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How to start a salon in Dubai

Saturday August 27, 2022

The beauty industry in Dubai is booming. With increasing numbers of people moving to the emirate, and many of those having plenty of disposable income and a high standard of living, it follows that they like to take care of themselves and look their best, with well-groomed hair, skin and nails.

Beauty salons in Dubai are therefore a potentially profitable business, making this an appealing sector for entrepreneurs.

This article offers practical tips on setting up a beauty salon business in Dubai, including:

    • Overview of the beauty salon industry
    • Steps to get a beauty salon license in Dubai
    • Documents needed for a salon licence in Dubai
    • Requirements for operating a salon in Dubai
    • Cost of opening a gents or ladies salon in Dubai
    • Is a beauty salon business profitable?
    • Why Creative Zone?

An overview of the beauty salon industry

Looking good is big business. Globally, the spa and beauty salon market has topped $150 billion in recent years, and experts estimate the sector will continue to grow at 6% annually up to 2026.

There are more than 3,500 beauty salons in Dubai today, and the emirate has gained a reputation as one of the premier destinations for pampering and self-care, including some of the best-rated hair salons in the world.

With growth expected to continue for the foreseeable future, there are still plenty of opportunities for new players to gain a foothold in the market and for small businesses to expand and open new or multiple branches.

Steps to get a beauty salon license in Dubai

Certain steps need to be taken to get a beauty salon licence in Dubai.

One of the first steps is to choose a name for your salon. Dubai has certain rules that entrepreneurs need to be aware of regarding naming a business. Firstly, it cannot have the same name as an existing business in Dubai. In addition, the name cannot contain any words considered blasphemous or offensive.

Finally, any use of your name in the company designation must be a surname and forename – initials and abbreviations are not permitted.
Another key step is to choose a location for the business. A mainland salon business will require a Dubai mainland licence, and a free zone licence is required for businesses in Dubai free trade zone.

In addition, the Dubai Municipality planning department must approve the chosen location for the salon business, and the Health and Safety Division must confirm that it is safe to operate.

Next, you need to apply for a licence. There are two kinds of licences for beauty salons in Dubai – a women’s salon licence and a men’s salon licence.

The licences cover broadly the same areas. A women’s salon is licenced to carry out beautification and hair care. Hair care includes washing, cutting, colouring, straightening and the like. Cosmetic treatments include skin cleansing, hair removal and nail manicures and treatments.

For a men’s salon, hair care is again included, covering cutting, dyeing, straightening and strengthening. Cosmetic treatments include hair removal, foot care and aesthetic facial treatments.

Contact Creative Zone for a free consultation on applying for a licence. Our team can guide you through the process.

Documents needed for a salon licence in Dubai

When applying for a salon licence, there are certain documents that you will be required to produce along with the application form.

Personal documents required include copies of the business owner’s passport and visa, along with those of any additional shareholders.

On the business side, you will need to include the trade name certificate, an explanation of the intended activities for the salon and a copy of the Memorandum of Association. You will also require a tenancy contract or mortgage documents and proof that you have obtained approval from the Dubai Municipality Planning section and Health and Safety Division.

Requirements for operating a salon in Dubai

There are some specific requirements for salon businesses in Dubai. This includes placing a signboard in front of the salon.

Inside the salon, the lighting must be sufficiently bright, and the furniture has to be clean and appropriate for the business.

There must also be a water heater installed. Regarding dressing chairs, they must be 3 metres wide by 3.5 metres long and not smaller. You also need to ensure there is more than 2.3 metres between the floor and ceiling of the salon. In addition, all cosmetics and towels should be kept in designated cupboards and drawers.

The regulations also specify that beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures and hair removal must all be carried out in separate designed areas of the salon, and each of these areas must be at least 2.5 metres by 1.5 metres and have adequate partitions between them.

If facial treatments are being undertaken, the designated area for these must contain a wash basin. Similarly, in areas where hair removal materials are prepared and used, fireproof materials must be used.

Cost of opening a gents or ladies salon in Dubai

Entrepreneurs must consider numerous costs when setting up a beauty salon business in Dubai.

One of the most important costs is the business licence, which costs AED 23,000 per year. Other significant costs include paying rent or a mortgage on premises, buying equipment and furniture, hiring staff – and then paying their salaries – insurance and marketing to publicise the salon.

Is a beauty salon business profitable?

Beauty and grooming – for men and women alike – is big business as people like to look and feel good. Salons in Dubai that gain a reliable reputation benefit from regular customers, as treatments are often carried out on a regular basis, helping to create a steady income.

Many of the treatments given involve a mark-up, especially towards the luxury end of the market, which means beauty salon businesses can make significant profits.

Why Creative Zone?

Setting up a business on the Dubai mainland is extremely attractive now, as new company laws implemented by the UAE government, along with a flexible and business-friendly regulatory regime, fast approvals and easy start-up processes are attracting more and more entrepreneurs, established businesses and investors. Newly implemented laws mean that a local sponsor is not needed for foreign nationals to start their business on the Dubai mainland, and they can own the entirety of their business.

Establishing a company can be complicated, but experts such as Creative Zone can help entrepreneurs to attain all the licences they need to set up a beauty salon business in mainland Dubai. Creative Zone’s concierge team can help an entrepreneur through the sometimes complicated processes involved in setting up a business – including opening a bank account – smoothly and quickly, with the minimum of fuss.

For more information, a consultation and a bespoke quote, contact Creative Zone today.


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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