DED Dubai trade license activities list

If you are planning to set up a company in Dubai, you first have to check the DED Dubai trade license activities list. Moreover, you will be able to check if the business you want to establish is permitted. It is critical to note that you must consider all of the following aspects for the setup of your business. Therefore, read our informative guide carefully and in detail.

In this article, we offer you the DED Dubai trade license activities list. In addition, we will discuss what this department does. Also, you will read some frequently asked questions regarding these activities. Let us observe the following points:

1. An overview of the DED and the DED activity list in 2024

The Department of Economic Development is a government agency in charge of overseeing and regulating Dubai’s economic agenda. Thus, its mission is to improve and accelerate Dubai’s economic growth through strategic plans and policies.

1.1. Objectives and goals of DED

The ultimate goal of DED Dubai is to make Dubai a global economic hub. Therefore, this goal is being achieved through six strategic pillars, each of which is aimed at establishing the necessary infrastructure, technology, and regulatory framework to encourage local/foreign investors and businesses; as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to do business in Dubai.

Note that DED has six strategic pillars. Firstly, the economic development; secondly, competitiveness in the economy; thirdly, joy in the business community; fourthly, economic planning and foresight. Then, DED should be advanced; and finally, financial long-term viability.

1.2. DED divisions in Dubai

The DED is divided into four divisions, each of which supports a different sector of the Dubai economy. Firstly, Dubai Exports; this DED agency assists buyers and suppliers in the UAE’s export sector.

In addition, Dubai FDI; the Dubai FDI program assists foreign businesses seeking to invest in the Dubai economy. Thirdly, Dubai SME; the DED established this division in 2002 to support the small and medium enterprise sectors in Dubai.

Finally, Dubai Economy; was created to ensure that businesses collaborate with local, federal, regional, and international organizations. It is also known as the Dubai Competitiveness Office.

1.3. The DED services are the following

Apart from overseeing the development of Dubai’s business sector, the Department of Economic Development is also in charge of providing services related to the issuance, amendment, and management of business licenses in Dubai.

DED activity list

Currently, DED Dubai can issue a trade license for 2,100 business activities. These commercial activities are divided into four categories: industrial, commercial, professional, and tourism. So, when you visit the official website, you can access five types of services via the e-services portal. The DED Dubai trade license activities list is the following.

1.3.1. Commercial license

These activities include the following:

  • Trading in aircraft; also train spare parts.
  • Production of animal skin trading art.
  • Trading in auto spare parts; also trading in bags, packaging materials, and paper.
  • Group of banks, finance, and credit.
  • Beauty and baby care needs.
  • Communications and broadcasting.
  • Upkeep of building; also trading in building materials.
  • Passenger transportation and car rental.
  • Trading in chemicals.
  • Theaters and cinemas.
  • Trading in cleaning supplies.
  • Business brokerage.
  • Group of consumer stores; also contracting and construction.
  • Societies of cooperation.
  • Gas distribution in the home.
  • Trading in electrical.
  • Electronics division.
  • Financial services and exchange.
  • Facility administration.
  • Station for filling up.
  • Trading in fish.
  • Mills of flour.
  • Plants and flowers.
  • Trading in fodders and animal feed.
  • Provision of food.
  • Trading in food.
  • Trading in fuel; also petroleum products.
  • Fuel availability.
  • Trading furniture; also trading in home appliances.
  • Insurance.
  • Investment.
  • Trading of jewelry; also trading of leather.
  • Buying and selling livestock.
  • Rental of machinery and equipment.
  • Trading in mechanical and engineering equipment; also trading in medical eyeglasses and eye testing services.
  • Trading in pharmaceuticals; also trading in metals and their byproducts.
  • Rental of office and electronic equipment.
  • Other personal and commercial services.
  • Rental services.
  • Other commercial activities.
  • Services for packing.
  • Perfumery.
  • Nursery; also trading for pets.
  • The postal service.
  • Trading in poultry.
  • Group of ready-made garments.
  • Property investment.
  • Separate commercial activities.
  • Trading of ships and boats.
  • Renting sports equipment.
  • Trading in sports equipment.
  • Trading in stationery and books.
  • Supermarket.
  • Cleaning; also surveillance services.
  • Trading in tents and tarpaulins.
  • Tobacco; also smoking supplies.
  • Motor vehicle; also motorcycle trading.
  • Shipping, transportation; also storage.
  • Trading in used articles; also, trading in used auto spare parts and trading in used electronics and furniture.
  • Trading in used heavy equipment; also trading of vending machines.
  • Video and audio recordings.

