trips.

This license is very helpful for those companies that work inside and outside the country in the Travel and Tourism sector.

Outbound tour operators assist, more than anything, people who want to visit other countries from the United Arab Emirates.

Tourism License for inbound tour operators

This type of license is the opposite of the above. This license allows its holders to organize inbound trips for tourists.

It also allows the operator to organize global exhibitions and conferences.

Tourism License Dubai for travel agents

This type of license is for those people who can open an agency.

Holders of this license can sell air tickets to travel outside the country and can provide visitor Visas to their clients.

Tourism License Dubai for a Tour Guide

A Tour Guide is a person who is in charge of accompanying tourists to important places of interest in Dubai.

The person who wants to be a Tour Guide must have a vast knowledge of the culture and history of the United Arab Emirates and must know about the tourist spots.

Some of the rules related to the Travel and Tourism License in Dubai are the following:

  • People who want to be tour guides must participate in the Tour Guide Award Program and successfully complete it.
  • The validity of this license is one year
  • The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing grants a Tour Guide License Badge; this badge is necessary to be able to operate in Dubai
  • The Tourism License renewal must be done every year, and this renewal can only be achieved if the applicant participates in the DTCM annual refresher program.
  • If the Tour Guide do not renew it for two consecutive years, he will be sanctioned by the DTCM.

How to get a Tourism License in UAE?

The competent authority that approves Travel and Tourism Licenses in Dubai is the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing

To obtain a Dubai Tourism License you must follow the following steps:

Decide on a Mainland or a Free Zone License

The first decision you must make before forming a company is to decide which type of license best suits the nature of your company, whether a Mainland License or a Free Zone License.

By forming a company in the Mainland, you can trade your products or services in the UAE market.

And also, you can make agreements or contracts with the UAE government.

But if, on the contrary, you decide to form your company in one of the Free Zones, you can enjoy multiple benefits, such as no currency restrictions, 0% tax rate, repatriation of 100% of profits, full custom tax exemption, and many other benefits.

Although companies established in the Free Zones cannot do business directly with the UAE market, you can explore different options that will allow you to do this in the future.

As this is an extremely important decision, it is advisable to hire an agency specialized in company formation, such as Connect Zone, to help you choose the ideal option for you.

Define your Business Activity

There are different categories within the Tourism Licenses, and it is important that you make sure you choose the activity that adapts to the productive activity of your company.

To ensure that you do everything in an orderly and clear manner, it is advisable to hire a company formation agency.

Choose a Company Name

The government of the United Arab Emirates is quite strict when it comes to registering company names, so you must follow the regulations to the letter.

In essence, you should avoid any language that could be offensive to residents of the UAE and their government.

You should also avoid placing a name that has already been registered, either by a large or small company.

If you decide to name the company after yourself, make sure you do not abbreviate your name, for example, Sarah Jones Travel is acceptable, however, S Jones Travel is not.

Lastly, make sure that the name you have chosen does not have any relationship or resemblance to the name of another well-known company or organization.

Obtain the Initial Approval

Once you have decided on the name of your company and the productive activity, you must obtain initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) of the area where your company is established.

To receive the approval, you will have to fill out a form, get the signatures of all the shareholders of the company and submit it to the Department of Economic Development.

Site Inspection

After initial approval, the Department of Economic Development will submit the form for the Site Inspection.

Be sure to fill out the form with detailed information about where your office is located (you can attach the location map) and submit the remaining documents to DED.

The officers will arrange to visit your office for an inspection before handing over your license.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Agreement

A public notary must translate and certificate the LLC Agreement

If the agreement is in Arabic, then the entire translation process is not necessary.

Sign the Agreement

Once the Limited Liability Company Agreement is in place, all shareholders and attorneys must go to the notary to sign the agreement of the court.

Submit the documents

At this point you must submit all the necessary documents, pay the corresponding fees and obtain your Tourism License in Dubai.

Important to realize: In addition to all these steps, you must prepare a Tenancy Contract to present to the DED

Required Documents to get a Tourism License in Dubai & UAE

The documents required to apply for a Tourism License in Dubai are the following:

  • A completed form provided by the Department of Economic Development
  • Passport copy of all shareholders
  • Clean criminal record certificate of the owner
  • No Objection Letter issued by the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Certificate of good conduct of the owner
  • Certificate of professional qualification of the manager
  • The study report of the technical and economic feasibility of the project
  • Work experience certificate of the manager.

