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How to Start a Tourism Business in Dubai?

Start A Tourism Business In Dubai

How to Start a Tourism Business in Dubai?

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Dubai is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, known for its iconic landmarks, luxurious hotels, and endless entertainment options. With its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and supportive government policies, Dubai is also a prime destination for entrepreneurs looking to start a travel and tourism business. 

In 2022, Dubai welcomed over 14 million international tourists, marking a 182% increase from the previous year. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years, driven by Dubai's ambitious tourism development plans. 

Not only this, but the tourism industry is also a major contributor to Dubai's economy, accounting for over 15% of GDP and generating over 300,000 jobs. 

No doubt, this booming tourism industry presents a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Therefore, we are here to guide you on how to start tourism business in Dubai, including tips on choosing a business idea, registering your business, and the Dubai tourism license cost. 

Why to Start a Tourism Business in Dubai? 

Starting a tourism business in Dubai offers a wealth of opportunities, driven by a combination of factors that make this city a prime destination for entrepreneurs in the industry. 

Here are just a few: 
  • Dubai is a global tourism hub. In 2022, Dubai welcomed over 17 million international visitors, making it the fourth most visited city in the world. This number is expected to grow to 25 million by 2025. 
  • Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai is a convenient global travel hub. Over 66% of the world's population can reach Dubai within an 8-hour flight, making it an ideal stopover destination. 
  • Dubai offers an extensive range of attractions, from iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah to cultural experiences in the historic district of Al Fahidi. 
  • The UAE's political stability and business-friendly policies make Dubai an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. 
  • Dubai enjoys a warm climate year-round, which makes it an ideal destination for tourists from all over the world. 
  • Dubai has a very low crime rate and is considered to be one of the safest cities in the world. 
  • Dubai offers a number of incentives for businesses, including tax breaks and easy access to capital.

How to Start a Tourism Business in Dubai? Application Process 

Starting a travel and tourism business in Dubai involves several steps, from choosing your business structure and location to marketing your services. Here's a step-by-step process to guide you through the journey: 

Step 1: Choose a Business Location 

There are two main types of business locations in Dubai: mainland and free zone. 

Mainland: A mainland company is registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED) and can operate anywhere in Dubai. owever, mainland companies are subject to more regulations than freezone companies. 

Freezone: A freezone company is registered with a freezone authority and can operate within the freezone. Freezone companies enjoy a number of benefits, including tax breaks and exemption from customs duties. 

Step 2: Register Your Company and Obtain Necessary License 

Once you have chosen a location, you need to register your company with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant freezone authority. The DED will issue you a trade license, which is required to operate any business in Dubai.  

You are also required to apply for a tourism business license in Dubai from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). The DTCM will issue you a tourism license if your company meets certain requirements, as required by the authority. 

Step 3: Open a Corporate Bank Account 

You will need to open a corporate bank account to operate your tourism business. You can open a corporate bank account with any bank in Dubai. 

Step 4: Visa and Immigration 

If you choose the mainland, you'll need to establish a legal entity and may apply for visas for yourself and any expatriate employees. 

Free zones often provide visa packages for company owners and employees. 

Step 5: Regulatory Compliance 

Ensure that your business complies with all local regulations and safety standards, including insurance requirements. 

Documents Required to Start Tourism Business in Dubai 

  • Trade name registration 
  • Passport copies 
  • Passport size photograph 
  • Visa stamp or entry page copies 
  • Article of incorporation (if required) 
  • Business plan (if required) 

Types of Tourism Business License 

To start a tourism business in Dubai, there are several types of tourism business licenses that you can obtain depending on the specific nature of your tourism-related activities. This includes: 

  1. Inbound tour operator license

This license allows you to organize travel activities for visitors to Dubai. This includes things like booking hotels, transportation, and activities, as well as providing tour guide services. This license also permits the operator to organize global conferences and exhibitions. 

  1. Outbound tour operator license

An outbound tour operator license allows you to organize travel packages for residents of Dubai to travel to other countries. This includes things like booking flights, hotels, and activities, as well as providing visa assistance. 

  1. Travel agency license

This license allows you to act as a travel agent and sell travel products and services on behalf of other tourism businesses. 

The type of license you need will depend on the specific activities that you plan to offer. For example, if you want to organize both inbound and outbound tours, you will need both an inbound and outbound tour operator license. 

Cost of Starting a Tourism Business in Dubai 

The cost of starting a tourism business in Dubai will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of business, the size of the business, and the location of the business. 

However, there are some general costs that all tourism businesses will need to budget for, such as: 

  • Company registration fees 
  • Trade license fees 
  • Tourism license fees 
  • Visa fees for employees 
  • Office rental 
  • Marketing and advertising costs 

As a general rule of thumb, the cost of obtaining a tourism business license in Dubai, UAE generally starts from AED 14,900*. Please note that these are just rough estimates, we recommend getting in touch with business setup experts like Shuraa Business Setup to get the right assistance in establishing a tourism business in Dubai. 

Dubai Tourism Business Made Easy with Shuraa 

Starting a tourism business in Dubai can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. There are a number of factors to consider, such as choosing the right location, obtaining the necessary licenses, and marketing your business. 

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for tourism, we encourage you to take the opportunity and start your own business in Dubai. 

And you don't have to go it alone. Shuraa Business Setup, with over 22 years of experience, can help you every step of the way. 

We offer everything from company registration to office space solutions, visa assistance, and more. Reach out to Shuraa Business Setup today.

The time to start your tourism business in Dubai is now!

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