Article image: Opening a travel agency in the UAE

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Currently, there are more than 7,5 thousand companies registered in RAKIA Free Zone Full version

Today’s day United Arab Emirates is the very popular tourist destination. After all, there are perfect conditions for a resort vacation: year-round favorable climate, azure coast, ancient architectural monuments and stunning modern buildings. But the most important aspect is that the government of the United Arab Emirates makes considerable efforts for the development of the tourism and entertainment industry. The combination of these factors makes the jurisdiction attractive for the running of the tourist business.

Flexible corporate environment, the tolerance of the local population and highly qualified personnel make the Emirates the perfect place for opening a travel agency or a company.

How to open a travel agency in the UAE

First of all one must obtain the relevant license in order to carry out any kind of entrepreneurial activities. It is generally accepted to distinguish two types of state licenses among the most popular business areas in this industry. Let’s consider each of them separately.

Operator of inbound and outbound tourism

This type of license provides for the organization of the outbound tourist trips, services for organizing tours within the country, including international conferences and specialized exhibitions. You have to submit the following set of documents to the registration authority in order to obtain this business license:

  • Application, filled in due form;
  • Copy of the foreign passport of the applicant;
  • Certificate which approves the professional qualification of the manager;
  • Clean criminal record certificate regarding the owner and manager of a company;
  • Studies about the economic feasibility of the project.

Travel agent

Agents carry out selling of the air tickets outside the country, provide visa support, tourist accommodation, and organize guided tours and transportation services. Besides, the travel agent is the provider which secures the tourism operators the implementation of their tours.

As to the documents, the list remains the same, but with a few additions. The agent must additionally provide the letter of approval on behalf of the Department of civil aviation of the Emirate. Getting this letter is quite a long and difficult procedure.

As soon as all the documents are provided and the registering body has given first approval, the procedure of state licensing is started.


It is quite difficult to open a travel agency in the UAE because this market segment is strictly regulated. You can always use the services of the specialized firms. Of course, you can solve all the organizational issues independently, but it will lead to significant time expenses. It is much more efficient to entrust the job to the professionals, and to develop your own business ideas and plans. Contact our staff and get a qualified advice for free.

IMPORTANT: opening a travel agency requires availability of sufficient financial resources – from 100 thousand dollars, plus the obligatory presence of a qualified manager with a relevant professional diploma.

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