Home » Six simple steps to opening a travel agency on the UAE mainland

Six simple steps to opening a travel agency on the UAE mainland

by Nathan Zachary
Six simple steps to opening a travel agency on the UAE mainland

It’s the perfect time to launch a travel company in the United Arab Emirates, with tourist numbers on track to reach the government’s Tourism Vision 2020 objective of 20 million tourists to Dubai alone (UAE). By 2027, according to official statistics, tourism would generate AED 116 billion, or 5.4% of the UAE’s GDP, directly or indirectly supporting over 750,000 employment.

The industry is highly regulated, so seeking expert assistance might help you avoid expensive hassles in the future if you’re unsure how to start a travel agency firm while adhering to the regulations.

Let’s look at those important actions in the correct order.

1. Establish your business activity:

You must choose specifically what kind of travel business you want to run. Will you focus on operating an outbound operator, an inbound tour operator, or a travel agency firm? You have a wide variety of options for business across all the markets you could target.

2. Choose a company name:

Before you understand the laws, don’t get too wedded to any names. While terms like “global,” “international,” “East,” or “West” are permissible, they may result in additional costs and may be subject to other restrictions.

For instance, it makes sense that profanity and the name of God, whether in Arabic or English, be forbidden. You can also collect more information from Launch your Travel Agency In Dubai

3. Apply for a business licence:

The DED is responsible for issuing commercial, professional, industrial, and tourism trade or company licences in Dubai. Regardless of industry, all businesses are required to possess a trade licence at the very least. Depending on the legal structure of your company, your memorandum of association, certificate of formation, and copies of shareholder passports are typically required with the application.

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is the appropriate issuing authority for the supplementary licences that some industries require (DTCM).

4. Apply for your tourism licence:

The next step is to submit an application to the DTCM for either an outgoing operator licence, an incoming operator licence, or a travel agent licence.

When opening a travel agency in Dubai, you’ll also need a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority if you intend to sell airline tickets. Other requirements include an outline of your business plan and proof of a clean criminal record. This needs to be renewed every year, 30 days before it runs out.

5. Set up employee visas:

A tourist or visit visa will have been issued by the time an employee applies, so make sure to do so within 30 days of their admission into the nation.

For staff entry permits, only register on the Ministry of Interior’s online page (another name for a provisional 60-day employment visa). Once granted, workers can activate that entry permit by performing a “in-country status change,” which is a necessary step in obtaining a complete employment visa.

Your business licence, copies of your passport, and an establishment card are required. This card is used to register your business with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). Keep in mind that before sending personnel from the South Asian Subcontinent on an incoming trip, you must get their “OK to Board” approval. You can check out the Freezone company formation for professional assistance.

6. Open a corporate bank account:

No bank will accept your company without a trade licence, so choose your bank carefully because a bad decision could cost you later.

Most will need a consistent minimum balance, often between AED 1 million and AED 5,000. Additionally, although some require residency documentation for at least one shareholder, others do not.

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