Dubai Mainland is a center for trade and commerce in the Middle East. Governed by the Department of Economic Development(DED), the Mainland region accommodates diverse industries in the region with distinctive company offerings. Moreover, there are a lot of business activities to choose from each with a different set of requirements. Hence, investors looking for business possibilities in the UAE market can put their capital into these Dubai Mainland Business Activities and develop their brands towards profit and growth.
Dubai Mainland Business Activities
The exact list of permissible activities will rely on the type of business entity. However, the general list includes the following activities:
Manufacturing - production and assembly of goods such as food products, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and construction materials
Event and entertainment - events such as conferences, weddings, concerts, and exhibitions
Healthcare - medical facilities, hospitals, clinics, specialized healthcare centers, activities related to medical equipment and supplies, pharmaceuticals, and other medical services.
Trading - import and export of goods, wholesale and retail trading, and commercial agencies
Consultancy - legal, accounting, engineering, and management consulting services
Hospitality & Tourism – activities related to tourism and hospitality such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, resorts, tour operators, etc.
IT & Technology - software development, IT services, telecommunications, creation of e-commerce platforms, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies
Media & Advertising - software development, IT services, and telecommunications
Real estate - activities like buying, selling, and renting of properties
Education - schools, universities, and training centers
Renewable energy - renewable energy projects such as solar and wind energy
Retail and wholesale operations - purchasing goods from manufacturers or suppliers and selling goods
Agriculture and fisheries - agricultural and fishery projects, including the cultivation of crops, Animal husbandry, and fish farming.
Food and beverage operations - restaurant, café, food truck, or any other F&B establishment
Print & Publishing - publishing, printing, distribution, and online media activities
Construction and engineering
Logistics and transportation
Financial services and banking
Environmental and sustainability services
Research and development
Human resources and recruitment services
Legal and accounting services
Benefits of UAE Mainland Business Activities
1. Access to the local market – Companies on the Mainland can have direct access to the local market which enables them to target a broad consumer and client base and establish stronger relationships with the local suppliers as well.
2. Flexibility and control – Unlike Free Zone entities, Mainland businesses have more control over their operations. They have the flexibility to operate anywhere in the UAE and participate in a wider range of business activities.
3. Trading opportunities – Mainland entities are allowed to partake in local and international trade exhibitions, access the excellent logistics infrastructure, and leverage the favorable business environment of the UAE. In short, they can benefit from the various trading opportunities available in the country.
4. Strong market presence – Since Mainland companies can open their physical company anywhere in the UAE, they can avail this golden chance to create a strong presence in the market and expand their branches across the UAE.
5. Opportunity to work with government bodies – The government of UAE is in constant need of specialized contractors for multi-million projects, and Mainland companies can leverage this opportunity and bid on high-risk, high-return government contracts.
6. No currency restrictions –Mainland licenses in Dubai eliminate restrictions on foreign currencies. This means company owners can fully repatriate their profits and funds to their origin country.
7. No visa limitations – There are no restrictions on visa quotas for Mainland entities with a license. Moreover, it is easier to scale the business.
8. Financial feasibility – Mainland business licenses exempt companies from paying taxes just like free zones. Moreover, there is no minimum capital requirement in setting up a company under a Dubai Mainland License.
Licenses for Dubai Mainland Business Activities
This license is for individuals and companies that intend to offer professional services such as consulting, legal, accounting, medical services, etc. across the region. The applicant needs to have specific qualifications and experience requirements to apply for this license.
This license is for entities involved in manufacturing or industrial activities. It allows the production, manufacturing, and processing of goods, but in compliance with safety regulations and environmental standards.
This license is for companies engaged in trading activities including buying, selling, and distribution of goods within the local market. The requirements to apply for this license depend on the nature of the business and the specific products involved.
Steps to start a business in Dubai Mainland
This is how you can set up your company in Dubai under a Mainland license –
Choose your business activity and Mainland structure
The first thing to do in a Mainland business setup is to choose the right category of structure in which your business activity falls. There are over 1,500 Dubai Mainland Business Activities and a few corporate structures approved by the DED to establish a company in the Mainland region.
Register your Mainland company name
While choosing a unique name for your company, make sure it does not match any other business name in Dubai and aligns with the naming rules of the UAE government. Once approved, get it registered with the DED.
Apply for a Mainland license
You will need a trade license to operate your company in Mainland Dubai. There are a few non-permissible activities in Dubai Mainland, and since DED is the governing body regulating all the legal activities of Mainland businesses, it has the power to decide, legalize, classify, permit, and license all economic activities. Besides, you will require several documents as part of the license application. UAE Expansion business professionals will assist you in this step.
Get an office space
In the UAE, offices and working spaces are usually owned by third parties and business owners can customize the packages and inclusions according to their needs. After finding an ideal spot, submit the tenancy agreement, Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA) documents, and EJARI to the relevant authorities.
Prepare the essential documents
The Memorandum of Association (MOA) is one of the most elementary corporate documents that articulates the information on the share of limitations and liberty every shareholder has within the company. therefore, make sure to draft it carefully without any errors or fabrication. UAE Expansion experts will help you in preparing this document.
Pay the requisite fee for the license
Once you are done with the documentation and approval part, pay the requisite license fee and collect your trade license from the concerned department.
Set up a corporate account
Opening a corporate account in Dubai is now easy as the modern digital banking system has streamlined this process. Nevertheless, the team of experienced professionals at UAE Expansion will assist you throughout the process and help you get your business bank account for your Dubai Mainland business.
Ready for a business setup in Dubai?
The luxury of setting up a business in Dubai comes with numerous lucrative benefits. This is primarily one of the reasons for the continuous influx of investors and entrepreneurs in the UAE. With diverse options of Dubai Mainland Business Activities to choose from, UAE Expansion will help you find the best-fitting activities for your company.
Speak with one of the experts at UAE Expansion today to learn more about their company formation services and how they can help you succeed.