How to start a tourism business in Dubai?

Start a tourism business in Dubai
January 18, 2024

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The UAE is becoming a popular destination for visitors (whether they are tourists or investors). So, the UAE government is paying special attention to the travel sector in 2024. Entrepreneurs can start a tourism business in Dubai to tap into the growing visitors to this top tourist destination.

Promoting tourism is one of the best ways to boost the economy of a country. The thriving UAE’s travel industry is taking advantage of the people incoming to the marvel of the Middle East. Accordingly, tour operators are attracting the visitors to the sightseeing places in Dubai.

That’s why tourism companies in Dubai and across the UAE are flourishing big time. Dubai attracts travelers from all corners of the world. Thus, it makes setting up a travel and tourism business in the UAE a fantastic decision aspiring entrepreneurs can make.

There are many pros of setting up a business in the tourism industry. Subsequently, the government of Dubai is taking several steps and providing valuable incentives to promote this domain. It all is enticing the business owners to invest in the travel sector of the Emirate.

Reasons to start a tourism business in Dubai

What are motives of starting a tourism business in Dubai?

Here are the leading causes for entrepreneurs to start a tourism business in Dubai.

Now, we take a brief look on these rationales.

Central location

Dubai is an international business and travel hub. Therefore, its location turns it into a strategic link between Asia, Africa, and Europe. It makes Dubai an ideal city for global trading, export, import, hospitality, tourism, and other business activities.

With accessible land and sea travel, Dubai is taking part in goods transportation between the West and the East. Its central location makes it easy for companies and people in Dubai to access worldwide consumer markets. For example, Americas, Africa, Asia, the Gulf, Europe and CIS (Commonwealth Independent States) countries.

Attainable visa and residency

Emirati and foreign entrepreneurs having interest in tourism find business setup in Dubai or other regions of UAE beneficial. Also, expats who have residency in the UAE can lease office spaces for tourism companies for a long time. They can enter and exit UAE multiple times, and open current accounts in the UAE banks. Moreover, they can obtain a visa for other countries, including countries that make up the Schengen area.

Free trade zones

Dubai has a number of free zones that are currently facilitating different kinds of businesses. Foreign investors and entrepreneurs can setup and gain 100% ownership of the business, without partnering with local sponsors. Also, keep in mind all free trade zones vary from one another and provide licenses in various sectors.

Safe to live a high quality of life

Crime rates in Dubai are one of the lowest in the world. Besides, political and security stability is one of the major reasons for the increase in FDI. Dubai provides an ideal environment for businesses to prosper.

As the FDI increases, the standards of lifestyle also improve. UAE is ranked 26th in the world on the UN Happiness Index in 2023 (on a three-year-average of 2020-2022). Because, a plethora of business opportunities and tourist destinations make UAE a country to live in and visit.

Access to air and sea

The UAE is home to one of the largest airport and seaport — Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port. It is easy to transport items by land, air and sea from different parts of the world to Dubai. Similarly, it is easy to send goods from Dubai to any of the world.

The blossoming tourism industry of Dubai

Why is the tourism industry growing in Dubai?

Nowadays, the tourism and travel sector of the UAE is witnessing a phenomenal growth. Thus, the experts link this expansion to the technological advancements of Dubai in the past several years. A research estimates the tourists to the UAE to reach 14.2 million by 2028 from 11.48 million in 2021. (Statista)

The rising globalization, and the stable economic conditions of the UAE are also vital factors. Besides, some of the recent initiatives by the authorities in Dubai are contributing their part in this boon. The government is carefully planning various projects that include advances in the infrastructure.

Connectivity of Dubai international airport (DXB) with major airports worldwide is playing a great role in this regard. Additionally, the improvements in rail and road are easing the transportation of both people and goods inside the country. Dubai is known as a destination of significance for architecture enthusiasts, as it has abundant architectural wonders.

Setup a tourism business in Dubai
Setup a tourism business in Dubai

Advantages of establishing a tourism business in Dubai

Which are benefits of forming tourism business in Dubai?

These are the rewards of beginning a tourism business in Dubai and the UAE.

Next, we briefly look upon these gains of beginning a tourism business in Dubai.

Multinational business culture

Dubai has a business culture that is ideal for multinational companies. It is home to many multinational companies’ offices such as Microsoft, LG Electronics, Sony, HSBC, Emirates, BBC World, etc. Consequently, you can also setup a branch office of your multinational tourism business here.

Also, many internationally popular universities have campuses in Dubai. For instance, London School of Business, Hult International Business School, Michigan State University, etc. You can also open a campus for your educational institution in Dubai.

