As Dubai has become a tourism hub for global tourists, the tourism industry has established its status as one of the best and profit-making industries. Over the last few years, the UAE government has invested a fortune in developing tourism in Dubai through various projects like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Park and Resorts, Ferrari World, Palm Jumeirah, and many more. This positive factor bids unparalleled opportunities for investors to explore new investment areas and start tourism business in Dubai.
Dubai hosts millions of tourists every year, contributing hugely to the UAE economy through its beautiful infrastructures, luxury malls and skyscrapers, seven-star hotels, beaches, and other fancy architecture.
Tourism business license in Dubai and its types
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) oversees the regulations and operations of the tourism industry in Dubai. Its responsibilities also include the issuance of tourism licenses to relevant businesses. There are various types of licenses one can acquire based on the nature of the business. For instance,
Tour operator license
Businesses engaged in activities like organizing and conducting tours, excursions, and activities for tourists can acquire this license. The Dubai tour guide license covers services such as transportation, accommodation, sightseeing, and other related activities, allowing travel companies to offer wide-ranging tour packages while ensuring a seamless travel experience.
Travel agency license
Businesses that sell travel-related services such as arranging flight tickets, hotel bookings, holiday packages, car rentals, and other services can apply for this license. Through this license, the agency can offer a range of options and personalized itineraries thereby acting as an intermediary between travelers and service providers.
Inbound tour operator license
Inbound Tour Operator Licenses are specifically for those travel agencies that cater to international tourists visiting Dubai. Through this license, they can arrange tours, transportation, accommodation, and other services for their foreign clients.
Outbound tour operator license
Contrary to the Inbound Tour Operator License, this license primarily caters to UAE citizens who wish to travel outside the country. The agency can organize and arrange outbound tours for individuals or groups who want to explore international destinations.
Procedure to start tourism business in Dubai
If you planning to venture into the tourism sector and start a travel and tourism business in Dubai, then here’s a step-by-step guide for you to get started –
Research and planning
Before diving into business formation, conduct methodical research and planning. Familiarize yourself with the market, identify potential gaps or niches, and evaluate the demand for the services you want to deliver in Dubai. Further, create a detailed business plan summarizing your objectives, target audience, marketing techniques, and financial predictions.
Choose a legal structure that suits your business idea. For example, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), etc. As every structure has its own requirements and effects, consulting with a legal advisor at UAE Expansion before making a decision will help in determining the most suitable option for your venture.
Trade name registration
A remarkable and memorable trade name creates a great impression of the business. However, for a tourism business, you must ensure that your trade name aligns with the essence of your business as well as adheres to the naming guidelines of the DED.
Licenses and permits
Acquiring the appropriate licenses and permits allows an entrepreneur to legally start tourism business in Dubai. The licenses specified by the DTCM (Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing) for the tourism business vary depending on the nature of the business. For example, for tour operator services, you will need a tour operator license.
Consult with a business setup advisor at UAE Expansion to understand and fulfill the licensing requirements.
Location and office setup
Dubai offers a range of options for locations for entrepreneurs and investors to set up their businesses, such as free zones, commercial areas, and tourist hotspots. Based on your business model and target audience, you can pick a location that offers easy accessibility, visibility, and proximity to travel sites. Likewise, if you need office space to start tourism business in Dubai, go for rental alternatives that not only fit your budget but also fulfill your functional requirements.
Consider the staffing requirements and accordingly recruit skilled professionals, especially those with industry experience and a passion for hospitality and tourism. Most importantly, adhere to the labor rules and regulations of the UAE and make sure to provide employment contracts to the employees.
Marketing and promotion
A robust and distinctive marketing strategy will help promote your tourism business and attract more customers. Hence, you can make use of both traditional and digital marketing means to connect with your target audience.
Make your presence online through an official website, social media platforms, and other travel portals. You may also consider collaborating with local travel agencies, hotels, and tour operators to expand your network and reach a broader client base.
In a service-oriented business like travel and tourism, superior client service is essential. Therefore, train your staff to offer personalized services, exceed expectations, and handle customer inquiries and complaints effectively. Positive feedback, reviews, and personal recommendations would contribute significantly to the success of your business.
Updates and industry trends
As the tourism and hospitality sector is continually growing, new movements and technologies are shaping customer preferences and expectations. Therefore, it is very important to stay versed in industry news and emerging trends to make sure that your business remains competitive and adaptable to changing dynamics.
The cost of starting a tourism company in Dubai
The Dubai tourism license cost differs based on numerous factors, such as the type of license applied for, the nature of the business, and the services intended to be offered. Nevertheless, the general inclusions are as follows:
1. Application fees – While submitting your application for a tourism license, you need to pay an amount as an organizational expense required for processing your application.
2. License fees – Once the authorities approve your license, you will have to incur a fee in order to get your license issued. This amount is typically higher than the application fee.
3. Renewal fees – Tourism licenses are typically valid for a specific period, usually a year, and to continue operating your business in Dubai, you will have to renew your license before its expiration. The Dubai tourism license renewal cost will vary depending on the type of license you own.
4. Security deposit – A security deposit is part of the licensing process in certain cases. It serves as a guarantee and is refundable if the owner succeeds in meeting certain conditions or decides to shut down the business.
5. Additional fees – There might be additional charges associated with certain activities in a tourism business. For example, you will need additional permits for operating desert safaris or adventure tourism, which is an added cost.
If you conduct thorough research and understand the cost implications, you can effectively prepare for the necessary expenses thereby ensuring compliance with the regulations of the tourism industry. UAE Expansion professionals can help you do that.
Open a Tourism Company in Dubai with UAE Expansion
At UAE Expansion, the team of experts is dedicated to providing excellent tourism business ideas in Dubai along with comprehensive assistance in a successful incorporation. They understand the complexities of business setup in Dubai and therefore ensure to arrange all the essentials and complete all the procedures on time without any potential errors. Plus, they direct their clients through each move of the way.
So, partner with UAE Expansion and embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind.