A Complete Guide to Get a Tourism License in Dubai, UAE

Dubai is a world-renowned travel destination. Additionally, it is also a business hub that attracts entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. However, There are many reasons make Dubai a perfect destination for investors to open travel agency in Dubai, you need to obtain a tourism license in Dubai.

As a result, the tourism industry in Dubai has a lot of profitable opportunities that are waiting to be seized. That is why today we are going to look at how and why you should apply for a tourism license in UAE.

Tourism License in Dubai

What is a Dubai Tourism License?

A Dubai Tourism License, also known as a Tourism License or Tour Operator License, is a legal authorization issued by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This license is required for businesses or individuals engaged in tourism-related activities, such as tour operators, travel agencies, inbound and outbound travel services, excursion organizers, and event management companies.

A Dubai Tourism License is a mandatory official document that establishments and companies must obtain to operate legally within the Travel and Tourism sector in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

Obtaining a Dubai Tourism License ensures that businesses operate in compliance with the regulations and standards set by the DTCM. It demonstrates credibility, professionalism, and a commitment to providing high-quality services to tourists and visitors in Dubai.

Types of Tourism License in Dubai

There are three types of tourism licenses in Dubai and each of them serves a different purpose. As a result, you need to decide which type of tourism license you need before applying for one. Here are the three types of tourism licenses in Dubai:

a). Tourism License in Dubai for Inbound Tour Operator

An inbound tour operator license enables the business to organize tours within the emirates. This means that your business can help organize events and provide transportation services within the city for tourists.

b). Tourism License in Dubai for Outbound Tour Operator

An outbound tour operator license enables the business to sell tourism packages to tourists outside of the UAE. This means that the business can organize trips to the UAE for foreigners including all the required business activities.

c).Tourism License in Dubai for Travel Agent

The travel agent license will allow the business to perform business activities of a travel agency where they can sell tickets, reserve hotels, etc. Additionally, they can manage railway tickets, bus tickets, car rental services, etc.

Tourism License Dubai for a Tour Guide

A Tour Guide in Dubai is responsible for accompanying tourists to significant attractions and providing them with information about the culture and history of the United Arab Emirates. To become a Tour Guide, individuals must possess extensive knowledge of tourist spots and the UAE’s cultural heritage.

The Travel and Tourism License in Dubai entails several regulations, including the following:

  1. Completion of the Tour Guide Award Program: Aspiring tour guides must participate in and successfully complete the Tour Guide Award Program.
  2. One-year validity: The Travel and Tourism License is valid for one year.
  3. Tour Guide License Badge: The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) issues a Tour Guide License Badge, which is essential for operating as a tour guide in Dubai.
  4. Annual renewal: The Tourism License requires annual renewal, which can only be achieved by participating in the DTCM’s annual refresher program.
  5. Sanctions for non-renewal: If a Tour Guide fails to renew the license for two consecutive years, the DTCM may impose sanctions.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Obtain a Tourism License in the UAE

To obtain a Tourism License in the UAE, follow these simplified steps:

1. Choose jurisdiction Mainland or Free Zone License:

Decide whether you want to start a tourism company in the UAE Mainland or a Free Zone. Mainland licenses allow you to trade within the UAE market and engage with the government, while Free Zone licenses offer various benefits like tax exemptions and repatriation of profits.

2. Define your Business Activity:

Select the appropriate category within the Tourism License that aligns with your company’s activities. Seek assistance from a company formation agency to ensure accuracy.

3. Select a Company Name:

Follow strict government regulations when choosing a company name. Avoid offensive language, ensure it is unique, and does not resemble existing well-known companies. Full names are preferred over abbreviations.

4. Obtain Initial Approval:

Apply for initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) by submitting the required form, signed by all shareholders, and providing necessary documents.

5. Site Inspection:

After initial approval, the DED will arrange a site inspection of your office. Provide detailed information and a location map to facilitate the process.

6. Limited Liability Company (LLC) Agreement:

Translate and certify the LLC Agreement through a public notary. If the agreement is already in Arabic, translation is not required.

7. Sign the Agreement:

All shareholders and attorneys must visit the notary to sign the LLC Agreement.

8. Submit Documents:

Submit all required documents, pay the fees, and obtain your Tourism License in Dubai. Additionally, prepare a Tenancy Contract to present to the DED.

Essential Documents for Obtaining a Dubai Tourism License

There are a few documents required by the authorities for regulatory purposes. This is because these documents will help identify your business so that you can seek legal assistance in case of a dispute. Additionally, these documents are easy to procure so you do not need to worry about them.

Here are the documents required for obtaining a tourism license in Dubai:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Passport copy of all shareholders
  3. Proof of educational and professional qualification of manager
  4. The Company owner and the manager should produce a certificate that endorses no criminal record.
  5. Civil Aviation Authority’s NOC.

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Dubai Tourism License Fee:

The cost of a Tourism License in Dubai varies based on the company’s size and the specific activity to be conducted. On average, the fee for a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai is approximately AED 20,000.

