How to Set up a Boutique Business in Dubai?

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A boutique is essentially a store that exclusively sells stylish, handcrafted clothes, jewelry, bags, purses and other such luxury goods. The possibilities with boutique business in Dubai are endless, you can start a women’s clothing boutique or you can open one that caters to the needs of the entire family.

However, the most important question still remains. Is it wise to invest in Dubai? How does one start a boutique business in Dubai? And how much does it cost to start a boutique business in Dubai?

Let’s address your concerns one by one.

To answer the first question: All you need to know to quell your worries is that Dubai, is the Fashion Center of the Middle East and it hosts shopping festivals and fashion shows around the year.

This little fact shows that the people of the UAE are highly-fashion-conscious and they are always on the lookout for chic, trendy clothes that are also not too heavy on the pocket.

Therefore, starting a boutique business in Dubai, will prove to be a fruitful venture.

The second inquiry can be easily answered in order to succeed in anything in life, you need to have ambition and drive to power through even in the worst scenarios.

Apart from that, a successful boutique business demands nay requires meticulous planning. You should have a clear game plan in mind.

To do that it is preferred that you make a comprehensive business plan that outlines things like, where are you going to set up shop?What are you going to sell?What will be your main attraction? And from where are you going to get the capital to finance your business setup in Dubai?

You should have all these questions sorted out before joining the ranks of entrepreneurs.

To answer your last query , how much does it cost to start a boutique? In a word as much you wish!

Really, it is true there’s no minimum capital restriction on opening a boutique business in Dubai.You can invest as much as you your little heart desires, just make sure that you do not overextend your finances too much.

Pro-tip: If you are looking to jump into the world of fashion retail and do not want to leave the comfort of your home, then you can open an online boutique!

All you need to make this happen is an E-commerce License and you are good to go!

Now that we have addressed all your concerns satisfactorily, let us now dig in into the matter at hand, which is How to set up a boutique business in Dubai?

Some Key Factors to Keep in Mind While Setting Up a Boutique Business in Dubai

Type of Boutique Shop:

Decide on what type of boutique business you wish to open in Dubai. You can make this choice based entirely on your interests. You can open a high-end fashion boutique that sells top designer-labels and caters to only the rich and the famous.

Or you can open a modern boutique that sells fast fashion brands. These boutiques are most commonly frequented by young, cool and hip crowds.

Or you can even open a wholesale garment store.


Select a location for your boutique:

  • that has a lot of traffic
  • Is highly-visible and
  • Has a price tag that fits your budget.

Beside these factors, you need to evaluate the competition in your immediate surroundings, so that you can devise your marketing strategy accordingly.

To open a boutique shop in Dubai, The Department of Economic Development Dubai (DED) has a clear-cut process, which is explained for your convenience in the following few passages.

Requirements for Opening Boutique Business in Dubai

Getting Local Support:

The first step you must take to make your boutique business in Dubai a reality is to rope in some local support.

This support should come from a UAE national, as it is mandatory in Dubai and other parts of the UAE to have a local sponsoring a foreigner’s enterprise.

Unless you are considering Free Zones as the base of your operations you need to partner up with a local who will own 51% of the company.

To get trustworthy local support in Dubai enlist the help of business setup providers, such as KWS Middle East who are adept in fulfilling such tasks adequately.

Business License and Registration

Apply to the DED to get initial approval for your boutique business in Dubai.

Choose your Business Jurisdiction

You need to select a business jurisdiction that best suits your requirements. Once you have decided on it , you will have to structure your boutique business accordingly as they are also heavily scrutinized by the DED.

Rent or Lease Shop Premises

Once you have narrowed down a location for your retail store in Dubai that fits all your needs, you need to get it approved from the requisite governing body which in this case is: the Dubai Municipality (DM).

Required Documentation and PRO

A Lot of paperwork is required in order to get certifications, approval,permission and visas from various entities if we take into account the jurisdiction of your boutique business and the shareholding structure of your business.

Regardless, what kind of business do you run; it needs to fulfill the criteria laid out by the DED.

Read MoreBusiness Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs in Dubai

The Process of Starting a Boutique Business in Dubai

The process of setting up a boutique shop in Dubai is as follows:

  1. Submit copies of your passport and (visit) visa.
  2. Get the NOCs –No Objection Certificate– for the initial approval and approval for the Trade name.
  3. Draft and sign the MoA –Memorandum of Approval– with the UAE local sponsor/ partner.
  4. Finalize the shop space and sign the lease.
  5. If it is a wholesale garment business, finalize the business center.
  6. Submit all the above-mentioned documents with the DED and receive a receipt.
  7. Clear all the dues.
  8. Collect the issued license.

Now, your boutique is ready for business. You can now because of the license can import-export, retail your merchandise across Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

Setting up a boutique shop in Dubai involves extensive planning, monetary investment , documentation,licensing and more. It is always better to get professional guidance from experienced business setup consultants.

KWS Middle East makes the process of business setup in Dubai extremely straight-forward and easy. Their elite team handles the fine points of the whole process so that you can focus on the thing that matters the most — Building your business!

In case of any queries email us at

Contact us today and book your commitment-free call with our talented team!

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