Dubai DED activity list

All You Must Know About the DED Trade License Activity List in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is a government body responsible for promoting commercial activity in Dubai. Among its powers is the granting of the trade license. In this sense, a trade license is an essential document to operate legally in Dubai. Likewise, this government body regulates a Dubai DED activity list for their correct performance in the emirate.

In this article, you will learn about the Dubai DED activity list. Likewise, you will learn about the different types of trade licenses granted by the DED in Dubai, and the process to obtain these licenses, such as selecting a location, defining the business’ legal form, and collecting the necessary paperwork for the DED trade license. Also, you will learn the cost of this process.

What is the DED activities list in Dubai, UAE

dubai ded activity list

The DED is the country’s Department of Economic Development. This is a government entity that supervises and regulates economic growth in the UAE. Likewise, it has the responsibility of promoting the DED business activity list, encouraging investment, and ensuring a favorable business environment.

Here is some of the common Dubai DED activity list:

  • Retail activities:

These activities: stores clothing, electronics, jewelry, toys, and food products, among others.

  • Restaurants and cafes:

This refers to and includes fast food restaurants, specialty restaurants, cafeterias, and the like.

  • Service activities:

Such as hairdressers, beauty salons, spas, cleaning services, maintenance services, and consulting services, among others.

  • Construction and maintenance activities:

These activities include construction contractors, plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning companies, among others.

  • Real estate activities:

Such as real estate agents and brokers, real estate developers, and property management companies.

  • Educational activities:

Schools, training institutes, language centers, among others.

  • Health and wellness activities:

Such as clinics, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers, gyms, etc.

  • Financial and legal consulting activities:

We refer to accounting companies, law firms, and financial consultants, among others.

This Dubai DED activity list is only a general reference and does not cover all commercial activities. Therefore, there may be commercial activities not mentioned above.

Commercial License

The Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai is the government body responsible for granting the different licenses, including the commercial license to companies that wish to carry out any DED activity list 2023 in the emirate. Therefore, obtaining a commercial license from the DED is a crucial step in legally establishing and operating a business in Dubai.

For its part, DED offers different types of commercial licenses that adapt to various DED license activities list. Some of the most common types of commercial licenses are:

  • Commercial license for individual companies:

This license allows an individual known as a “sole trader” to carry out business activities in their own name. In this sense, the sole trader takes full responsibility for the company and its operations.

Now, this license is for those companies formed by two or more partners, where the liability of each partner is limited to their participation in the company’s capital stock.

  • Commercial license for stock companies:

For its part, this type of license is for companies that are listed on the stock exchange or wish to list on the stock exchange.

  • Commercial license for branches and representations:

Likewise, this license is issued to foreign companies that wish to establish a presence in Dubai in the form of a branch or representation.

Industrial License

DED also grants industrial licenses to companies that wish to establish and operate industrial facilities in the emirate. In this regard, obtaining an industrial license is an important requirement to start and carry out manufacturing and production activities.

Likewise, industrial licenses are issued to companies that engage in activities such as manufacturing, processing, assembly, and production of goods. Therefore, this license allows companies to establish adequate industrial facilities and comply with the regulations and standards issued by the competent authorities. For its part, the process of obtaining an industrial license in Dubai involves the following steps:

  • Trade name registration:

As with other trade licenses, the applicant must select and register a unique business name for the company.

  • Documents submission:

The applicant must submit the required documents which may include copies of passports, business plan, project details, and information on the products to be manufactured, among other documents.

  • Compliance with infrastructure requirements:

Industrial companies must meet specific infrastructure requirements, such as having a suitable production site, meeting safety standards, and meeting environmental requirements.

  • Additional approvals and permits:

Depending on the nature of the industrial activity, additional approvals from other government authorities, such as the Dubai Municipality or the Department of Environmental Protection, may be required.

  • Payment of fees:

The applicant must pay the applicable application and license fees.

Once the DED approves the application and issues the industrial license, the company can start operating its industrial facility in Dubai. For its part, it is important to keep in mind that companies must also comply with local industrial regulations and laws, as well as renew and maintain their license periodically.

Professional License

This license is aimed at individuals who possess skills and knowledge in fields such as medicine, engineering, architecture, legal consulting, accounting, and education, among others. Likewise, the professional license in Dubai allows individuals to establish and operate their businesses or practice as self-employed professionals in their field of expertise. Therefore, when a professional obtains this license, they can provide services to clients and companies.

The process for obtaining the different licenses in general is relatively similar. Now, once the DED approves a professional’s license, the professional can begin to practice his or her professional DED activity list in Dubai.

Additionally, it is important to note that professionals must also comply with local regulations and professional standards, as well as renew and maintain their licenses periodically.

On the other hand, another important point that the applicant must take into account is that the process and specific requirements to obtain a license for professionals may vary depending on the profession or specialization.

