travel agency in Dubai

How to Open a Travel Agency in Dubai, UAE

Opening a travel agency in Dubai’s tourism market for those who are passionate about adventurous businessmen is tempting. There is an opportunity to join the booming travel and tourism sector by opening a travel agency in Dubai.

In this article, we will thumb the process of opening the best travel agency in Dubai.

Cost of Travel Agency License in Dubai, UAE

travel agency in Dubai

  • Initial Approval Fee: As you move to kick-off the process, your task will be to pay a membership fee to the DTCM (Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing). This is approx. AED 200.
  • Trade License Fee: The DED trade license can be in two different ways: first, the location of your office, and second, the size of your office. However, the range of price is commonly from AED 10,000 to AED 20,000.
  • DTCM Fees: For a travel agency, discarded additional costs paid to DTCM differs for AED 10,000 for tourism registration.
  • Office Space: Renting out an office in Dubai is essential for getting the necessary travel agency licenses. Giving a budget for AED 50,000 to a maximum of AED 100,000 annually is a recommendation for a good size of office in a desirable location.
  • Other Miscellaneous Costs: These could be operational costs, visa processing expense for the employees or the costs of insurance. However, it is necessary to allow for a flexible budget for these other miscellaneous expenditures too.

There are different investment parameters that impact on the cost of initial setup of travel agencies in Dubai. Therefore, a prospective business owner should be ready to invest around AED 170,000 to AED 230,000. This does not include executive office rent and bills. This caters for a legal and regulative frame work that will ensure that your travel agency functions efficiently.

Cost breakdown for a Travel Agency License

Considering the financial side of how to open a business and the best travel agency in Dubai UAE, it is important to have precise information of the cost items that form part of obtaining the travel agency license.

  • Tourism License Fee: It is necessary for tourist agencies to have a tourism license. The fees for which are roughly AED 10,000. Moreover, it is a vital factor as it enables the operators to undertake any tourist business.
  • Guarantee Deposit: The DTCM has established a deposit of AED 100,000 for refunding purposes. With this fund, the government ensures that you follow relevant rules.
  • Office Space Rental: A location of office space is a must and can be quite expensive. However, the amount you have to pay depends on where you rent and how large your space is. Annually, tenants can expect to pay between AED 50,000 for small spaces or 100,000 and more, depending on the area.
  • Miscellaneous Costs: Outside of salaries, the additional expenditures are unemployment benefits, health insurance, and employee visa processing fees. Moreover, their variance depends on the size of your business farm and particular business requirements.

The analysis of the financial commitments necessary by the entrepreneurs to establish a travel agency in Dubai are significantly easier if you comprehend the cost of the breakdowns.

However, you must keep in mind the fact that these costs constitute only a part of the groundwork. The actual expenses that will incur may vary on dependable tax regulations, business specificities and current market realities.

Reasons for Opening a Travel Agency in Dubai, UAE

Opening a Dubai travel agency is a unique opportunity to become an integral part of the UAE. Moreover, Dubai keeps attracting millions of visitors annually, making it a prime location for travel entrepreneurs. Here is why:

Supporting UAE Tourism Industry

  • Robust Growth: The tourist industry in Dubai has an excellent record of resistance and is a consistent sector. It rebounds sharply from the effects of global shocks.
  • Government Initiatives: The UAE authorities in particular plays an essential role in tourism development. This is through major investment in the infrastructure, cultural festivals, as well as global mega events. Moreover, such schemes promote a recreation hub that travel business operators can benefit from.
  • Diverse Tourist Attractions: Dubai is the home of beautiful landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, deluxe beach resorts, etc. A travel agency in Dubai can do the job for any kind of preferences. Together, the Dubai travel agency and the traveler design a special experience for the tourist.
  • International Hub: The fact that Dubai has the geographical advantage of being a meeting point between the eastern and the western cultures makes this city an accessible place for international tourists. Therefore, this will place travel agencies in Dubai at a global level.
  • Innovative Tourism Products: A travel agency can distinguish itself by the city’s cooperation with innovation. Also, it can provide travelers with the one-of-a-kind and up-to-the-minute tourism products. Such as virtual reality tours and responsible tourism packages.
  • Cultural Exchange: Travel business agencies contribute towards the spread and understanding of different cultures internationally. Therefore, this goes in line with the vision of the city of Dubai being a melting pot of cultures.

