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How to start a car rental business in Dubai, UAE

Are you interested in opening a car rental company in Dubai?

Dubai is the perfect place for such a venture. Not only is it a hotspot for supercars, but the large expat community means that when it comes to regular cars, many people are not looking to buy and are much happier renting. And beyond the expats, the emirate is of course also the recipient of both hundreds of thousands of business visitors and tourists each year – all of whom need to be able to get around.

All in all, it’s not surprising that the car rental business in Dubai makes a lot of sense for those who want to start a new company in the UAE.

The Goldstein Market Intelligence report looked at the UAE car rental and leasing market, and forecast growth at a CAGR of +9% over the 2017 – 2030 period. Another report puts the current value of the UAE car rental and leasing market at USD 1.8bn

If all of that sounds enticing, then let’s get into the details of starting a car rental business in Dubai.

In this article, we will look at:

  • How to start a car rental business in Dubai
  • Cost of starting a car rental business in Dubai
  • Working with Creative Zone

How to start a car rental business in Dubai
This essentially breaks down into five key steps.

Step 1: Choose your location: Since you will need a physical premises for your fleet of vehicles, you’re going to need some space. A strategic location is going to help you here, whether that’s close to an airport or another transport hub.

The second decision you need to make is whether to set up on the mainland or in one of the UAE’s free zones. Free zone setup is popular and often very cost-effective – however, if you do take this route you would have to take some additional steps (such as opening a branch or using a distributor) if you want to trade directly with the UAE market. Only a mainland setup allows you to trade with the UAE market without extra steps.

Step 2: Decide on your business activity: It is vital that your chosen activity aligns exactly with the business activity you are going to undertake. To make sure everything here is clear and compliant, it’s worth bringing in the services of a company formation specialist. This is not an area where you want to make a mistake as it can cause serious issues if you are carrying out unlicensed activities, even unknowingly.

Your selected activities should be chosen from the official list published by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). For car rental, the official DED activity is ‘Car rent and passenger transport’.

Step 3: Choose a company name: The UAE is fairly strict when it comes to naming companies, so it’s important to be aware of the regulations. Essentially, you must avoid any language that could be seen as offensive or blasphemous. You must avoid any name that is already held by a well-known organisation. If you’re naming your company after yourself, ensure that you don’t abbreviate your name. So Mike Smith Car Rental is fine, but M Smith Car Rental is not. Of course you will also need to ensure your chosen company name is still available for you to register.

Step 4: Making your license application: As someone operating a car rental business in Dubai (and the UAE) you will require a commercial license.

The documents required are:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • 2 colour passport size photos

In addition, you will also need approval from the Road Traffic Authority (RTA). Keep in mind your employees may also have to undergo RTA training.

Step 5: Making your visa applications: The final step, presuming you don’t already have one, is to secure your visa. As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas as well – including your spouse, family member, or a domestic worker.

A number of factors will determine how many visas you can apply for – the size of your company, where and how you have chosen to setup, as well as your personal earnings.

The visa application process can be quite straightforward, and working with a company formation specialist means you can complete all these steps safe in the knowledge that your full application is ready and free from errors before you send it in.

Cost of starting a car rental business in Dubai
There are several key costs to factor in when starting a car rental business in Dubai: the price of the license, the cost of your premises, plus the RTA approvals. Then on top of that there is the cost of the fleet of vehicles you are going to use – which you may purchase or lease.

If, for example, you were choosing a commercial mainland license, then you would be looking at around AED 15,000 – AED 20,000. But the only way to get an accurate figure, however, which will include all the extras required, is to contact Creative Zone who can tailor-make a package for you, ensuring everything is covered, and you receive an accurate quote on which you can base your decision.

Working with Creative Zone
Now is the time to work with a specialist to ensure your car rental business is set up smoothly.

When you’re looking to set up a car rental business you can be sure what you’re getting from Creative Zone is the latest, up-to-date info from people who deal with this every day.

While the setup process can be somewhat stressful, you can fast-track it by working with a company formation specialist. It’s the quickest way to get set up in the UAE, letting us take care of all the details and ensuring your application is free from errors.

We can also help you with opening a corporate bank account and also offer important advice on the type of financial institution that would best suit your requirements.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your company in the UAE. You get fast, reliable and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for your chosen business activity/activities and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. And working with us means you get the best budget friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.

Over 10 years, Creative Zone has helped over 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup or issuing of trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company, Creative Zone is your one-stop-shop.


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