If you’re thinking of starting a business in Dubai, you can’t go wrong with a travel agency. The tourism industry is booming due to the popular shopping spots, stunning architecture, dining, and other tourist sites. And there’s no better time than now to start your own travel agency, because the government is making efforts to grow the travel, tourism, and entertainment industries. Sounds like a great opportunity, doesn’t it? Keep reading to find out what you need to do to get your tourism business setup in Dubai.   

Activities Allowed for a Travel Agency License in Dubai

The first step for tourism business setup registration is to figure out what type of activities you will provide to your customers. Figuring out the type of business you will have will help you determine what business license you will need to apply for.

Here are the type of business activities that are allowed in Dubai:

  • Selling plane tickets
  • Issuing travel insurance
  • Selling tourist packages through a website
  • Providing support during visa issuance
  • Creating and marketing tourist packages through various channels
  • Offering accommodations

How Do I Get a Travel Agency License?

It’s a fairly easy process to start a travel business in Dubai, but it can be made even easier with the help of a business setup consultant. There are several steps you have to follow and paperwork that has to be turned in on time. An expert business consultant, like the team at MSZ Consultancy, can help guide you through the process and make sure there aren’t any problems along the way.

Here are the steps involved with a travel agency business setup in Dubai:

Decide what type of travel agency license you will need

There are three different types of Dubai travel and tourism agency licenses. In order to get one, you’ll have to decide what type of business activity you will be doing and apply for one of these licenses that best matches your business:

  • Inbound Tour Operator – This type of license allows your company to arrange local tourist trips. This includes arranging international conferences and exhibitions.
  • Outbound Tour Operator – This license allows a company to sell tourist services both within and outside of the country. They can also arrange international conferences.
  • Travel Agent – With a travel agent license, you can sell airplane tickets outside the country and provide visa support to clients. This license also allows the travel agent to book hotels and car rentals.

Gather the documents required for your tourism license

After you’ve decided what license you need, then you’ll have to get all the documents together to apply for it. Here are the standard documents that an applicant will need for a tourism license:

  • An application form
  • A valid copy of their passport
  • Certificate of professional qualification or a work experience certificate
  • A clean criminal record certificate
  • Economic and technical feasibility report for the project
  • No objection letter from the Civil Aviation Authority

Other Requirements for Dubai tourism license

Aside from submitting the required documents, there are other requirements that have to be made for a tourism business setup in Dubai:

  • A travel agency must be set up as an LLC. This means you will have to find a local sponsor. A local sponsor is a UAE national that will own 51% of the shares in the company. This may seem like a stressful process, but we can help. MSZ Consultancy has connections to the most trustworthy local sponsors in the country!
  • The manager of the tourism company must have at least three years of experience certificate with a bachelor’s degree or five years of experience certificate if a manager holds a secondary certificate.
  • The approval on behalf of the Department of Civil Aviation of the Emirate is required if applying for a travel agent license.
  • If you are applying for an inbound/outbound tour operator license, then a feasibility study report has to be done.
  • For an inbound tour operator, an irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of the Department of Tourism has to be issued by a bank in Dubai.
  • For an outbound tour operator, an irrevocable bank guarantee of Dh 200,000 in the name of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has to be issued by a Dubai bank.
  • Dh 100,000 of irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing should be issued by a bank in Dubai for a travel agent activity.
  • If you take on all three activities, then a total bank guarantee is Dh 400,000.

Submit the application and documents

Once you’ve taken care of all the requirements that are needed, then you’ll have to start filling out the forms and submitting all the required documents to get your license.

  • First, submit the name of the company to the DED.
  • Then you’ll have to get the initial approval form from the DED and get all the partners to sign it before turning it back in.
  • After initial approval, the DED will give you a form for a site inspection. You’ll have to turn in all the details about your location and get the site inspected.
  • You’ll have to get the MoA notarized.
  • Next, all the partners will have to go to the Notary Public and get the Court Agreement signed.
  • Get the tenancy contract ready.
  • You’ll be given your license after you turn in the final documents and make the final payments.

Travel Agency Business Setup Cost in Dubai

Now that you know all that it takes to form a travel agency, let’s talk about the costs. It’s important to consider all the requirements and fees that come with business setup in Dubai because it can all add up pretty quickly.

Your license fee will cost around AED 13,000 – 17,000 or more. This is a fee you’ll have to pay annually. You’ll also have to hire a local partner that will require 51% of the shares in the company. You’ll also have to pay the local sponsor an annual fee of AED 30,000 or more. And don’t forget about office space to rent. This could cost between AED 50,000 to 60,000 or more a year. You’ll also have to pay other fees during the business setup registration process, like the NOC fee and visa charges. While these prices are just estimates, they can give you a pretty good idea of the business setup cost in Dubai. MSZ Consultancy can work with you to come up with a concrete budget.

Hassle-Free Travel Agency License in Dubai

Dubai has a beautiful coast, stunning buildings, architectural monuments, and weather that is easy for travelers to enjoy year-round. So, it’s no surprise that the city is a big spot for tourists. If you’re ready to take part in this booming economy and own your own tourism business, there’s no better time to start than today! MSZ Consultancy has experience with business setup registration throughout the UAE. We can quickly help you get your tourism business formed and running in no time. Let us guide you through the process, so you don’t have any problems. What are you waiting for? Contact us today at +971 52 544 1248 for a FREE consultation.

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