1.3.2. Industrial license

These activities include the following:

  • Machines and appliances.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Industry of blocks and building stones.
  • Manufacturing of bread.
  • Manufacturing of carpets and mats.
  • Steel and iron casting.
  • Production of charcoal.
  • Manufacturing of coatings, insulations, seals; also protection materials.
  • Manufacturing of cotton and metal nets; also ropes and manufacturing of machinery and engines.
  • Canning and freezing of fish.
  • Manufacturing of fodder; also fertilizers.
  • Food processing industries.
  • Food milling and packaging.
  • Manufacturing of glass and chinaware.
  • Glass manufacturing.
  • Glass repair and lens cutting.
  • Manufacturing and maintenance of light aircraft.
  • Manufacturing of lighting equipment; also manufacturing of batteries.
  • Eyeglasses production.
  • Gold and precious stone cutting manufacturing.
  • Mat and rug manufacturing.
  • Medicine manufacturing.
  • Manufacturing of automobiles.
  • Motorcycles and their replacement parts
  • Also, production of petroleum products.
  • Bag, shoe, and leather product manufacturing.
  • Chemical manufacturing.
  • Garment and rug manufacturing.
  • Paper and paper product manufacturing tobacco; also cigarette manufacturing.
  • Woodworking, wood products; also furniture manufacturing.
  • Processing of meat.
  • Manufacturing of metal containers and boxes.
  • Manufacturing of metal home appliances.
  • Various metal industries.
  • Manufacturing of ovens and also stoves.
  • Manufacturing of paper home appliances; also manufacturing of personal requisites.
  • Extraction of petroleum and metals.
  • Manufacturing of pipes and wires.
  • Manufacturing of plastic home appliances.
  • Plastics manufacturing.
  • Generation and transmission of electricity.
  • Industrial activities should be separated.
  • Ship construction and repair.
  • Manufacturing that is stationary.
  • Steel tool production.
  • Steel fabrication.
  • Manufacturing of structural steel.
  • Manufacturing of textiles and products.
  • Waste collection and disposal.
  • Manufacturing and bottling of water.

1.3.3. Professional license

According to the DED Dubai trade license activities list, professional activities are the following:

  • Accounts.
  • Agricultural.
  • Animal welfare society.
  • Applied research.
  • Organizations for business and professionals.
  • Association for business aviation.
  • Business advisory council.
  • Forum of businessmen.
  • Services for vehicle registration and transfer.
  • Market for charities.
  • The charity society
  • Cleaning services.
  • Upholstery and combing
  • Library for business.
  • Agriculture and soil consultancy
  • Engineering consultancy
  • Petrol and water consultancy
  • Management consultancy
  • Marketing and information.
  • Document destruction and storage.
  • Education.
  • Event planners.
  • Organizers of exhibitions.
  • Facilities management organization.
  • Consultants in finance.
  • Fish farming and fishing.
  • Manufacturing of fishing cages and nets.
  • Gentlemen’s salon.
  • Tailoring and design for gentlemen.
  • Office of government liaison.
  • Exhibition and halls.
  • Workshops in handicrafts.
  • Hospitals and rehab facilities.
  • Education and institutes.
  • Insurance consultants.
  • Stamp making and key duplicators.
  • Salon for children.
  • Laboratores.
  • Agency for labor supply and employment.
  • The ladies’ salon.
  • Design laundry and ladies tailoring.
  • Legal assistance.
  • Farming of livestock.
  • Medical center.
  • Laboratories for medical research.
  • Motorcycles and automobile driving schools.
  • Repairing automobiles.
  • Nursery.
  • Personal needs repair.
  • Printing and publishing services.
  • Recreation halls.
  • Regional liaison office.
  • Electrical and electronic appliance repair.
  • Equipment repair.
  • Representative office.
  • Restaurants and coffee shops.
  • Separate professional and personal activities.
  • Services for sewage and cleaning.
  • The social club; also activities for social work.
  • Firm with a specific purpose.
  • Professional studio license.
  • Trade license – studio.
  • Technical and professional workshops.
  • Group for translation.
  • Translation and typing.
  • Women’s clubs and a veterinary clinic.
  • Lastly, sporting club.

