Dubai is one of the most attractive cities in the world. It attracts millions of tourists annually, and the number keeps increasing as the years go by. The city has attracted many tourist investors who plan to set up businesses to cater to tourists worldwide.

If you plan to set up a travel agency in Dubai, you must follow all the rules in the UAE to operate efficiently. Travel agencies in Dubai operate as sole proprietors or limited liability companies. Understanding the differences between the two is essential for the documentation process.

If you decide to start your business as a sole proprietorship, the UAE law demands you be a certified travel agent before setting up a shop in the country. However, if you decide to start an LLC, you will find that the documentation process is lengthy with stringent rule that have been put in place.

Here are the steps to follow to open a travel agency in Dubai

Your Business Activity

Travel agency itself is a registered government business activity. There are some other classifications in travel activities too like inbound tourism and outbound tourism. Do you want to handle tours inside or outside Dubai? Or do you want to engage in inbound Dubai tours? The other option is whether you will be booking air tickets for tourists.

Knowing the nature of your business will allow you to know the right activity for your business activities. If you are unsure about the nature of your business, you can seek help from our business consultants. They will help you outline your business activities and help you easily set up your travel agency in Dubai.

Choose Your Company Name

After choosing your business activities, you will need to determine the name of the business to start the registration process and initial approval from the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET)

Rent Your Office Spaces

Before you officially establish your business in Dubai, you are required to have an office space rental agreement issued by the Dubai Land Department.

Memorandum of Association (MOA)

The next step of your travel agency formation is the Memorandum of Association (MOA) which is the legal contract between the shareholders of the license, which has to be signed by the shareholders in front of the representative of the Notary public.

External Department Approval

For a travel agency business, approval Civil Aviation Authority is required.  Acquiring this approval involves a certain process to follow. Hiring a business consultant in Dubai can ease this process for you. Please note that this approval applies to the travel agency activity; inbound and outbound tourism licenses are exempted from this requirement.

Acquiring tourism license

Final documentation, including the trade name, initial approval, office contract, and the documents of the company shareholders/owner have to be presented at the Department of Economy and Tourism in order to acquire the Tourism License by paying the license fee.

Get your License Registered with the Labor Department And Immigration Department

As soon as you get your business license in Dubai, you will need to register with the immigration department and labor department to get investor/partner employee visas under the company.

Apply for Employees Visas

Before you bring in any employees, it is important to have their visas prepared in advance. You will need to apply at least 30 days before your employees arrive so that they will have a visit visa in place.

Set Up a Corporate Bank Account

Finally, you must register with a bank before starting a business. You will need a corporate bank account to do business in Dubai.

What Are The Requirements To Set Up A Travel Agency In Dubai?

You will be required to provide the following documents to start a travel agency in Dubai:

  • An outline of your business plan
  • A NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Civil Aviation Authority
  • A good conduct certificate from the police
  • Documents of the shareholders/owner of the company
  • Office tenancy contact/ Ejari

Why Should You Open A Travel Agency In Dubai?

Dubai wants to be the most tourist destination in the country and the world. Opening a travel agency in Dubai can increase your revenue significantly and other a wide range of benefits. Here are some of the main reasons you should open a travel agency in Dubai:

  • Dubai offers a luxurious tax-free experience to tourists
  • Increase revenue since tourism makes up 10% of the UAE GDP
  • UAE has a low entry barrier to tourists welcoming more than 200 countries.
  • Iconic holiday destinations and landmarks

Dubai offers a great experience to tourists, thus a great place to set up a travel agency. However, setting up a business can be tedious and lengthy if you are new to Dubai. Contact our business consultants to help you set up your business seamlessly as you focus on the intricacies of running the travel agency.

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