As the United Arab Emirates is transforming into a hub of international businesses, many companies are coming forward to invest and take part in its economy. However, while taking on a journey towards a business setup in Dubai or any other part of the UAE, one of the very first and most important decisions to make is selecting the most suitable business activity. The authorities have assigned over 2000 business activities in UAE for commercial and industrial sectors.
Here we will explain the different types of business activities in UAE, the licenses assigned to them according to their type, and why they are necessary for a business.
Reasons to choose the right business activity
For the success of any business, it is crucial to choose the right business activity. It defines the services and amenities provided by the entity to its customers. So, here are some reasons why is it important to decide on the right business activity -
Aligns your passion and expertise
A business activity that aligns with your passion and expertise gives you a sense of achievement and completion. This, thus, allows you to use your skills and knowledge appropriately so that you can provide better products and services to your potential clients and customers, thereby gaining a competitive advantage.
Selecting a business that has market demand can get you good business. By conducting comprehensive market research, you will be able to identify potential opportunities and gaps in the market and assess if there is a need for your products or services.
Fulfills customer needs
Providing products and services that satisfy the needs and preferences of your target customers can result in customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and repeat business.
To operate certain activities legally in the UAE, you may require specific permits or licenses. This will ensure that you are aware of the regulatory requirements of the country and are willing to comply with them.
List of Business Activities in Dubai, UAE
The company formation specialists at UAE Expansion will guide you in selecting the most suitable business activity for your enterprise in the UAE. Following are some of the most popular business activities you can choose from while setting up your UAE company with UAE Expansion.
1. Consultation – It covers a wide range of consultation services including business consultation, finance consultation, legal consultation, human resource consultation, and more.
2. Event Management – The activities in event management cover a range of services starting from conference organization to theatre production and more.
3. Education & Training – There is a wide range of activities in the Education and Training category. However, they are available only in visa-eligible packages.
4. Broadcast Management – The activities of this business include radio broadcasting, TV broadcasting, and web streaming. Nevertheless, they are subject to mandatory authority approvals.
5. Filmmaking, Post-production & Distribution – This category of business activity covers film, art, video production, and post-production.
6. Entertainment & Music – This segment covers music production and recording, music marketing and management, music copyrights, theme park management, and other things.
7. Industrial Warehousing – This category involves the production and transportation of raw materials which correlates with warehousing needs.
8. Media & Marketing – Activities like advertising, public relations, research, and many others related to media and marketing fall under this category.
9. Information Technology – An array of activities involved in the field of information and communication technology, including e-commerce are covered under IT services.
10. Trading – Any transactions related to import or export will be incorporated into trading activities.
11. Publication – The activities under this segment require special approval. These include the publishing of directories and guides, education and commerce books, journals, magazines, online and electronic content, and many more.
12. Internet & New Media – The activities in the new media category are as follows - photography, web design, digital media services, mobile app development, and management.
Non-permitted/Prohibited Business Activities in UAE
Oil & gas trading
Interior designing and Auditing (permitted only with the qualification certificate)
Types of licenses according to the business activities in UAE
The licenses in the UAE are fundamentally classified into three categories according to the business activity –
Professional license – For individuals or businesses that specialize in a particular subject or field of work.
The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) administers the licensing services of these entities.
Activities covered under different licenses
Auto Spare Parts Trading
Building Materials Trading
Fuel and Petroleum Products
Ships and Boats Trading
Packaging Materials and Paper
Aircraft and Train Spare Parts
Exchange and Financial Services
Cinema and Theaters
Appliances and Machinery
Fodder and Fertilizers
Glass Cutting & Repairing
Carpet and Mats Manufacturing
Block and Building Stones
Glass and Chinaware
Fish Canning and Freezing
Steel Tool Manufacturing
Tires and Rubber Products
Goldsmith and Gold Repairing
Coating, Insulation, and Seals
Iron and Steel Casting
Carpet and Mats Manufacturing
Real estate Business
Safety and Protection Materials
Ropes and Cotton and Metal Nets
Government Liaison office
Information and Marketing
Car Registration and Transfer
Documents Destroy and Store facilities
Hospitals and Rehabilitation Centers
Social Work Activities
Printing and Publishing Services
Typing and Translation
Institutes and Education
Beauty salon and spa
Advantages of getting a license in the UAE
There are a set of benefits one can avail of getting a business license in the UAE –
Zero taxation policy with no personal or corporate tax for conducting any business. A UAE license holder is subject to less or almost no taxes on income or profits.
Hassle-free as well as unlimited recruitment. The business owner can apply for employment visas with no restrictions and also sponsor parents, spouses, maids, and children.
Lesser or no restrictions on minimum capital requirement. The owner is not compelled to provide a bank guarantee or deposit the share capital in the bank.
Repatriation of whole capital allowed for UAE companies with a license.
Easy establishment process, that can be completed within 3-4 working days if all the legal requisites are in place.
Impeccable infrastructural facilities with flexible rent plans, ideal spaces, and a suitable environment to do business in the best possible way.
Approvals required for different activities and licenses
Dubai Municipality – For eateries, foodstuff supply, healthcare centers
Knowledge and Human Development Authority – For all activities related to education and training
Health Authority (DHA) – For all activities related to medical and healthcare
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) – For activities related to telecommunication
UAE Expansion delivers efficient and fast business setup services to foreign investors willing to start up and conduct businesses in the UAE. Their expert professionals are dedicated to providing the best and most reasonable client service experience, from license application and business registration to bank account opening to PRO services, everything that is required to run a business resourcefully.