How to Start Your Own Business in Dubai, UAE?

If you plan to start a business in the UAE, here are five steps to set up a business for you. This column is written on first hand information and the authors have been living in Dubai for 20 years.

1. Travel to Dubai

The first step to start a business in Dubai, UAE is to come on a visit visa in UAE. If you are already in the UAE and working for a company, you will need permission from your company. If your company allows you to do business, you can start a business. Otherwise you must first resign and apply for a visa cancellation at the Ministry of Labor.

2. Select the business name, type, location and activity

Choose the right name for whatever business you want to do in Dubai and if you want to set up a company, you have to register its name. You do not need a local sponsor for a company or business in the free zone. The free zone is the best option for small investors in which they have all the rights. But for an LLC company, you need the local sponsor.

Many restaurants, grocery stores, salons, mobile phone shops, computer shops, optical centers, garments, cafeterias and many other businesses are successfully operating in Dubai. Choose your business wisely.

Choose a place for business. And sign a contract with the shop owner, which will include a three-month advance rent and a one-year contract, which will also include insurance. You must include a copy of this agreement in the documents required to apply for a license.

Select Activity for whatever business you want to do. Activity means which service you want to provide. If you have a cafeteria then tea or coffee will be an activity concept. You cannot offer food to anyone in the cafeteria because it is not part of your business activity. The higher the activity, the higher the license fee.

3. Apply for a license

You can now apply for a business license through the Ministry of Commerce UAE. If you do not have a contract with a shop owner, Ministry of Commerce officials will send you to complete this step first. Otherwise the Ministry of Commerce employees will visit the shop of your choice and in case of any objection will approve your business license and issue vouchers.

4. Open a bank account

You will need a bank account to pay the shop owner, pay the Ministry of Commerce voucher and other expenses. Open a bank account in Dubai and make payments.

5. Apply for a visa

After completing all the steps, you will apply for a visa at the Ministry of Labour UAE. You can apply for a UAE visas depending on the size of your business. A business owner usually gets four residency visas and they can bring these people with them to Dubai. However, the approval of the rest of the visas depends on the size of the business.


According to UAE Urdu News the license fee for doing business in the UAE can range from 20,000 to 50,000 dirhams depending on the type of business and the activities. A person’s visa costs about 8,000 dirhams. So if you have an investment of at least Rs 6 million, you can make your dream come true.

Authored By: Arshad Farooq Butt