The tourism industry in the UAE has seen a steady rise in popularity over the years. In 2016, Dubai alone pulled tourist traffic of around 16 million people in total. This signaled a 5% increase in the total number of visitors received the previous year. An additional 4 million people are expected to join this number by next year. Such a huge number of travelers anywhere marks the birth of an industry – travel, and tourism. The potentials are so much that opening a travel and tourism business in Dubai seems to be the very right thing to do.

However, opening a travel and tourism business in Dubai has its requirements. For you to be eligible to apply for a travel agency license in UAE, you must meet certain conditions. First, you have to establish your intended business activity – specify if you’re going to establish a travel agency, tour operator agencies or a travel and tourism consultancy business. This activity must be in strict accordance with what is accepted in the UAE. After this is done, you must get a business name. The UAE has strict conditions when it comes to business names and, it is best to employ the services of a company formation expert to assist with this. In simpler terms, you must avoid business names that are offensive or blasphemous and also names of popular organizations or abbreviated names. When these conditions are met, you can now apply for a business license.

The simplest way is to apply to a free zone, such as Fujairah Creative City. You can either make a direct application to the free zone or engage the services of a company formation expert who oversees the application process on your behalf. According to Business Incorporation Zone, setting up in Fujairah Creative City allows your business to benefit from customs tax exemption, no foreign currency restrictions, and many other policies. Also, you’d have to apply to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) for your desired tourism license. There are three variations of licenses to choose from: trade license for an outbound tour operator, trade license for an inbound tour operator, and trade license for a travel agency. The nature of each type of license is well explained. Whichever type of license you choose, all you have to do is submit your application form, a copy of your passport, an outline of your business plan and a clean criminal record certificate to the DTCM.

Working in the UAE requires you to have a visa, the majority of the free zone packages come with visa eligibility. Also, you are allowed to sponsor your dependents for their visas too. This benefit also applies to members of your family. The cost of a travel agency license is largely dependent on several factors including company size, number of owners, business activities and more. Generally, a travel agency license in Dubai costs from around AED 20,000 for a single owner eligible for one visa.

In conclusion, starting a travel agency business in the UAE shouldn’t be complex. This is why it is best advised that you get a company formation expert to do it all for you.

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