Tourism License Fee in Dubai

The cost of a Tourism License Fee in Dubai will depend on the size of your company and specifically the activity you plan to carry out.

Generally, the Travel and Tourism License cost in Dubai is around AED 20,000.

However, to encourage those entrepreneurs who seek to obtain a Dubai Tourism License, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing announced a new regulation, thus removing the requirement of a bank guarantee of AED 100,000 – AED 200,000 for each operation as outbound tour operators, inbound tour operators, and travel agents.

This considerably reduces the initial investment and expense of purchasing a Tourism License in Dubai.

Also, the 300-square-foot minimum requirements were removed too.

Who should apply for Dubai Tourism License?

The establishments that need a Tourism License to operate legally in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are the following:

  • Travel Agents
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Travel Firms
  • Car Rental Firms

When the company formation process has been completed (within the legality and regulations of the United Arab Emirates) and the license has been delivered, the owner of the company will be able to carry out the following activities:

  • You can sell Tour packages online and offline
  • You can offer supporting Visa services
  • Travel insurance can be issued
  • The business can start selling railway, flight, and bus tickets to the tourist
  • The company can start offering car rental services
  • You can offer lodging options and accommodations to your clients

Benefits of getting a Tourism License in Dubai & UAE

Since its creation, Tourism Business Licenses in Dubai have been in high demand in the United Arab Emirates, especially in Dubai.

Some of the benefits that you can obtain when acquiring a Tourism License in Dubai (taking into account the latest regulations) are the following:

  • You can have a Travel Agent, outbound and inbound tour operator, all in a single license without bank guarantees or extra fees.
  • You can organize shows, exhibitions, and even global conferences.
  • With the new regulations, the amount of initial investment for your company is reduced.
  • Will promote the company’s work in the tourism sector inside and outside the country.
  • With a travel agency, you can offer visitor visas (subject to immigration approval) and sell airline tickets in the UAE.
  • The company may organize planned/guided tours and provide transportation services to its clients.
  • Dubai is a place known for its tourist attractions and infrastructure, which is why it has always been considered the best destination for travel. For this reason, investors will always benefit from the regulations and rules of the United Arab Emirates government.

Main Activities that require a Travel and Tourism License Dubai

The tourism sector is one of the leading sectors in the economy of the United Arab Emirates, so much so that the UAE is the only country in the world where this sector does not stop growing.

Some of the Main Activities that need a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai are the following:

 Renting out residential premises

Guesthouses, Long-term and Short-term rental of apartments, villas, individual apartments, and rooms in order to generate income.

Tourism Consultancy as a business

Preparation of feasibility and marketing studies, along with the required field questionnaire and surveys, to identify job opportunities for new tourists.

Organizing Excursions

Provide activities to travel agencies in the United Arab Emirates as a contractor.

Provide itineraries for groups and individuals independently or as a contractor for travel agencies.

Corporate and Business Tourism

A large number of services can be offered, for example, workshops, training sessions, business trips, incentive trips, meetings, promotional events, and corporate parties, among others. Trade license in Saudi Arabia could also be a great option.

Differences between Dubai Tourism Licenses depending on the economic jurisdiction

Tourism License issued in Mainland

  • There is a wide variety of services related to tourism, without restrictions and in any territory. Whether in the local market or abroad.
  • In the Mainland, the activities of hotels and guest houses allow the owner to have 100% ownership without the need for a local partner. However, it is recommended to hire a Process Agent to defend the interests of the shareholders.
  • To obtain this Travel and Tourism License in Dubai, you must acquire certain approvals and permits as part of the regulatory process. These requirements can be reduced to a valid business plan, a qualified manager, and insurance. Also, Business Setup in Saudi Arabia can also be a wonderful option.

Tourism License issued in a Free Zone

  • There are no restrictions for shareholders, full 100% ownership is possible and you can acquire a residency Visa.
  • You can offer travel or tour operator services only in overseas destinations. At the same time, you will be able to offer travel consulting services only outside the UAE
  • Working in the local market can be achieved through the implementation of Travel services under an agency scheme. In this situation, the travel agency in the Free Zone acts as an intermediary and offers services only through accredited travel companies.

Government Departments

We can help you with the processes in the following government departments.

Government Department


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