How to Start a new Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

Dubai stands out as an exceptionally attractive destination for international investment. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken significant steps in recent years to facilitate business operations for entrepreneurs globally, simplifying the process like never before. Starting a new business in Dubai for foreigners can become easy with Shuraa.

Foreign businesses can not only benefit from the TAX, but they can also keep 100% firm ownership in most situations. Other recent improvements include the introduction of the long-term visa, which allows foreigners to stay in the UAE for lengthy periods of time and perhaps retire here at the conclusion of their careers.

With the right support to start a new business in Dubai, foreigners can become easy and they can run their business from anywhere in the world.

Continue reading to see how the specialists at Shuraa can get your business up and running – no matter where you are.

Can a Non-Resident Start a Business in Dubai?

In most cases, the answer is yes. However, there may be restrictions based on the sort of business you want to create, your nationality, and the country where you live for tax purposes.

While you can benefit from the UAE‘s low corporation tax rate as a non-resident, whether you can profit from this rate on your personal income depends on your country of tax residency. Shuraa can provide advice after a brief session.

Why one should Start a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner?

To start a new business in Dubai for foreigners online can offer several benefits for foreigners. Here are some advantages Start a new business in Dubai for foreigners:

1. Strategic Location:

Dubai is strategically located between Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an excellent gateway for businesses targeting multiple markets. Its location offers easy access to a vast consumer base, enabling businesses to expand their reach globally.

2. Strong Economy:

Dubai has a robust and diversified economy with a favorable business environment. It is known for its strong infrastructure, world-class facilities, and pro-business policies. The city offers a stable and growing market for businesses to thrive.

3. Free Zones:

Dubai is home to multiple free zones, which are specifically designated areas that provide a wide range of incentives and benefits to enterprises. These zones allow 100% foreign ownership, exemption from customs duties, and simplified company setup procedures. Free zones are sector-specific, catering to industries such as technology, finance, media, logistics, and more.

4. Ease of Doing Business:

Dubai is committed to fostering a business-friendly environment. The government has implemented several initiatives to streamline bureaucratic processes, reduce red tape, and facilitate business setup. The efficient regulatory framework and online systems make it relatively easy to start and operate a business in Dubai.

5. Access to Talent:

Dubai boasts a workforce that is both diverse and highly skilled. The city attracts professionals from around the world, offering a rich talent pool across various industries. Businesses can benefit from hiring talented individuals who bring global expertise and knowledge.

Procedures for Initiating a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

Following are the steps that you must follow to start a new business in Dubai for foreigners:

1. Work with Shuraa

Establishing a business in Dubai involves certain paperwork, particularly for non-residents, although the process is designed to be straightforward. As a result, it’s essential to deal with a local specialist like Shuraa at this time. We can ensure that all of your documentation is correct and in order before proceeding with your application.

2. Choose your Business Activities

The sort of business operations you want to do will influence the optimum structure and license type for your company. For example, if your company operations are classified as industrial or manufacturing, you will need an industrial license. A commercial license is required if you work in the business sector, which includes purchasing and selling items.

3. Free zone or Mainland

The Shuraa team can advise you on the optimal location for your business based on a brief consultation. There is no easy answer to this issue; it will be determined by your personal circumstances as well as the sort of business you desire to establish.

4. Choose a Company Name

The process of naming a corporation in Dubai is unique compared to the majority of other regions around the world. Essentially, you must follow a set of naming rules.

Any rude or profane words should be avoided. Avoid well-known company names and acronyms if naming your firm after yourself. Before registering your selected name, Shuraa can check to see whether it is available.

5. Apply for your License

Now comes the important part: applying for your trade license. If you are establishing a business on the mainland, you should apply to the proper agency, such as the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). If you are establishing a business in a free zone, you can apply to the controlling authority by taking the assistance of the Shuraa team.

What are The Different Types of Licenses Offered in Dubai?

The Department of Economic Development issues all company licenses in Dubai. There are basically four types of business licenses available to start a new business in Dubai for foreigners:

1. Commercial License:

A Commercial License is required for businesses involved in trading activities, whether it is buying, selling, or distributing goods. This license is suitable for retail businesses, general trading companies, and e-commerce ventures. It covers activities such as import/export, wholesale trading, and retail sales.

2. Professional License:

A Professional License is necessary for individuals or companies providing professional services or consultancy. This license covers a wide range of service-oriented businesses, including legal firms, accounting services, engineering consultancies, advertising agencies, medical clinics, IT companies, and other professional services.

3. Industrial License:

An Industrial License is applicable to businesses engaged in manufacturing, processing, or packaging activities. This license is required for companies involved in activities such as manufacturing goods, assembling products, operating factories, and industrial processes. It covers sectors like manufacturing, textiles, machinery, food processing, and more.

4. Tourism License:

A Tourism License is specific to businesses operating in the tourism and travel industry. This license is issued by both the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). It is required for businesses such as travel agencies, tour operators, hotel establishments, holiday home operators, event management companies, and similar tourism-related activities.

It’s worth noting that the specific activities covered by each license type may vary, and there may be additional licenses or permits required depending on the nature of your business. Additionally, certain business activities may have specific regulations and criteria set by the respective regulatory authorities. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with relevant authorities or business consultants to determine the exact license requirements for your specific business activity.


Starting a new business in Dubai offers a multitude of advantages for foreigners. The strategic location, strong economy, tax-free environment, ease of doing business, access to talent, and robust infrastructure create a favorable entrepreneurial ecosystem. With various types of licenses available and a supportive business environment, Dubai provides opportunities for diverse industries.

Moreover, the quality of life, business support, and networking opportunities make Dubai an attractive destination for foreign entrepreneurs looking to establish their ventures and tap into global markets. With careful planning, market research, and compliance with local regulations, foreigners can embark on an exciting journey of business growth and success in Dubai.

To get our advice and help feel free to contact our experts at Shuraa