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Start a manufacturing company in Dubai: 2022 Guide

What industries come to mind when you think of Dubai? It’s certainly famous for its service, tourism and hospitality sectors. And, of course, the oil sector that generates much of the emirate’s wealth.

But while these industries may be thriving over here, there are many more contributing to Dubai’s diverse and growing economy.

Take manufacturing, for example, which currently accounts for over 8% of the UAE’s GDP. And with that figure set to rise, it’s a great time to start a manufacturing business here in Dubai. If that sounds appealing, keep reading to find out:


    • • An overview of the manufacturing industry in Dubai, UAE


    • • Steps to obtain a manufacturing licence in Dubai, UAE


    • • Cost of a manufacturing licence in Dubai, UAE


    • • Documents required to open a manufacturing company in Dubai, UAE


    • • Activities covered under a manufacturing/industrial licence in Dubai, UAE


    • How Creative Zone can help


An overview of the manufacturing industry in Dubai, UAE

The UAE manufacturing industry currently contributes over AED 130bn to the UAE’s GDP, making it the most competitive industrial sector in the Arab world.

But despite the sector’s success, the UAE is not standing still. As part of Dubai’s Industrial Strategy 2030, it is investing AED 30m into manufacturing to stimulate the economy and increase the industry’s GDP contribution to AED 300bn by 2031.

As well as manufacture for local sale, the UAE’s incredible location with direct links to every corner of the globe makes it ripe for exporting. Among the country’s most exported items are metals, garments, food and beverages and perfumes.

Steps to obtain a manufacturing licence in Dubai, UAE

The first step when starting any kind of business in Dubai is to seek out expert advice. The team at Creative Zone can guide you through the entire licence, visa and bank account opening process. This means you can focus on your business while we liaise with all relevant authorities to ensure a smooth and efficient service.

Step 1: Registering your company name

The first key task when starting a manufacturing business in Dubai is to choose a company name. This is a relatively straightforward process but keep in mind that you will need to adhere to the UAE’s strict naming conventions.

This means avoiding words that could be considered offensive or blasphemous. You should also make sure that your chosen name is not similar to any other existing businesses or institutions.

Once you have decided on a few company names in order of preference, we can check their availability and register them with the relevant authorities.

Step 2: Acquiring a business licence
The next step is to formally apply for your trade licence. This process will be slightly different depending on whether you are setting up in the mainland or in a free zone.

After a short consultation to understand your needs, Creative Zone can advise on the setup type best suited to your requirements.

If you are setting up in the mainland, your application is made directly to the Dubai Department of Economic Development. If you are setting up in a free zone, the relevant managing authority will handle your application.

Whichever option you choose, we can guide you through the entire application process and ensure that all documents are present and correct before submission.

Step 3: Completing the visa processes
A manufacturing licence is not the only thing you’ll need to trade in the UAE. You will also need a visa. Once again, your dedicated contact at Creative Zone will manage this process for you.

As part of the visa application process, you will need to undergo a medical and fitness test, including a blood test and chest X-ray.

As the holder of a UAE visa, you can also sponsor dependants for their applications. Dependants may include your spouse, parents or children as well as domestic staff such as maids or drivers.

Step 4: Opening a bank account
You’ll need a corporate bank account to make and receive payments in the UAE. This can be a slightly complicated process for entrepreneurs from outside the GCC.

However, the team at Creative Zone will take the time to get to know your requirements before advising on the bank best suited to your needs.

Cost of a manufacturing licence in Dubai, UAE

The cost of starting a manufacturing business in the UAE starts at AED 13,800. However, there are several additional costs to consider.

On top of this, you will need to account for visas, permits, premises, equipment and staff related costs, too.

For a better understanding of how much it may cost to launch your manufacturing business out here, get in touch with the team at Creative Zone.

Documents required to open a manufacturing company in Dubai, UAE

When applying for a manufacturing licence in the UAE, you will need to provide a detailed report of your factory. This should include a floorplan, details of equipment, production costs and the source of your finance.

You will need to get these plans approved by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment and Water. To apply for your licence, you will need to submit this approval, along with:

    • • A business feasibility study


    • • Forecast or balance sheet


    • • Copy of your passport


    • Completed application form

Activities covered under manufacturing/industrial licence in Dubai, UAE

The manufacturing licence is also known as the industrial licence. Under this licence, you are permitted to carry out the following business activities:

    • • Appliances and Machinery Manufacturing


    • • Bags, Shoes and Leather Products Manufacturing


    • • Block and Building Stones Industry


    • • Carpet and Mat Manufacturing


    • • Coating, Insulations, Seals and Protection Materials Manufacturing


    • • Equipment and Engines Manufacturing


    • • Food Industries


    • • Foodstuff Mills and Packaging


    • • Glass and Chinaware Manufacturing


    • • Gold and Precious Stones Cutting Manufacturing


    • • Light Aircraft Manufacturing and Maintenance


    • • Lighting Equipment Manufacturing


    • • Manufacturing of Chemicals


    • • Meat Processing


    • • Medicines Manufacture


    • • Metal Containers and Boxes Manufacturing


    • • Oven and Stove Manufacturing


    • • Paper and Paper Products Manufacturing


    • • Petroleum Products Manufacturing


    • • Plastic Industries


    • • Ship Building and Repairing


    • • Stationery Manufacturing


    • • Steel Workshop


    • • Textiles and Products Manufacturing


    • • Tyres and Rubber Products Manufacturing


    • • Water Manufacturing and Bottling


    • Wood, Wood Products and Furniture Manufacturing

How Creative Zone can help

Starting a business in Dubai can seem daunting, particularly if you are new to the UAE. But with Creative Zone, it doesn’t have to be.

Our international team have so far helped thousands of clients from around the world to start businesses out here. And we can help you, too.

Whether you are launching a new startup or relocating an established business, our advice, support and guidance is always tailored to your specific needs.

There’s a reason why our services are rated the highest in the market, and that’s because we pride ourselves on providing our clients with much-needed peace of mind throughout the entire company formation process and beyond.

Whether you only want a visa, assistance in business setup, or are looking for long-term business support, our prices are always transparent and value for money.

The way we see it, our business is your business. So, when you’re ready to start your manufacturing enterprise in Dubai, there’s no better company formation partner.

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