How can people obtain a Dubai trade license?

dubai ded activity list

The process to obtain a DED trade license in Dubai can vary depending on the type of trade. However, here is an overview of the common steps in this process:

Selecting a location

Selecting a suitable local commercial plays a crucial role in the process of obtaining a trade license in Dubai. Next, we will detail some reasons that highlight the importance of this selection:

  • Compliance with regulations and zoning:

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has specific regulations on the use of commercial properties. Therefore, it is essential to choose a location that is zoned and permitted for the type of business activity the applicant will conduct. In this sense, if the applicant selects a premise in line with the regulations, the chances of obtaining the trade license without problems increase.

  • Infrastructure requirements:

Depending on the nature of the business, the owner may have to meet specific infrastructure requirements, such as size, layout, special facilities, and security requirements, among others. Therefore, by choosing a suitable premise, the business owner can ensure that it meets these requirements and avoid costly adjustments or modifications in the future.

  • Leasing contract:

The selection of a commercial premise is also related to the negotiation and signing of a lease contract. It is essential to carefully review the lease and ensure that it aligns with business needs and DED requirements.

Defining the Business’ Legal Form

Defining the legal form of a company is of utmost importance in the process of obtaining a trade license. In this sense, the legal form determines the legal structure and responsibility of the company and also influences the requirements and procedures for obtaining the trade license. Below are some reasons that highlight the importance of this definition:

  • Legal and regulatory requirements:

Each legal form has specific legal and regulatory requirements for obtaining a business license. For example, the process and requirements for a sole proprietorship differ from those for a limited liability company (LLC), or branch office. Therefore, it is important to understand and comply with the specific requirements of the selected legal form to avoid delays or problems in the business licensing process.

Ultimately, defining the legal form of a company is a fundamental aspect in the process of obtaining a trade license. For its part, this also involves considering legal and regulatory requirements, legal liability, capital and financing, and tax aspects.

Compiling the Necessary Paperwork for the DED Trade License

Collecting documentation is of utmost importance in the process of obtaining a trade license in Dubai, as the documentation supports the information in the license application and allows the Department of Economic Development (DED) to evaluate and verify the suitability of the business. Therefore, some of the main reasons that highlight the importance of collecting this documentation:

  • Compliance with legal requirements:

The DED has specific requirements regarding documentation to obtain a trade license. In this sense, these requirements may vary depending on the type of license and the nature of the business. Collecting accurate and complete documentation is essential to comply with legal requirements and ensure that your application is accepted.

  • Information verification:

Documentation supports the information provided in the trade license application and allows DED to verify key details of the business such as ownership, legal structure, financial history, permits, and necessary authorizations, among other aspects. Therefore, the accuracy and veracity of the information are essential to the license evaluation and approval process.

  • Business suitability assessment:

Documentation allows the DED to evaluate the suitability and viability of the business. For example, a solid business plan with adequate financial statements can build confidence in the company’s ability to operate successfully. Lack of documentation or submission of insufficient information may negatively impact the evaluation of the trade license application.

  • Streamlining the process:

Gathering the necessary documentation ahead of time can expedite the business licensing process. By having all documents available and ready for submission, the applicant will be able to avoid unnecessary delays.

How much does the DED license cost?

The cost of the DED license varies depending on the commercial activity of the company and its region. A professional license costs between 7,000 and 15,000 AED which is equivalent to between 1,900 and 4.000 US dollars.

Now, if we move on to a Dubai trade license, this has a higher cost because this license will allow the company to carry out commercial Dubai DED activity list.

In the same way, the costs are similar in relation to industrial licenses in Dubai since although the main purpose is not to carry out economic activities, this type of company also generates good dividends.


In Dubai, there is the Department of Economic Development which is the government body whose function is to promote and encourage Dubai DED activity list. Among many of its functions, one of the most important is to issue different types of trade licenses to companies that intend to operate legally in Dubai.

Now, trade licenses are essential documents for a person or company to legally operate commercially in Dubai. In this sense, there are three types of business licenses in Dubai. First of all, we have the commercial license which is those for companies that carry out a list of purely Dubai DED activity list, unlike the industrial licenses which are for those companies whose purpose is the production and manufacturing of products.

For its part, this body also grants professional licenses to those people or companies that intend to develop a professional services activity, such as an accounting, law, or business consulting firm, among others.

Likewise, within the process for obtaining any of these licenses, there are several important steps that every applicant must follow. Among these steps are the selection of premises, the definition of the legal form of the company, and the meeting of the documents necessary for the corresponding license application. In this sense, completing these steps correctly will speed up the process and avoid unnecessary delays.

Finally, an important point is the cost of these licenses. Initially, a professional license costs between 7,000 and 15,000 AED which is equivalent to between 1,900 and 4,000 US dollars. In the case of commercial and industrial licenses, this cost increased because both licenses allow companies to generate greater profitability.

Do you want to process a trade license in Dubai? Connect Business Center can do it for you

Trade licenses are very important documents that allow a company to operate legally in Dubai. However, in the case of foreign applicants, this process can be complex to carry out on your own. For this, you have Connect Business Center, which has successfully processed trade licenses on countless occasions.

We have the best team of professionals to provide you with quality service so that you can expand your business in an area as commercially vibrant as Dubai.

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So, if you want to know more about Connect Business Center and our services, you can get in touch. Give us a call at +971 43 316 688. Or email us at

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