How To Open Tourism Company in Dubai?

how-to-open-tourism-company in-dubai

The UAE conditions are ideal for a resort vacation: a year-round pleasant climate, an azure coast, and stunning modern structures. Plus, the government makes significant efforts to develop the tourism and entertainment industries. The combination of these factors makes the jurisdiction appealing for the operation of a travel agency in a UAE free zone.

In this article, you will learn everything about how to set up a travel agency in a UAE free zone. The Emirates is an ideal location for establishing a travel agency or company. This is due to its flexible corporate environment, local population tolerance, and highly qualified personnel. Let us observe:

1. What to think about when starting a travel agency in Dubai

starting a travel agency in Dubai

A travel agency can be run as a sole proprietorship or as a limited liability company. This distinction is critical due to the registration and licensing requirements. The requirements for LLCs registered as travel agencies are more stringent. When you set up a travel agency in a UAE free zone as a sole proprietorship, you must become a certified travel agent.

Before beginning the registration process for the company that will operate as a travel agency, a foreign investor must consider a few, but critical, factors:

  • The business form under which the travel agency will operate is critical.
  • It is also critical to determine whether the company will operate in Dubai or one of its free zones.
  • You will need to hire a local agent to register the company on your behalf. This is because you are a foreign entrepreneur.
  • It is critical to carefully select the type of travel agency license you will apply for.
  • And ensuring you have sufficient funds to start the business is another factor to consider.

In terms of company incorporation procedures for a Dubai travel agency, our local consultants can provide full services; including tax and VAT registration, following the most recent legislative changes.

As a foreign investor, you will be able to fully control your business if you choose to operate in one of Dubai’s free zones. This is because you will need no local partner. However, your travel agency’s activities will be limited to providing services to clients in the respective free zone.

2. Dubai travel agencies’ activities

The limited liability company is the most common structure used to establish a travel agency in Dubai. An agency’s activities include inbound and outbound tour operators; which allows it to organize events and tours both within and outside of the UAE. The travel agency can also handle visa applications for foreign tourists.

All travel agencies need to have insurance policies that cover all of their activities for the duration of their license. Also, the travel agency manager should have at least 3 years of experience and obtain clearance from the Dubai Police Department.

3. The travel agent’s role in Dubai

As previously stated, the travel agent is a mandatory requirement regardless of the business form chosen by the owner. The travel agent plays an important role in the company because he or she must complete the following tasks:

  • The agent will be in charge of selling plane tickets.
  • They will assist you in obtaining the necessary travel visa.
  • The agent will be in charge of arranging to lodge for the tourists.
  • They will also arrange for transportation and guided tours (when applicable).
  • This agent should obtain a certificate from Dubai’s Civil Aviation Department.

4. How to open a travel agency in Dubai in 5 easy steps

  • Define a business activity. Once you have decided to open a travel agency, you must determine the nature of the business activity; and decide whether you will operate as an inbound or outbound tour operator.
  • Company name. When deciding to open a specific type of travel agency, you must choose a name that adheres to the country’s naming conventions.
  • Before beginning any new venture in the UAE; the investor must apply for a business license based on the type of business they want to establish. To operate a travel agency, one must first apply for a tourism license from the DED.
  • Employee visas. Once you have obtained your license, the investor must obtain visas for the employees who will be working with him. This investor must apply for staff permits through the Ministry of Interior’s E-channels Once the permits are issued, employees can change their status in-country to obtain a permanent employment visa for the country.
  • Banking account. After all of the above formalities have been completed following the proper procedure; it is time for an investor to open a bank account. The investor must apply for a corporate bank account and ensure that the bank selection was correct, as a minimum balance is usually required to keep the account active at all times.

4.1. Other things you must know

The preceding steps provide an overview of the process of establishing a travel agency in the UAE. To open a travel agency on the UAE Mainland, one must follow the legal process and complete all of the necessary formalities. This is to begin operations of the intended business activity.

While attempting to complete the documentation process, an investor may lose some important time to focus on other equally important aspects of the business. Therefore, a new investor should choose a business consultant within the mainland UAE.

So, he or she will assist him with the documentation process while the investor himself devotes time to other aspects of the business. With the assistance of a properly chosen business consultant, the process can be more smooth and easy.

This is because they are aware of the conditions that must be met as well as the process that must be followed following the laws of the country.

5. Applying for a travel and tourism license

tourism license in Dubai

You may be wondering how to start a travel and tourism business in the UAE. If you are, you must know that getting a business license is the first step. The most straightforward way to accomplish this is to apply to a UAE free zone, such as Fujairah Creative City. You can apply directly to the free zone or work with a company formation expert who will handle the entire application process for you.

