How to start an Engineering Consultancy business in Dubai

How to setup an Engineering Consultancy business in Dubai
January 25, 2024

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The world is undergoing a great industrial revolution and business transformation in different verticals. Engineering is playing a major role in this advancement globally, Gulf region, and the UAE. Therefore, starting an engineering consulting business in Dubai is a promising opportunity in 2024.

An engineering consultancy business is a company that takes part in engineering activities. Dubai Municipality regulates the engineering industry in the Emirate of Dubai. It ensures excellence, quality control, and make certain national/foreign companies safely and competently perform the work they hold tenders for.

In the event, you want to launch a business like an engineering consultancy in Dubai. You have to apply for a permit to practice in the area, to conduct engineering or construction activities. Also, ensure that your company has correct classification and accredited by Dubai Municipality Building Service Department Qualification team.

General types of engineering consulting businesses

Which are the general types of engineering consulting businesses?

Local engineering firms are the businesses in the company register that one or more UAE nationals own. They may get edge over their foreign counterparts in certain areas. There are three types of engineering consulting businesses in general.

  • Associate engineering firm
  • Expert engineering firm
  • Foreign engineering branch office

Categorization of engineering consulting businesses on experience

What are categories of engineering consulting businesses on experience?

There are three categories of engineering consulting businesses on the basis of experience.

  • Category 1 — Ten years for UAE nationals or fifteen years for expatriates
  • Category 2 — Five years for UAE nationals or ten years for foreigners
  • Category 3 — Three years for UAE nationals or five years for others

Classification of engineering consulting businesses on project height

How are engineering consulting businesses classified on project height?

Dubai Municipality classifies engineers who go about company formation in Dubai in three categories.

  • First (Unlimited) Category — This enables participation in projects of any height
  • Second (G+12) Category — This enables participation in projects up to 12 stories in height
  • Third (G+4) Category — This enables participation in projects up to 4 stories in height

Foreigners can hold 100% ownership in the engineering companies from June 2021.

Major engineering activities in Dubai

What are main engineering activities in Dubai that you can conduct?

These are some main engineering activities that are common in Dubai and the UAE.

  • Architectural consultancy
  • Civil engineering consultancy
  • Electrical and electronic engineering consultancy
  • Mechanical engineering consultancy
  • Mine, mining and geological engineering consultancy
  • Chemical and petrol engineering consultancy

Considerations to start an engineering consultancy business

Which are requirements to start an engineering consultancy business?

Here are the requirements to begin an engineering consulting business in Dubai.

  • If the company is registering as branch of oversees company in Dubai, it must provide comprehensive details of parent company’s work activities for the last 15 years in order to be correctly classified.
  • General manager of the engineering consultancy business must be an engineer with an experience of minimum 15 years and also be a national of parent company’s country.
  • The engineer who is taking responsibility of each activity listed on trading license must have 15 years’ experience, and be a member of Society of engineers in the UAE.
  • In case of Dubai LLC company formation or civil company, local partner is required who is, an Emirati architect or civil engineer having minimum 10 years qualified experience.
  • Oversees company are required to appoint a local agent to handle the business setup application on their behalf. The local agent should be Dubai born and resident.
  • Proof of technical competence in the form of project completion certificates which will require to be notarized, legalized and translated for use in Dubai.

Procedure for getting an engineering license

What is the process of getting an engineering license?

Before initiating business setup in Dubai, you must decide whether you want to set up in Dubai mainland or free zone. If you want to go for Dubai mainland company formation, you can consider to have a local sponsor. Remember, to serve the Dubai market you need a mainland license.

If you opt for Dubai free zone company formation, then you have benefits like 100% ownership and zero-taxation. But company registration procedure in every free zone is different, as it is set by its authority.

Dubai Municipality has set some parameters for engineering companies. These guidelines help in regulating the practice of engineering consultancy business. Engineering, architectural, or industrial consultants have to appoint a local partner that must possess the following attributes.

  • Have a UAE nationality
  • Holder of BSc. degree in engineering from a renowned university in one of the recognized engineering fields
  • To have minimum 3 years of experience in this specialized field after receiving university degree
  • Be a member of engineers’ association in the UAE


The process of setting up an engineering company in Dubai is complex and quite challenging. If your business fully meets the above criteria. Then, you get a temporary permit that allows you to start employing staff before finalizing commercial license.

It is always beneficial to seek professional advice from business consultants. KWS Middle East acts as a liaison to ensure the Dubai Municipality understands which areas your engineering firm can cover. Hence, you can operate safely and legally as quickly as possible in the UAE. Just send us an email or call us today.

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