2. How do you get a DED license in Dubai?

Did you find your activity in the DED Dubai trade license activities list? Therefore, it is time to move on to the next step. Here are a few things you must complete before applying for a DED business license Take a look at the following:.

2.1. Choosing between the Free Zones or Mainland Dubai

Firstly, you must determine where your company will be located. Before applying for a DED license in Dubai, a business owner must decide whether they want to conduct their operations on Mainland Dubai or in a Free Trade Zone.

It is good to note that our business setup consultants can help you understand the differences between Mainland and the Free Zones. For example, if a company wants to set up a shop in Mainland Dubai, they only need to register with DED Dubai.

In addition, you can learn how to register a Free Zone company here.

2.2. Establishing the company’s legal form

Secondly, you have to think about the legal form. Another critical aspect is determining the company’s legal form, or the legal entity it will adopt. The type of legal form a company can take depends on the type of business activity, the number and nationality of owners, and the ownership options.

It is important to note that according to the DED website, a business can choose from 16 different legal forms.

  • Sole Proprietorship.
  • One-Man Company (LLC).
  • Civil Corporation.
  • Limited Liability Corporation.
  • Private Equity Holding Company.
  • Publicly Traded Corporation.
  • Simple Limited Liability Company.
  • Company in Partnership.
  • A Foreign Company Branch.
  • Office of Representation.
  • A branch of a Dubai-based corporation and a branch of a company based in the United Arab Emirates.
  • A GCC-based company’s branch and a free zone company’s branch.
  • Inteliq (Home-based business for UAE Nationals).
  • SME Permit.

2.3. Obtaining the necessary documents for a DED license

After deciding on the legal form, the next step is to prepare all of the documents needed to begin the Dubai business license process. The following is a list of the documents required for the DED license.

Firstly, you will need a genuine trade name certificate. Then, you will have to submit a valid Certificate of Initial Approval.

Following, you will need a Memorandum of Association. This is applicable for LLCs, Person Companies, Private Shareholding Companies (Private Joint Stock Company), Public Shareholding companies, Simple Limited Partnership, Partnership companies, and Civil companies) approved by Dubai Municipality and attested by RERA (Ejari).

business activities in uae

Then, you will need an agreement with a Local Service Agent (Applicable when a UAE national, represents your business with regards to licensing and compliance.). Lastly, you have to get approval from government agencies (Applicable to certain business types).

3. Frequently asked questions

3.1. What is the DED license price?

The DED license cost is determined by the type of business activity. It can range between AED 15k and AED 50k, depending on all of the other costs. The fees for issuing the trade license certificate, which start at AED 620 and can go up to AED 2k depending on the characteristics of the trade name, are among the initial costs that business owners can expect when issuing a business license in Dubai.

Additionally, other fees that contribute to the DED license cost include attestation fees for legal documents and office space rent.

3.2. How do I renew my business license?

Then, you may be wondering about the DED Dubai trade license renewal. Firstly, log on to the DED website and select the ‘Renew license’ option from the e-Services portal to renew your trade license in Dubai.