There are numerous compelling reasons to locate your business in this particular free zone. Businesses that establish themselves in Fujairah Creative City enjoy:

  • Customs tax exemption.
  • No foreign currency restrictions.
  • No paid-up share capital requirement.
  • Plus, there will not be an annual audit.
  • A simple incorporation process.

There is also no requirement for you to be physically present in the UAE to establish your new company.

5.1. Types of trade licenses

You will also need to apply for your specific tourism license with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). There are three types of trade licenses to choose from:

  • Outbound tour operator trade licenses.
  • Inbound tour operator trade licenses.
  • Travel agency trade licenses.

These license categories are self-explanatory. The outbound license allows you to organize trips outside of the country; the inbound license allows you to organize trips for visitors to the country; and the travel agency trade license allows you to sell tours, plane tickets, and visit visas.

The process is the same regardless of which license you require. Simply submit:

  • An application form.
  • Your passport copy.
  • An outline of your business plan.
  • A certificate of no criminal record to the DTCM.

5.2. What else will you need?

In addition to your licenses, you will need a visa to work in the UAE. The majority of free zone packages include visa eligibility. You may also sponsor your dependents for visas. Hence, if you want to sponsor domestic staff, a child, or a spouse, the procedure is the same.

If you work in a free zone, your account manager can assist you with this process by managing your visa and license applications. If you need a company license in Dubai, a Dubai free zone visa; or the cheapest free zone business trade license or visa in the UAE, our team can assist you.

6. The cost of obtaining a travel agency license

The cost of a travel agency license is heavily influenced by a variety of factors such as:

  • Company size.
  • Number of owners.
  • Business activities.

However, as a general rule, the cost of a travel agency license in Dubai starts around AED 20,000 for a single owner who is only eligible for one visa.

7. What are the documents you must submit for getting a Dubai travel agent license?

Along with the deposit, the following documentation must be submitted to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce:

  • An application form.
  • Copies of the applicants’ and manager’s passports.
  • A family record “khulasat Al Qid” and a copy of identification documents for UAE nationals.
  • A copy that proves the manager’s experience. It can be a notarized certificate.
  • The owner’s and manager’s certificates of good conduct.
  • A no objection letter issued by the Civil Aviation Authority

8. Conditions for establishing a travel agency in Dubai

A Dubai travel agency manager must have three years of experience at least if he/she has a diploma or a certificate in travel and tourism, or five years if he or she only has a high school diploma. In order to obtain a travel permit, the applicant must:

  • Paying an initial approval fee.
  • Requesting approval of the agency’s trade name.
  • Providing an insurance policy.
  • A lease contract and blueprint of the location where the travel agency will operate.

The contract must be signed for a minimum of three months, and the office space must be at least 30 meters squared for each activity.

9. Obtaining a license for an inbound/outbound travel agency in Dubai

Inbound and outbound licenses are two of the most commonly used types of licenses for travel agencies in Dubai. They allow the company to sell vacation packages within and outside the UAE. A Dubai travel agency can obtain either one or both licenses, depending on the services it wishes to provide.

To obtain either of the two licenses, you should meet the following requirements:

  • An application form issued by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
  • You must also submit a copy of the foreign owner’s passport.
  • If you want to build a new facility, a project feasibility report is required.
  • Plus, a certificate which proves the qualifications of the travel agency’s manager.
  • A good conduct certificate.

These requirements are similar to the travel agency license application. However, you should note that the application for an inbound/outbound license is filed with the Department for Tourism and Commerce Marketing; while the travel agency license must be obtained with the Department of Economic Development.

The latter allows the travel agency to organize fairs, trade shows, conventions, and other MICE events. It is also mandatory for the agency to appoint a travel agent who must meet certain qualifications.

10. How can Connect FZ help you?

Opening a travel agency in a UAE free zone is not easy because this market segment is highly regulated. You can always use the services of specialized companies. Of course, you can solve all of the organizational issues on your own, but this will take a significant amount of time.

It is far more efficient to delegate the task to professionals while developing your own business ideas and plans. Contact our staff to receive free expert advice.

Would you like to obtain more information on how to set up a travel agency in a UAE free zone? Therefore, if you have any questions, you can email us at When you do, you will talk to one of our representatives who will answer your questions.

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Neelisha Khandhway

Neelisha-Khandhway-imgNeelisha KhandhwayAn Associate member of institute of company Secretaries of India with around 6 years of experience in india and uae in providing Company Secretarial, Legal and Corporate Governance services including Compliance, Risk Management, Due Diligence, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Drafting and vetting of Agreements.

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