How To Start A Travel And Tourism Company In The UAE?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

The United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, has a lot of tourist potential. In 2019, 16.73 million foreign tourists visited Dubai, up from 15.92 million in the past year. Dubai attracts more foreign visitors than Singapore and is the world’s fourth most visited city after Bangkok, Paris, and London. Travel limitations imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 reduced the number of foreign visitors, although Dubai nevertheless received 5.51 million international visitors that year. Tourism contributes significantly to Dubai’s GDP. In fact, it may surprise you to hear that oil profits account for less than 1% of the GDP. So if you are an entrepreneur wondering how to start a travel and tourism company in the UAE, read along. 

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Dubai – The Tourist Magnet

There is no denying the fact that Dubai is perhaps one of the world’s top tourist attractions. Aside from tourism, Dubai is a worldwide event and exhibition center. It was the host city for Expo 2020, which attracted up to 24 million visitors over the course of its 182-day span. In the first ten days, 411,768 visits were made by business and tourism visitors from 175 countries. Because of the simplicity of conducting business in Dubai, business travelers flock to the city for business setup in Dubai.

Emirates, the world’s largest airline in terms of international passenger-kilometers flown, has its headquarters at Dubai International Airport. Before coronavirus-related travel restrictions took effect in 2020, Dubai International Airport handled 86.4 million passengers in 2019. Dubai is now officially the world’s third busiest airport, after only Atlanta and Beijing. Sharjah International Airport is approximately 40 minutes from Dubai and serves around 11.99 million people per year. It is home to the international carrier Air Arabia, which has flights to 170 locations globally.

At $553 per day, each visitor in Dubai spends the most money in the world. It also boasts the world’s second-highest count of five-star hotels. Dubai has 717 hotels, including apartment hotels, with a total of 118,039 hotel rooms. On average, the cost of each accommodation is AED 493 per day. The notion that a business-class hotel room can be purchased for as little as $25 per day makes Dubai an exceptionally appealing option for budget-conscious foreign tourists. International flights are also in high demand from Dubai’s 3.38 million people, many of whom are ex-pats. Dubai citizens also make significant contributions to domestic tourism. It is no mystery that folks on a business trip may choose to do some touring and sightseeing, blurring the distinction between business travelers and tourists.

All of this means that there are a plethora of opportunities for people working and intending to work in the travel and tourism business. 

Planning for company formation in Dubai? Contact the experts at A&A Associate in Dubai. 

Steps to Obtain a Travel Agency License in Dubai

  • Pick a good name for your travel company that will be acceptable.
  • Create the firm formation paperwork and assign shares to each owner.
  • A Notary Public should notarize the firm establishment paperwork.
  • Choose a real office location for your travel agency.
  • Sign a Rental Contract with the property’s owner.
  • The Tenancy Agreement must be registered in order to become valid.
  • Apply with Dubai Economy for a firm registration and a Travel Agency License.
  • Receive a payment voucher indicating the applicable costs.
  • Make payments, obtain firm registration, and obtain a Travel Agency License.

You can begin operations once you have obtained your Travel Agency License. A company set up specialist may assist you in opening a corporate bank account so that you can easily send and receive payments. It is difficult to create a business bank account in the United Arab Emirates due to tight anti-money laundering regulations. However, with the help of professional business setup consultants in Dubai, the procedure might be completed in as little as two hours rather than the entire day.

Types of Tourism License in Dubai

There are three types of Tourism licenses in Dubai:

  1. Inbound Tour Operator License
  2. Outbound Tour Operator License
  3. Travel Agent License

The Inbound Tour Operator License authorizes the organization or agency to provide services such as local travel, events, visa issuance, and transportation needs to locals, residents, and foreigners or tourists visiting Dubai.

The Outbound Tour Operator License allows the firm or agency to offer travel or tourist packages outside of the UAE via e-commerce or the network of opinion agents.

The Travel Agent License authorizes the organization or agency to conduct vendor operations for tickets and booking services, as well as all connected services. Flight tickets, transportation (buses, trains, etc.), hotel accommodations, all vacation-related bookings, and vehicle rental services are all included.

Experts at business consultancy services in Dubai may advise you on the appropriate business license for your travel firm. It should be noted that if you want to provide guided tours, your tour guides must have a Tour Guide License.

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Documents needed to get the Tourism license

The issuance of the travel and tourism business license demands the following documents:

  • Completed Tourism License Application
  • The owner’s proof of a clean criminal record
  • Copy of the valid passport of each of the applicants
  • Work qualification certification
  • Civil Aviation Authority No Objection letter
  • The owner’s good conduct certificate
  • A thorough feasibility study or planning report detailing the economics and mechanics of the project

What activities are availed with a Tourism License?

A tourism license enables a company or an agency to

  • Provide accommodation or stay choices
  • Sell transportation tickets including flights, railway, etc.
  • Sell tourism packages online
  • Sell tourism packages offline
  • Cater visa-related supporting services
  • Avail car rental services
  • Issue travel insurance

All of the above tourist business activities and possibilities can be carried out in Dubai under the same license. 

Furthermore, with the assistance of a professional company setup adviser like A&A Associate, you may be able to obtain more than you ever imagine under the canopy of current UAE and Dubai incentives.