How to start your Tourism Business in the UAE
15 March 2023
Despite the challenges of 2020, The UAE, especially Dubai, has made an impressive recovery in terms of its tourism business. Between January and May 2022, 6.17 million international overnight visitors flocked to this vibrant destination which was a staggering 197 percent increase compared to 2019.
At the inaugural City Briefing of the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), over 1,200 industry executives were in attendance, representing sectors such as aviation, travel, hospitality, and retail. The Director General of DET, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri has praised the exemplary vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for propelling Dubai to success. This can be seen in the nation’s strive towards becoming the primary economic and tourism investment hub in the world.
Seeing a remarkable rise in the tourism industry, there has been a surge in Dubai’s hotel occupancy rate from 62 percent in 2021 to an impressive 76 percent between January and May of 2022. According to data from STR, one of the world’s leading hospitality analytics firms, this places Dubai far ahead as global No.1 for hotel occupancies when compared with international cities like New York (61%), London (60%), and Paris (57%).
Through Expo 2020, the UAE is converting this momentum into growth in all tourism aspects – from cultural heritage to culinary delights – with a determination towards making it “the most visited destination and city of the future” providing an unparalleled living and working experience.
How to Start
To encourage more travelers, the UAE government has eased restrictions attracting more people, and making UAE an investment-worthy and tourist-friendly destination. As a significant economic driver, tourism is expected to reach US$1,285.00 million in 2023.
With the numerous advantages and licensing options of doing business in the UAE, especially Dubai, there’s no better time to start a Travel and Tourism company. Let’s get to know more about the license options and how you can get started now.
What You Need to Know?
What is a Tourism License?
A Tourism License is needed for business establishments that operate in the travel and tourism sector to provide services to travelers and locals.
The types of Tourism licenses have their own features and certain activities are subject to approval.
Inbound Tour Operator License
● This license allows agencies to handle inland travel, visa issuance, events, and transportation for nationals and foreigners who are visiting Dubai or any other emirate.
Outbound Tour Operator License
● This license allows agencies to sell travel and tourism packages outside UAE through online platforms, e-commerce, offline agents, and many more.
Travel Agent License
● This license allows agencies to act as a seller for tickets and booking-related services such as transportation rental services and ticket issuance for flights, buses, trains, hotels, and holiday packages on behalf of other agents.
Tour Guide License
● This license allows tour guides to have access to tourist attractions and should be knowledgeable of the historical and cultural significance of the local places.
Who can benefit from Tourism License?
- Other tourism-related entities
What can you do?
Selling tourism packages online and offline
Issuing travel insurance
Providing accommodation and stay options
Offering support services related to visa issuance
Selling flight, rail, and bus tickets
Providing car rental services
- Offering adventure tour packages
What activities are allowed?
Tour operator activities
Business and corporate tourism
Inbound and outbound excursions
Residential premises rental
What are the requirements?
Completed Application Form
Applicant’s valid passport copy
Applicant’s valid visa copy
Latest UAE entry stamp from the passport
Emirates ID Copy (if applicable)
Passport size photo
Proof of work qualifications of manager/s
Certificate of good conduct of the owner/s
What are the steps and procedures?
Choose your License Jurisdiction: Mainland or Free Zone
Define your business activity
Company Name Reservation
Get the Initial approval
- Memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing
Finalize business address
Submission of all the above approvals
Issuance of trade license
How can EZONE help you?
At EZONE, we make setting up your new tourism business a hassle-free experience by calling on the expertise of our team. With our proven track record and personalized services, you can be sure that every detail is taken care of so that you’ll be ready to welcome travelers in no time.
We have the skill and knowledge to streamline the entire process – from obtaining a license to ensuring full legal compliance – for you. Contact 800-EZONEUAE or email firstname.lastname@example.org and start your Tourism business today.