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Logistics Licence Dubai: 2022 Guide

There has never been a better time to start a logistics company in Dubai. After the worldwide economic shocks of 2020, cargo passing through the United Arab Emirates’ ports is rapidly bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, according to Statista.

So, if your logistics, shipping, or packing business would like to enter one of the world’s most successful shipping hubs, then Dubai is the place to be.

To open a logistics business in Dubai, you will require a logistics licence to legally operate in this sector. In this blog you will learn about:


    • • What is a logistics licence in Dubai?


    • • Benefits of opening a logistics company in Dubai


    • • Steps to start a logistics company in Dubai


    • • Types of logistics business activities in Dubai, UAE


    • • UAE governmental authorities required for special approvals


    • Working with Creative Zone


What is a logistics Licence in Dubai?

A logistics licence in Dubai is simply a permit that allows you to operate a logistics business legally from the emirate. A wide variety of logistics businesses are included with this licence, including freight and customs brokers, warehousing companies, logistics planning firms, sea and air cargo transportation firms, and much more.

If you are unsure whether or not your business needs to apply for a logistics licence in Dubai, our experts can advise you.

Benefits of opening a logistics company in Dubai

As one of the world’s leading shipping hubs, the benefits of starting a logistics business in this emirate speak for themselves. Some of the key advantages include:

Dubai is located at a strategic position on the world map. A huge amount of trade passes through maritime and air routes that centre on Dubai. The emirate is a hub for trade between Asia, Africa, Europe and, to a lesser extent, Australasia, and the Americas.

Great tax benefits
If you start a logistics business in Dubai, you will avail yourself of the emirate’s very low corporate taxes and income tax. What is more, if you choose to base yourself in a free zone, you may pay no corporate tax or VAT at all.

World class infrastructure
Dubai’s sea ports and airports are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. Thanks to this excellent infrastructure, you will be able to begin trading smoothly and easily.

A government that supports trade
The Dubai government has a pro-market, pro-business approach, and strives to make the emirate a competitive yet a fair place to start a logistics company.

Proximity to other logistics companies
Countless logistics businesses base themselves in Dubai, each working in its own niche. This means that your logistics firm will find a huge variety of potential business partners, suppliers, customers, and skilled employees nearby. All of this makes it easier and more efficient to run your business, compared to basing it somewhere with a less developed industry.

Global trade agreements
Dubai – and the UAE as a whole – has an extensive network of international trade agreements with countries all around the world. This means you will find it easy to trade with business partners everywhere.

Steps to start a logistics company in Dubai

To get your logistics licence in Dubai in 2022, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Choose a company name
First up, you must choose a trading name for your company. The name should correspond with your business’s core activities (e.g. ‘Elhassan Freight Broking’), whilst also complying with the UAE’s business naming laws.

2. Choose between mainland or a free zone
You can base your business on Dubai’s mainland, which is a good option if you are likely to do business directly with partners in the emirate.

3. Apply for a logistics licence
You must complete an application form for your business and submit it, along with certain documents to the Department for Economic Development (in the mainland) or your chosen free zone’s authorities. The process can be done online, and it takes just a couple of hours.

4. Submit all required documents
When applying for a logistics business licence, you must provide a number of documents. If you are unsure about which documents are needed – or the format to provide them in – Creative Zone can walk you through the process:

• An application form
• A copy of your passport
• Your local sponsor’s passport copy (if you’re an expat and want to be based on the Dubai mainland)
• An Emirates ID copy
• Your memorandum of association

5. Logistics licence will be issued
In most cases, the logistics licence will be issued in just a few days, and you can start getting your business up and running.

6. Start processing visas
Many logistics business owners employ expat workers. If this is part of your business plan, you will also need to apply for visas for all your foreign employees. At Creative Zone, we can support you with the process of applying for visas for employees.

Types of logistics business activities in Dubai, UAE

There are many different types of businesses that can apply for a logistics licence in Dubai. These include:

Customs brokers
They prepare customs declarations, and represent these to the customs authorities.

Freight brokers
These brokers handle all brokerage matters for air, sea and land cargo.

Cargo transportation
These businesses handle packing and sorting for all kinds of air, sea or land transport businesses.

This involves leasing out vessels or containers and other equipment.

Fleet management
These businesses manage fleets of aeroplanes, ships, trains and other transport vehicles.

Logistics planning
These companies provide logistics planning services to ensure cargo gets smoothly from A to B.

Warehouse and storage
These firms offer warehouse facilities to manage goods, packing, loading and receiving.

UAE governmental authorities required for special approvals

When you are applying for your logistics licence in Dubai, you many need special approvals from a variety of governmental authorities. If you’re not sure which authorities you need approvals from, Creative Zone can help.

Dubai Customs: They approve clearance of imported and exported goods.
Dubai Police: The police approve security systems for warehouse and logistics companies.
Aviation/Maritime/Roads & Transport authorities: These bodies give permissions for you to operate in each of their domains
Food Control Department: This department will provide accreditations for food that is stored in warehouses in Dubai.
Civil Defence: They are responsible for overseeing import and export of hazardous materials.
Ministry of Climate Change: This department focuses on the import of agricultural goods, live animals, fertilisers, and related goods.

Working with Creative Zone

At Creative Zone, we have over a decade of experience helping more than 46,000 entrepreneurs apply for licences to start their businesses in the UAE and beyond. We have worked with many entrepreneurs as well as established logistics companies who need support with business setup in Dubai. We can help you with all steps of your application process, including getting approvals from specific governmental authorities.

In addition to supporting, you with company formation in Dubai, we can also provide you with several other services that will make running your logistics business a success:

• Dedicated business setup manager
• Tax preparation
• Legal advice
• HR management
• Media and marketing
• Opportunities for business networking

Contact Creative Zone today, and begin running your logistics business in Dubai in 2022.

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