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How to start a building contracting company in Dubai, UAE

Wednesday November 16, 2022

Given the rapid and near-constant development on display in Dubai, it will come as little surprise that the construction and building contracting industry is thriving here.

With the government and private investors seemingly always on the lookout for new and innovative construction projects, those with the skill to manage these builds are in high demand. If that sounds like you, keep reading to learn about the key aspects you need to consider before launching a building contracting company in the UAE.

I’ll cover the following topics:


• Construction Industry Dubai – an overview
• Steps to open a building contracting company in Dubai, UAE
• Cost of opening a building contracting company in Dubai
• How to grow a building contracting company in Dubai, UAE
• Is the construction business profitable in Dubai?
• How Creative Zone can help

Construction Industry Dubai – an overview

The construction industry is one of the largest in the UAE, worth an estimated USD 90bn. Such is its size that earlier this year, the ABiQ project tracker covering Africa and the Middle East reported that 70% of all ongoing construction projects in its database were in the UAE.

And with COVID-19 now firmly in the rear-view mirror, the industry is set to grow even further. Between 2022 and 2027, the construction market is predicted to see CAGR of 4.69%, ultimately reaching a worth of USD 133.5bn.

Like many industries in the UAE, construction is a broad sector with projects spread across oil and gas, transport, healthcare, technology, energy and more. So, while understanding the construction process and regulations is the primary skill required, any additional knowledge in these key sectors will be an advantage.

Steps to open a building contracting company in Dubai, UAE

Before starting the process of obtaining a building contracting license, it is always advisable to seek out the advice of a local expert.

After a short consultation to better understand your specific requirements, Creative Zone can guide you through every step of the following company formation process.

Step 1: Registering Your Company Name
The first important step in gaining your UAE trade license is to choose a company name. While this sounds incredibly straightforward, there are a few extra considerations here in Dubai.

To adhere to the UAE’s naming conventions, you must avoid any words that could be considered offensive or blasphemous. You should also ensure that your chosen name is not similar to any other existing businesses or institutions.

As your name must be unique, it is a good idea to put forward several options in case your preferred choice is unavailable. Once you have decided, we will submit your trade name registration on your behalf.

Step 2: Acquiring a Business License
The next step is the most important – applying for your building contracting license. This process will differ slightly depending on the type of business you wish to set up.

To start a mainland business, you will need to make your application to the Department of Economic Development or equivalent municipality. If you want to start a free zone company, your license application will be handled by the relevant managing authority.

In either case, your dedicated contact at Creative Zone will manage the process on your behalf to ensure a speedy and straightforward application.

Step 3: Completing the Visa Process
You will need a UAE residency visa to live and work in Dubai, UAE. There are a few more steps to this process, but once again, Creative Zone will guide you through them all.

An important part of this process is the medical and fitness test which includes a blood test and chest x-ray.

As the holder of a UAE visa, you can sponsor the visas of your dependants, such as children, spouse, parents and domestic staff, too.

Step 4: Opening a Bank Account
Finally, you will need a UAE corporate bank account before you can freely start making and taking payments in the UAE. This is not always the most straightforward process for non-GCC citizens, the team at Creative Zone can help lighten the load.

After getting to know your requirements, we’ll put you in touch with the banks that are most likely to offer the services you require.

Cost of opening a building contracting company in Dubai

The cost of obtaining a building contracting license in Dubai is AED 13,800. However, there are many more costs to consider on top of this.

You will also need to account for the cost of visas, additional permits and any other business services you may require to trade. Then, of course, there are overheads such as staff costs, materials, premises, marketing and the like.

For a full and personalised breakdown of the costs involved when starting a building contracting business in Dubai, UAE, get in touch with the team at Creative Zone.

How to grow a building contracting company in Dubai, UAE

With such high demand, the best way to grow a building contracting business is simply to be good at what you do. But when you are just starting out, there are a few ways to reach a wider audience and accelerate your growth.

For one, you should consider working in a niche. Different types of buildings have different rules, regulations and requirements. So, if you are an expert in healthcare construction or the energy sector, your additional expertise will certainly be beneficial.

This will also make the marketing and networking process slightly easier, as you can target your message to a smaller group. Look for industry-specific online groups and forums, and research your target audience to ensure you know where else to find them.

Finally, study your industry and be proactive. Don’t expect construction projects to just land in your lap. Connect with industry experts and keep your ear to ground regarding up-and-coming projects. The more integrated your business becomes with the construction community, the more respect you will earn and the higher the likelihood is that you will hear about potential projects.

Is the construction business profitable in Dubai?

It certainly can be. One of the emirate’s largest property developers, Emaar Properties, reported record sales of USD 2.65bn in early 2021.

While these revenues are at the higher end, with so many projects in progress at any one time, there is no shortage of construction opportunities for businesses large and small.

How Creative Zone can help

Creative Zone’s team of registration professionals are experts in all things relating to business setup in Dubai. So, we’re always on hand to help you through every step of the company formation process.

To date, we have helped over 45,000 entrepreneurs from every corner of the world to launch and grow their businesses in Dubai with our simple yet ground-breaking model. And with our one-stop-shop company formation offering, we can help you, too.

As well as support with licenses and visas, we also offer a range of additional business services to help you and your business long after launch. So, if you’re ready to start your building contracting company in the UAE, get in touch to find out more.

Prices offered by free zones are subject to change without notice. Please get in touch with Creative Zone for an updated price based on the current promotions and availability.


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