Having a Tourism License in Dubai for enterprises operating is beneficial on many levels. As Dubai continues to attract a wave of tourists, the demand for these licenses is consistently on the rise. For entrepreneurs tackling the journey of launching a tourism Business in Dubai, securing a tourism license is a crucial step. The city offers three distinct types of tourism licenses to cater to diverse business models.

Dubai’s Thriving Tourism Industry

This thriving tourism landscape guarantees Dubai’s enduring prominence on the global tourism map, thereby benefiting enterprises aligned with the tourism and travel sector in the region. The Tourism License holders can have gr

Understanding Tourism License in Dubai

A Dubai Tourism License serves as an official authorization required by companies and establishments to legally engage in operations within the travel and tourism sector in Dubai and the wider UAE. Given the perpetual expansion of the economy and the tourism industry, the demand for these licenses has exhibited a consistent upward trajectory.

Types of Tourism License in Dubai, UAE

The types of licenses available in Dubai correspond to the nature of the tourism business. These licenses can be broadly categorized as follows:

  1. Inbound Tourism License: This permits businesses to organize trips for tourists visiting Dubai.
  2. Outbound Tourism License: This license empowers companies to arrange outbound trips, catering to residents and tourists interested in exploring other countries.
  3. Travel Agency License: Tailored for travel agents, this license enables the sale of air tickets for international travel and the provision of visitor visas to clients.

Dubai Tour Guide License

One notable category is the Dubai Tour Guide License. A tour guide plays a pivotal role in accompanying tourists to significant attractions across Dubai. To obtain this license, individuals are required to possess a comprehensive understanding of the United Arab Emirates culture, history, and prominent tourist sites. Several conditions for the Dubai Tour Guide License:

  • Prospective guides must participate in and successfully complete the Tour Guide Award Program.
  • The license’s validity extends for a year.
  • An essential Tour Guide License Badge is conferred by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), without which operating in Dubai is prohibited.
  • Annual renewal is mandatory, contingent upon participation in the DTCM’s annual refresher program.
  • Failure to renew the license for two consecutive years results in sanctions imposed by the DTCM.

The process to get a Tourism License in Dubai, UAE

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is the governing body responsible for approving Travel and Tourism Licenses in Dubai. The journey to obtaining a Dubai Tourism License encompasses the following stages:

  • Choosing License Type and Economic Jurisdiction:

Opt for either a Mainland License or a Free Zone License, depending on your business model. Mainland licenses facilitate local market engagement and government contracts, while Free Zone licenses offer tax incentives and more. Seeking professional advice during this decision-making process is highly recommended.

  • Defining Business Activity:

Select a business activity category that aligns with your company’s scope. Expert guidance can streamline this process and prevent potential complications.

  • Selecting a Company Name:

Follow government regulations meticulously while choosing a company name. Avoid any offensive or registered names, and ensure distinctiveness.

  • Securing Initial Approval:

Obtain preliminary endorsement from the Department of Economic Development (DED) by submitting required forms and signatures.

  • Undergoing Site Inspection:

Facilitate a site inspection by providing detailed location information. This step is essential before receiving your license.

  • Drafting Limited Liability Company (LLC) Agreement:

For an LLC setup, translate and certify the agreement with a public notary or, if already in Arabic, skip this step.

  • Signing the Agreement:

All involved shareholders and attorneys must sign the agreement at a notary.

  • Submission and Document Verification:

Submit necessary documents, pay fees, and undergo document verification to finalize your license acquisition. This is the list of important documents you will need:

  • Completed Tourism License Application form
  • Copies of valid passports of the applicants
  • Certification of work qualification/bonafide by the manager
  • Certificate of the good conduct of the owner/Proof of clean criminal record
  • A detailed project report that highlights the economic & technical feasibility of the project
  • No Objection letter issued by Civil Aviation Authority
  • Tenant Contract Requirement:

Prepare a Tenancy Contract to present to the DED alongside other documents.

Essential Documents for Tourism License in Dubai Application:

  • Completed form from the Department of Economic Development
  • Passport copies of all shareholders
  • Owner’s clean criminal record certificate
  • No Objection Letter from the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Owner’s certificate of good conduct
  • Manager’s professional qualification certificate
  • Technical and economic feasibility study report
  • Manager’s work experience certificate

Cost of Tourism License in Dubai, UAE

The Tourism License in Dubai Fees varies based on business size and activities. Typically, the cost hovers around AED 20,000. Notably, recent regulatory changes have abolished the need for a bank guarantee, resulting in substantial cost reductions for outbound tour operators, inbound tour operators, and travel agents.

Who Should Apply for a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai?

All the people related to these business entities should get a Tourism License for lawful operation in Dubai and the UAE, including:

  • Travel agents
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Travel firms
  • Car rental firms

Upon obtaining the license, business owners can undertake an array of activities such as selling tour packages, providing Visa services, issuing travel insurance, selling transportation tickets, offering lodging options, and more.

Advantages of Travel and Tourism License in Dubai:

Acquiring a Dubai Tourism License comes with numerous advantages, especially in the dynamic landscape of the UAE:

  • Consolidation of License Types: With the latest regulations, businesses can house travel agents, outbound tour operators, and inbound tour operator functions within a single license, eliminating the need for extra fees or bank guarantees.
  • Event Organization: Licenses enable the organization of shows, exhibitions, and global conferences.
  • Reduced Investment Barriers: Recent changes significantly diminish the initial investment required for a Tourism License, making entry into the industry more accessible.
  • Promotion Opportunities: The license propels a company’s visibility within the domestic and international tourism sectors.
  • Enhanced Services: For travel agencies, the license facilitates the issuance of visitor visas (subject to immigration approval) and the sale of airline tickets within the UAE.
  • Expanded Services: Business owners can offer guided tours, transportation, and related services to clientele.

Key Activities Requiring a Travel and Tourism License in Dubai:

Dubai’s bustling tourism sector encompasses a variety of activities. Some prominent ones include:

  • Renting Residential Premises: Offering short-term and long-term rental services for apartments, villas, and individual rooms to generate income.
  • Tourism Consultancy: Providing feasibility and marketing studies to identify tourism-related job opportunities.
  • Organizing Excursions: Arranging activities for travel agencies, catering to both groups and individuals.
  • Corporate and Business Tourism: Offering services such as workshops, training sessions, incentive trips, and more for corporate clientele.

Differences in Tourism License Types by Economic Jurisdiction:

Mainland Tourism License in Dubai:

  • A broad spectrum of services catering to both local and international markets.
  • Potential for 100% ownership without local partners, especially in hotel and guest house activities.
  • Certain approvals, permits, and documentation are needed for licensing.
  • To learn more about Dubai Mainland read our detailed article.

Free Zone Tourism License in Dubai:

  • No restrictions on ownership, offering full 100% ownership possibilities and residency Visa acquisition.
  • Exclusive provision of travel or tour operator services for overseas destinations.
  • Facilitation of local market presence through travel services under an agency scheme, acting as intermediaries.


In conclusion, Tourism License in Dubai and the UAE is an intricate yet rewarding endeavor for those seeking to launch into the tourism sector. Setup Biz will navigate you through the process of getting your Travel and Tourism license. Contact Us Now for further inquiries.

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