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How to start a travel and tourism business in Dubai, UAE

When many people think of Dubai and the UAE, it’s the tourist attractions that come to mind – from the state-of-the-art hotels, beautiful blue waters, to the world-leading malls, as well as the historic old district. There is much to see and do, and it’s no wonder that thousands of tourists flock to the Emirates every year.

As a result travel and tourism is an industry that is always front and centre. And with the UAE powering ahead now that the pandemic appears to be under control and the huge influx expected from the delayed Expo 2020 (now going ahead this year in October), the time could not be better to get a trade license for a travel agency here in the UAE.

Since the question of how to start travel agency business comes up a lot, this article will walk you through everything you need to know, including the all-important travel agency license cost in Dubai.

So in this article, we will cover:

  • Activities under tourism license Dubai, UAE
  • Steps to obtain tourism license Dubai
  • Cost of travel agency license
  • Documents required for travel agency license in Dubai, UAE
  • Working with Creative Zone

Activities under tourism license Dubai, UAE
When we talk about how to open a travel and tourism business in Dubai, UAE one of the first things that comes to mind is the various activities you can carry out under a tourism license. It’s worth speaking to a company formation specialist to ensure you remain compliant, but broadly speaking here are some of the activities you can undertake:

  • Sell tickets for transportation, including land, air and sea, plus car rental
  • Sell travel insurance
  • Sell all kinds of tourism packages, including accommodation
  • Support on visa-related services

Steps to obtain tourism license Dubai
There are a number of steps to setting up your tourism license in Dubai. Let’s break these down:

1. Decide on a free zone or mainland license: The first decision to make is whether a free zone or mainland setup is better for your company. With a mainland setup, you can trade with the UAE market and you are able to bid for government contracts. Alternatively, you can go the free zone route – with 0% tax rate, no currency restrictions, full customs tax exemption, repatriation of 100% of profits, and many other benefits. While your free zone company cannot trade directly with the UAE market, there are options to explore which may enable you to do so in the future. As this is such a critical decision, a company formation expert can advise you on the best option.

2. Decide on your business activity: There are a number of different categories within the tourism license, and it’s important you ensure 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.

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 Sarah Jones Travel is fine, but S Jones Travel is not. Of course you will also need to ensure your chosen company name is still available for you to register.

4. Making your license application: With everything in place, it’s time to make your application.

Cost of travel agency license
The cost of travel agency license depends on the size of your company, the specific business activities you intend to carry out, and so on. In general, you’re looking at around AED 20,000 as a starter price.

As always, contact Creative Zone for the latest pricing information, and to ensure you get a tailored price for your trade license for travel agency that fits your exact requirements.

Documents required for travel agency license in Dubai, UAE
The documents required are:

    1. Completed application form
    2. Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
    3. 2 colour passport size photos

There may be other specific documents required, and a company formation specialist can work with you to ensure you have everything ready prior to making your application, to avoid any delays in processing.

Working with Creative Zone
So, those are the key points around how to open a travel and tourism business in Dubai, UAE. And now is the time to work with a specialist to ensure your new business is set up smoothly.

When you’re looking to set up a tourism company 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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