Secondly, enter your license number here and then click the renew button. You will then be given the option of paying the applicable fees. Lastly, your trade license will be renewed once the payment is successfully processed.

3.3. How can I print my DED license over the internet?

Log in to the DED e-services portal and select the “Print license” service to print the DED license. Note that this is the quickest way to obtain a copy of your Dubai trade license.

This concludes our DED in Dubai guide. We hope you found this article to be useful in answering your questions about starting a business in Dubai.

In addition, working with business setup companies in Dubai is another excellent way to learn more about dealing with DED. They can make the entire process of launching your own business much easier.

3.4. What are the advantages of obtaining a trade license in Dubai?

There are numerous business advantages in the UAE, which is why so many business owners choose to establish branches or organizations in this country. So, here are a few of the primary advantages of obtaining a Dubai trade license.

3.4.1. Increase domestic and international trade

Firstly, a general trading license opens up a world of possibilities for manufacturing and importing goods. Note that you can either send your products to the local Dubai market or export them and profit from other countries.

3.4.2. Increase your credibility

Secondly, your credibility will improve. Without a doubt, firms that take the time to follow the rules gain the trust of their customers.

In addition, the license increases the company’s exposure. This will be in the markets in which it operates. Hence, this helps it gain credibility and the trust of its customers.

3.4.3. Profit from tax breaks

Thirdly, you will get tax breaks. Note that tax breaks were one of the main reasons why over 90,000 people relocated to Dubai in 2021. Dubai is almost entirely tax-free, hence, traders and business owners can generate additional revenue. For this reason, money that would have otherwise been spent on taxes can now be put toward production costs.

3.4.4. Few trade restrictions

Fourthly, Dubai has very few trade restrictions, making it an ideal place to do business. So, you will not have to worry about restrictions as long as your products are registered under a General Trading License.

3.4.5. Setup is simple

Obtaining a Dubai trade license is much faster than obtaining other UAE business licenses. Therefore, you should be able to get your license as long as you have the proper documentation. Furthermore, the processing time for trade licenses is extremely short. Usually, you can open a business in any Dubai Free Zone or on the Mainland in a matter of weeks.

In addition, once you have your license, you are not required to submit auditing reports. Hence, this will save you a lot of paperwork in the long run.

3.5. How long will it take to obtain a Trade License?

After you have submitted your trade license application, you will have to wait. Generally, the wait time for a Dubai trade license is relatively short. Hence, obtaining a trade license can take anywhere from three to four weeks. In addition, the exact turnaround time will be determined by the approvals needed and the business activities you engage in.

Note that as long as you have all of the necessary documentation, your turnaround time should be relatively quick. Also, check your application materials twice before submitting them to ensure that your trade license is issued as soon as possible.

4. How can Connect FZ help you?

We hope that our Dubai Economic Department trade license activities list was useful to you. Further, we can be your partners in every step of your business incorporation in the UAE. Besides, if you would like to receive a copy of the DED activity list in pdf, you can ask our team for it at any time.

Our team at Connect FZ can share with you an excel DED activity list in 2024 if you need it. We can also explain to you in more detail about the DED activity code list if you reach out to us.

Do not hesitate to look for expert help. With over 20 years in the market, we are the best allies in your business ventures. Also, ask us about our value-added services. We will provide you with all the tools you need to succeed. For this reason, if you are a future company owner, we invite you to take a step further and contact us!

Do not think twice to contact us to get more information about the DED Dubai trade license activities list. Note that our agents are ready and waiting for your call. Hence, you can do it now at +971 43 316 688. Also, if you would like to receive detailed information regarding our packages and more, ask for our pricing at

Connect Freezone

Connect FreezoneConnect free Zone is the go to place when it comes to company set up services, you will find standard pricing, discounts and packages for the most popular free zones across the UAE as well as the ability for Connect FZ to sponsor your company and set up on mainland Dubai.

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