What is a Construction License in Dubai?


Dubai and the UAE have been on the development path for several years. Likewise, the government is constantly introducing infrastructural reforms to expand the growth prospects. This causes an increase in residential and commercial constructions. Thus, obtaining a construction license in Dubai, UAE, is a great option.

In this article, we will make sure you understand everything about the process of obtaining a construction license and its types. In the same vein, you will learn why is a good idea to get a construction license. On the other hand, we will show you all the step-by-step processes and the required documents.

The construction industry in the UAE

This beautiful country has established a benchmark in every sector like architecture, modern infrastructure, tourism, and others. Similarly, the UAE has achieved many things in such a short time; mainly because of its pro-development and investor-friendly policies and government practices.

One of our main cities, Dubai, has fascinated the world since the beginning, even when it was not a famous emirate of the UAE. In the last years, the fascination reached its highest point. In addition, the city’s charm lies in its stunning open spaces, fancy buildings, top-notch infrastructure, pristine beaches, and rich culture.

Further, its GDP makes it a favoring location for obtaining a construction license in Dubai, starting a business, or seeking life quality.

In the same vein, these advantages resulted in high demand for housing or office spaces combined with triggers like the Expo 2020. As a result, Dubai is currently witnessing one of its biggest construction eras.

Investors and entrepreneurs have discovered the potential of starting a Dubai construction company. Thus, this resulted in a series of applications to the DED (Department of Economic Development); which is the government body in charge of issuing construction licenses.

Above all, you must have in mind that starting any type of business requires you to get permits, licenses, and approvals from different government entities in Dubai.

On the other hand, the diversification of the economy will play an important role in starting up a new avenue for individuals to invest in the construction sector of the UAE. In addition, this diversification resulted in the lowering of construction-related costs. For instance, the UAE has one of the most inexpensive construction costs than other high-standard cities around the globe.

What should I know about the construction licenses in Dubai?

Right now, there is a large competition in the GCC area for skyscrapers, and Dubai has the biggest advantage. Similarly, the city is an important center to the world’s highest building, the ‘Burj Khalifa’; subsequently, it increases tourism. These are two of the reasons investors a giving top priority to the construction sector in the city; travel and tourism.

And to start your business you must obtain a construction license in Dubai, UAE apart from other permits. However, these are the essential points to obtain a construction license in the UAE:

  • This type of license is commercial. In the same vein, you must apply for it at the Department of Economic Development, which is the official government entity for business setup in Dubai Mainland; or if you are establishing in a Free Zone, you must apply for your license to your free zone authority.
  • You must have a complete understanding of the Building Law created in 2013 before starting the company.
  • On the other hand, if you want to manage the project, as well as an engineering consultant and design; you must apply for a Professional type of license.
  • In addition, you can hire engineers and consultants who can start working after you obtain the permits. Likewise, these consultants evaluate the soil of the construction site and determine its properties.
  • After you obtain approval from the DED for the construction area; you must also obtain special approval from other government departments.
  • For instance, you must get obtain a building permit that allows you to start the activities.
  • Apply for a G+1 permit issued by the Dubai municipality.

What are the Types of Construction Licenses in Dubai?

There are various types of construction licenses; however, each has unique regulations and different requirements. Let’s observe:

Construction of all types of facilities and buildings

This is a commercial type of license. A company with this type of business license in Dubai is allowed to engage in construction activities of all types and for different uses. For instance:

  • General maintenance.
  • Interior decoration.
  • Sanitary plumbing.
  • Building adjusting.

However, the number of floors is set by the Dubai Municipality.

Foundation and concrete works

This is foundation construction and walls, the concrete casting of warehouse and industrial floors as well as reinforcements of cracks with concrete.

Construction of special facilities

With this type of construction license, you can build sewage disposal plants, pipelines, airport sites, electric power substations, and seaports.

Construction of metal of steel structures

This is also a commercial license. Steel contracting license in Dubai and the UAE is specialized for steel constructions. In addition, it is also specialized in the execution of all civil works activities such as installations, lay connections, floor paving, and foundation pilling. Further, installing prefabricated steel structures such as warehouses, hangars, sheds, factories, bridges, and tunnels.

In other words, construction firms engaged in these structures, are classified under class 2811; and the number of floors is set by Dubai Municipality.

Facade and finishing works

External or internal wall covering of residential, industrial, or commercial facilities with any materials.

