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Starting a real estate business in Dubai – A Guide

Dubai’s real estate sector has been growing rapidly for many years. And, in 2022, new regulations are set to come in which will allow more foreign investors to purchase property in the emirate. This means inquiries about real estate in Dubai are growing faster than ever, because there are many opportunities in  real estate business in UAE.

If you are thinking about starting a real estate business in Dubai , read our blog to learn about:

Table of Contents
      • • Benefits of starting a real estate business in Dubai
      • • How to get a RERA licence
      • • RERA licence cost
      • • Steps to start a real estate business in Dubai
      • • Cost of starting a real estate business in Dubai
      • • How to grow your real estate business in Dubai
      • • Working with Creative Zone

Benefits of starting a real estate business in Dubai

Dubai’s real estate industry has grown consistently for many years and is one of the most attractive property markets in the world. Some of the key benefits of starting a real estate business in Dubai include:

Impressive returns: The Dubai property market continues to generate significant returns for investors, with yields of 5% annually or more being common.
Diverse market: Dubai’s property market is large and diverse with buildings in many different sectors including residential, commercial, student accommodation, luxury property, hotels, and industrial units to invest in.
Transparent regulations: Dubai has a well-respected and transparent legal system which means you can be confident in your investments.
An open market: Dubai’s property market is highly competitive and open for anyone to invest in, including foreign investors.
High potential capital gains and rental yield: With its educated, skilled and professional population, you can be confident that rental or sale properties will be in high demand.

How to get a RERA licence

If you wish to become a real estate agent in Dubai, you must complete certified training for real estate professionals. The training typically takes four days and will give you a complete understanding of everything you need to know to work legally as a real estate agent in Dubai. After completing a training course, you must complete an exam from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai. On passing the exam, you will be able to apply for an agent’s licence.

RERA licence cost

The cost of a RERA licence depends on your pre-existing education level. If you hold a bachelor’s degree, the fee for taking the exam costs AED 3,200. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, it costs AED 6,300.

In addition to the fees associated with taking the exam, you will also need to factor in the costs of completing a RERA training course. These typically cost around between AED 2,500 and AED 3,500.

Steps to start a real estate business in Dubai

Dubai’s Department for Economic Development (DED) lists numerous steps you need to complete when starting a real estate business in Dubai. When you work with Creative Zone, we can walk you through the following six essential steps:

Step 1: Select a trading name

When choosing a company name it should describe your core business activities. For instance, AJ Shah Real Estate LLC would be a suitable name.

The UAE also has strict laws about language and terms used in business names. You cannot use offensive or derogatory words, or any blasphemous terms.

Step 2: Decide on a jurisdiction

There are three economic jurisdictions where real estate firms can base themselves in Dubai: mainland, free zone, and offshore. Each of these come with their own respective business rules, advantages and drawbacks. When deciding on your jurisdiction, you need to consider the nature of your business, accessibility to your market and office location. At Creative Zone, we can advise you on the best jurisdiction for your situation.

Step 3: Legal structure

You will also need to choose the legal structure of your business – different structures are more or less appropriate for different types of business. Some of the most common types of legal structures for real estate firms in Dubai are:

• Sole establishment
• Limited liability company (LLC)
• Free zone company
• Foreign company branch

Step 4: Submit your documentation

When applying to start a Dubai real estate business, you must provide numerous documents depending on your structure and location. At Creative Zone, we can advise on exactly which documents you need, and we also check they’re all correct:

    • • The application form of registration from DED
    • • A copy of your passport
    • • Your Emirates ID copy
    • • Your certified tenancy contract of the office space
    • RERA licence

Step 5: Approval process for special activities

If your real estate company needs to participate in special activities (e.g. real estate construction), you may require authorisation from other appropriate authorities. Creative Zone can advise you on the specifics.

Step 6: Process your visa

If you (or your employees) are not Dubai citizens, you may need to apply for visas for your staff and family members at the same times as your visa application. The process is as follows:

      • • Getting an entry permit
      • • Changing your status
      • • Taking a medical exam

• Getting your Emirates ID

Cost of starting a real estate business in Dubai

The cost of starting a real estate company in Dubai is between AED 15,000 and AED 25,000 (in addition to your RERA licence). Costs will vary depending on a number of factors, including your location, office startup costs and whether you choose to base yourself in a Dubai free zone or operate via a mainland company or an offshore company. Generally speaking, startup costs are lower if you are based in a Dubai free zone.

How to grow your real estate business in Dubai

Here are five tips for growing your real estate business in Dubai:

1. Create a coherent business plan: A business plan helps you clarify exactly which kind of real estate you specialise in, your fees, cash flow requirements and targets.

2. Consistent marketing: There are several essential marketing activities your business needs to do on a consistent basis, including updating online listings, using social media to advertise your properties, and running promotional events.

3. Do your research: Find out what your competitors are doing, discover new property trends and tastes, and learn about what Dubai’s major developers are currently working on.

4. Use modern technology: You need to have a website, learn how to use customer relationship management (CRM) software, and invest in technologies such as virtual reality tours or drones to deliver more compelling marketing.

5. Nurture your leads: Invest time developing relationships with prospects to find out more about what they really want and keep staying in touch with them.

Working with Creative Zone

At Creative Zone, we have helped over 44,000 companies to successfully apply for business licences in Dubai and beyond since 2010. We have worked with numerous real estate agents, investors, property developers and other real estate professionals who need support with business setup in Dubai. Our experts have a complete understanding of all requirements (including how to get a RERA licence) and can advise you on all necessary steps to launch your Dubai real estate company.

Furthermore, we can also support you with several other services that will make running your Dubai real estate company even more successful:

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

Contact Creative Zone today and begin winning business in Dubai’s dynamic real estate market in 2022.

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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