Modern infrastructure

Over the past 2 decades, Dubai is constructing high standard infrastructure, whether it is a road network or high-rise buildings. As the FDI increases, Dubai is creating facilities for industrial, residential, tourism and commercial use. So, these facilities are to help investors and entrepreneurs in setting up their businesses.

Likewise, the construction of new roads, the new airport, and public transportation facilities is also under progress. The infrastructure in the UAE is the best in the world as per the WEF’s Tourism Competitiveness Report. Also, the UAE ranks second in quality of roads, third in quality of air transportation, fifth in port infrastructure, and eight in land transportation network.

Repatriation of earnings and profits

The government of Dubai allows 100% repatriation of the revenues from companies in free zones and mainland. Remember that Dubai does not have any restrictions on foreign exchange. Furthermore, it maintains a stable exchange rate between the UAE Dirham, US Dollar, and other high-performing currencies.

No taxation policy

The UAE is known to have a very diverse economy. Almost all types of businesses have zero taxation, except for international banks branches, hotels, and large oil and gas companies. So, personal income tax, VAT, corporate tax, retention tax, and tax on capital gains are not applicable by Dubai’s government.

Procedure of incorporating a tourism business in Dubai

What is process of registering a tourism business in Dubai?

To start a tourism business in Dubai, you need to comply with the guidelines set out by the administration. So that you can establish your company to conduct tourist operations with ease and agility. The steps to incorporate a tourism agency are as follows.

We briefly discuss the step-by-step procedure to start a tourism business in Dubai.

Obtain the proper license

Before initiating the setup process, make sure that you are applying for the correct kind of tourism license. Because the Dubai government is currently offering four types of licenses in relation to tourism and travel. The applicable types of tourism business licenses are as follows.

  • Travel Company License
  • Inbound Travel Operator License
  • Travel Agency License
  • Outbound Travel Operator License

Carefully choose a license for your tourism business. Because, it will help you in determining what kind of tourism company you will create. Henceforth, it tells you what will are the activities that your tour operator company can perform.

Submit important documents

You have to submit these specific documents to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai.

  • The application form
  • Copies of passport and visa of both yourself (the applicant) and the manager
  • A copy of the family records
  • Copy of the identification papers of the directors, managers, and the employees
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the regulatory authority

Pay the license fees

The next step is to pay the fee for tourism license after the submission of the legal documents. Thus, you have to deposit the license fee to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai. Then, you wait for the status of your license application.

Collect the license

In case, your application is successful, you can collect the tourism license. Rent your office and commence managing tours in Dubai and the UAE. However, if your application faces rejection, then you can re-apply.

Promotion of your tourism business

How to promote your tourism business in Dubai?

Here are the ways to boost your tourism business in Dubai and online to attract international audience.

Let’s deliberate over these promotional measures to boost a tourism business in Dubai and online.

Do branding of the company

Create a unique brand for your company that can persuade the customers into spending money on your services. After all, a customer-first brand is good enough to win their faith. Do whatever it takes to stick out amidst the competition.

Be it handing out flyers or building a flashy website or even splurging on creating a TV, etc. How do you expect them to utilize your services if they do not even know that you exist? So, let the people learn about your company and get full awareness of your services/products.

Organize extensive marketing

Gone are the days when providing excellent service was deemed enough to win customers trust and loyalty. Because of the growing competition that is the direct result of globalization, marketing has become the name of the game. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for companies to invest in proper marketing campaigns.

Allocate a suitable operational budget

Arrange a proper budget that outlines all the funds you have at your disposal to perform various activities. This budget helps you in the management of the company. Thus, it allows you to control the different department expenses and plan your future actions going forward.

The preparation of a budget keeps the business pursuits in check. Furthermore, it assists in regulating the expenses of the business. This is necessary with the rise in the number of conferences and seminars being held in the Middle East.

Notably, the World Dubai Expo 2020 has led to tourism and business growth in the UAE. Travel and tourism business is turning into a feasible and profitable option for business owners and entrepreneurs all internationally. Because, the geo-strategic position of the UAE has made it a travel and business hub.


In the event, you want to start a tourism business in Dubai. Expert business consultants can help you with company formation in Dubai to begin tourist operations in the UAE. It is true, whether it is a company in the free zone or in the mainland.

The professionals at KWS Middle East help you go through the registration process swiftly. Apart from company incorporation, you can get valuable business support services. Such as corporate bank account opening, visa processing, product registration, etc.

Connect with us for consultation to start a tourism business in Dubai right away. We understand the problems that entrepreneurs face when they are starting a business in the UAE. So, we make you journey free of hassles as possible.

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