Landscape Gardening

Organization, improvement, development of gardens and parks, arrangement of cottage grounds and villas.

Maintenance of facilities on a turnkey solution

This type of maintenance license in the city allows only for the maintenance of buildings. In addition, it excludes any extensions or equipment available inside. Further, these operations include reparations and restoration of walls, columns, floors, roofs, and others.

In the same vein, it does not matter the construction business you want to start, you must take into account the provisions of the building law created in 2013. Certainly, for official permission of a commercial license giving you the official allowance to start your business formation in the city.

Special Approvals for Starting a Dubai Construction Company

As we mentioned earlier, starting a business in the UAE requires several special permits. Regarding the construction business, there can be clearances from civil works and environmental departments. However, here is a list of some of the mandatory approvals from the government:

  • Electricity and water department: complying with these two authorities is compulsory because it provides essential services to the occupants.
  • Irrigation and Drainage Department: this permit will provide liquid waste management and other disposable areas.
  • Dubai Civil Defense Authority and Building Department: these two entities will check if the construction business is complying with the construction norms.

What is the process to obtain a construction license in Dubai, UAE?

  • Choose in what jurisdiction you want to start your construction business. That is to say, if you choose the mainland area, you will obtain the construction license in Dubai, UAE from the DED. On the other hand, if it is a Free Zone, you will receive the license from the authority in charge.
  • The UAE building department controls all aspects of construction activities in the UAE. Therefore, acquiring individual licenses requires extra approvals from the Department of Civil Protection, the Department of Road Industry, and other agencies depending on your activity area. In order to get the construction licenses, you must have technical staff and complete several processes for the accreditation of the experts.
  • Get the documents to submit them to the government authorities.
  • Pay the fees and get the license.

Business Opportunities For Construction Businesses in Dubai

In 2022, the construction business in Dubai and the UAE is one of the most profitable sectors. For instance, this beautiful country has various tall buildings such as Marina 101, Burj Al Arab, princess tower, Burj Khalifa, and other outstanding structures. And as we mentioned earlier, there is skyscraper competition across the GCC.

On the other hand, the government is carrying out different projects with the focus of expanding the tourism industry. Certainly, several man-made projects like Palm Jumeirah Island, Deira Island, the maritime city, etc. have opened doors for new construction businesses in the city.

In addition, to the projects listed above, the government has unique plans to improve the transportation infrastructure. For instance, the expansion projects of Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai International Airport are some good examples of strong construction opportunities for construction businesses in the region.

How can Connect Free Zone assist you to start a construction business in the UAE?

We totally understand that starting a construction business by yourself is a complicated task. For instance, the different processes, permits, and approvals are not a one-man job. That is to say, in Connect Free Zone we are here to assist you to find the best business location and PRO services in the UAE so you can start working easily.

On the other hand, we can also sponsor your business so you can start working quickly in Mainland Dubai.

We have more than 20 years of experience helping all types of business across all sectors of the UAE; that allowed us to get high-quality expertise so we can assist you all the time when you want to start your business in the country.

In Connect Free Zone we take care of the company formation process from beginning to end; allowing you to take advantage of all the benefits Dubai Mainland and Free Zone have for you. In addition, we compare facilities, locations, rules, and regulations regarding your organization’s services and objectives.

Would you like Connect Free zone to assist you to obtain a construction license in Dubai, UAE?

If you have decided you want us to start assisting you every time in obtaining the construction license; or if you have extra inquiries. You can always send us an email via contact@connectfz.com. On the other hand, you can call us at +971 4331 6688 any time you want.

Or if you would like to submit your CV or your resume; please go to thetalentpoint.com. In addition, we do not store resumes or CVs sent to contact@thetalentpoint.com.

Frequently Asked Questions about the construction license in Dubai

Can I set up a company a full ownership construction company in Dubai and the UAE?

In short, yes. Certainly, the amendment to company formation regulations, which come to effect on December 1st of 2020; established that you can own 100% of shares in a Dubai Mainland business. In addition, you do not require a local Emirati sponsor.

Are construction companies liable to VAT?

The UAE VAT regulations, “Services Related to Real Estate” include the supply of solutions involving the performance, coordination, and preparation of maintenance, conversion, destruction, construction, and similar work. That is to say, all construction services in the United Arab Emirates are subject to VAT.

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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