Trade License

Trade License

The basic requirement for all business activity in Dubai is one of the following three categories of licences:

Commercial licences covering all kinds of trading activity;
Professional licences covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans;
Industrial licences for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity.

These licences are all issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development. However, licences for some categories of business require approval from certain ministries and other authorities: for example;

  • Banks and financial institutions from the Central Bank of the UAE;
  • Insurance companies and related agencies from Insurance Authority;
  • Manufacturing from the Ministry of Finance and Industry;
  • Pharmaceutical and medical products from the Ministry of Health;
  • Contracting and Building Maintenance and some other activities from Municipality (click here for the list of activities required Municipality Approval);
  • Transportation and vehicle rental activities from Road and Transport Authority (click here for the list of activities required RTA approval);
  • Printing, publishing and advertising activities from National Media Council;
  • Cargo Clearing, Cargo packaging, Canal dredging contracting and Fishing cages manufacturing activities from Dubai Maritime City;
  • Travel and tourism activities from Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • Gymnasium Club activity from Dubai Sports Council.
  • Social Club registration and licensing to be completed from Community Development Authority.
  • Tents, awnings and Tarpaulin manufacturing from Environment Protection Section of Dubai Municipality.

More detailed procedures apply to businesses engaged in oil or gas production and related industries.

Practicing some trade activities (e.g. jewellery and insurance) requires the submission of a financial guarantee issued by a bank operating in Dubai.

In general, all commercial and industrial businesses in Dubai should be registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.