New Regulations for Dubai Tourism License:

  • The DTCM Authority introduced a new regulation in October 2018 to support investors seeking a tourism license in Dubai.
  • The requirement for a bank guarantee ranging from AED 100,000 to AED 200,000 for operations like inbound tour operators, outbound tour operators, and travel agents has been removed.
  • This significantly reduces the initial investment and expenses associated with acquiring a Dubai tourism license.
  • The previous minimum requirement of 300 square feet has been eliminated.
  • Document requirements, including experience letters and educational certificates for managers in the same field, have been waived.
  • These changes make it easier for new investors to apply for a tourism license in Dubai.

Who should Apply for Dubai Tourism License?

The establishments that require a Tourism License to operate legally in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates include:

  1. Travel agencies
  2. Tour operators (inbound and outbound)
  3. Destination management companies
  4. Hotel establishments
  5. Tourist accommodation providers
  6. Event management companies
  7. Car rental companies
  8. Desert safari operators
  9. Theme park operators
  10. Adventure and recreational activity providers

After completing the company formation process and obtaining the necessary license in accordance with the regulations of the United Arab Emirates, the owner of the company can engage in the following activities:

  • Selling Tour Packages (flight, bus, and railway tickets)
  • Providing Visa Services
  • Issuing Travel Insurance
  • Selling Tickets
  • Accommodation Options
  • Car rental services

Advantages of Obtaining a Tourism License in Dubai & UAE

Besides the advantages of obtaining a tourism license, there are various advantages of set up a company in Dubai itself. Here are the advantages of obtaining a tourism license in Dubai:

You can perform all the business activities of inbound tour operators, outbound tour operators, and travel agents under one tourism license.

You can perform your business activities both inside and outside the UAE.

  • Market Potential
  • Diverse Tourism Opportunities.
  • International Recognition
  • Government Support and Regulations.
  • Ease of Setup.
  • Networking and Collaboration Opportunities
  • Access to Visitor Visas and Airline Ticketing
  • Tourism Promotion Initiatives

Key Activities Requiring a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai

In Dubai, there are various activities that require a Travel and Tourism License due to the thriving tourism sector. Here are some of the main activities that necessitate obtaining a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai:

a). Renting out residential premises:

This includes offering guesthouses, apartments, villas, individual rooms, or any residential property for short-term or long-term rentals to generate income specifically targeting tourists and visitors.

b). Tourism Consultancy:

Providing tourism consultancy services involves preparing feasibility studies, marketing studies, and conducting field questionnaires and surveys to identify job opportunities and analyze market potential for new tourism ventures.

c). Organizing Excursions:

As a licensed operator, you can offer excursion activities to travel agencies in the UAE, acting as a contractor. This involves designing and coordinating itineraries for groups and individuals, providing a comprehensive package of activities, sightseeing, and experiences.

d). Corporate and Business Tourism:

This segment focuses on catering to the needs of corporate clients and organizing various services such as workshops, training sessions, business trips, incentive trips, meetings, promotional events, and corporate parties. This entails facilitating unique experiences and services for businesses and their employees.

Frequently Asked Questions on tourism license in Dubai, UAE
How much is a tourism license in Dubai?

The tourism trade license cost in Dubai will depend on the business activities you are going to perform through your business. Additionally, there are some other expenses like the local services agent fee and the rent of your office space.

However, you can get a tourism license in Dubai within a budget of AED 100,000. This value converts to approximately USD 27,000 in current market conditions. Alternatively, if you select more business operations then your required budget will increase.

How can I start a tourism business in Dubai?

There are a few specific steps you need to follow in order to start a tourism business in Dubai. However, if this is your first time starting a business in the UAE then it is highly suggested that you seek assistance from a professional.

This is because Company Setup experts have years of experience setting up various tourism businesses all over the UAE. As a result, they can start your tourism business in Dubai with no setbacks, which would otherwise cost you both time and money.

How can I get a UAE tourism license?

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai is responsible for handling the registration process of licenses for new businesses. As a result, you can get the UAE tourism license from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.

However, if you have no previous experience dealing with the officials there, then you might face some difficulties. Alternatively, you can seek the assistance of experts from Company Setup Consultants.

How can I start a tourism company in Dubai?

To establish a tourism company in Dubai:

  1. Obtain name approval and preapproval from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. Secure a NOC from the Tourism Department.
  3. Lease an office or shop space.
  4. Execute the MOA/LSA agreement at a Notary Public or DED.
  5. Obtain liability insurance coverage up to 2 million Dirhams.
How do I register as a travel agent?

To register as a travel agent in Dubai, you need to apply for a tourism license in Dubai. As the Department of Economic Development in Dubai is responsible for handling the registration of new licenses in the city, you will need to obtain the license from them.

Alternatively, you can get assistance from Company Setup professionals, who will obtain the license for you so that you are free to focus on other more important aspects of your business.

How can Company Setup Company help you?

If you want to start a tourism business in Dubai but do not know where to get started, then you are in the right place. This is because Company Setup Consultants have started various businesses all over the UAE. Contact us today and hit the ground running.

For further information and assistance on how to Get Tourism License in Dubai, UAE. To Speak with our Experienced Business Consultants for further information and assistance, call us at +971582595164. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query on +971 582595164 or email us at info@companysetup.ae.