The UAE extends a welcome to more than 200 countries

The geographical positioning and open-door policy of Dubai has its place on the world map. This worldwide inclusion is definitely one of the main reasons why to build up a travel agency in Dubai, UAE.

  • Wide Customer Base: The multicultural visitors of Dubai extend the range of customers an agency can approach. This is because of the diversity in cultures, preferences, and languages. Thus, the target market of this travel agency is very broad.
  • Year-Round Tourism: Along with visitors from other areas, Dubai takes good advantage of this emerging tourism industry. This uninterrupted visitor rate provides the travel agencies with neater cash flows, unlike destinations with different seasons.
  • Networking Opportunities: The great advantage of running a business in a city like Dubai is to find new international partners. Therefore, this leads to more options for the clients.
  • Cultural Expertise: It is the growing global customer base that helps travel agencies be knowledgeable about cultures.
  • Marketing Reach: As Dubai has an international tourism market, tour operators can utilize global promotional strategies. This consist of leveraging digital platforms and social media channels.
  • Innovative Product Development: The urge to strike a chord with different types of audiences makes the travel agencies go extra mile in the field of innovation in product catalogues. Therefore, offering the same products from luxury packages to budget-friendly tours, cultural experiences, and adventure sports.

Best Landmarks and holiday destinations in Dubai

  • Burj Khalifa: Having the record of becoming the highest building, about million people per year visit it.
  • Palm Jumeirah: This man made hub of the tourist industry is full of rich hotels, beaches, and attractions that bring clients from all over the sun.
  • Dubai Mall: Next to the mall, there is the indoor ice rink and aquarium which is good for family days.
  • Dubai Desert Safari: Provides a real Arabian experience, featuring the rolling dunes, the camel rides, and a desert campsite.
  • Old Dubai: The traditional Al Fahidi district of the city is a place where you can discover the past through its traditional markets and architecture.
  • Dubai Marina: It is a well-known city popular for its skyscrapers, yachts, and lively nightlife. Therefore, it is a mecca for young people.
  • Global Village: Besides being a mixed-use zone that highlights several cultures, it aims at providing one of a kind experience to the locals and tourists.
  • Miracle Garden: With countless flowers in the most beautiful arrangement, it has the power to transform your eyes.

However, such destinations not only boost the tourism business in Dubai. Also, they expand the product portfolio of the travel agency. Therefore, it brings a wider range of tourists as a result.

Open a Travel Agency in Dubai, UAE: Step-by-step Process

travel agency in Dubai

Starting a travel agency in Dubai involves some strategic procedures. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to embark on this exciting journey:

Choose your travel agency’s type and name

  • Decide on the Type: Define if the agency will focus on inbound tourism, outbound tourism, or both of these types. This option will determine your business model, core target audience and regulatory frameworks you face.
  • Select a Unique Name: Take a name that relates to your organization’s cause and has a ring to it. Moreover, make sure it obeys the names standard in Dubai and is not elsewhere in use.
  • Check Name Availability: Ascertain the current applicability of your desired name through Dubai Economic Department (DED). This is to make the name is not already used.
  • Trademark Protection: Take into account applying for a trademark on behalf of your agency name is an effective way to safeguard your brand. Also, it prevents competition from copying your brand name.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Ensure your organization’s name is in line with the practices of the UAE society.

Brand differentiation and perception start with the selection of appropriate type of travel agency and its name. Therefore, this can be the most challenging part of marketing in the competitive sector of Dubai’s tourism industry. This is what will give you the edge of having a travel business that people will see and respect.

Rent office space for your business

Choosing the right physical address for your travel agency is an important part of your travel agency business in Dubai.

  • Identify the Ideal Location: Pick a location that could appeal to your market. Areas with flow of people or close to the big draws are the best place to set up.
  • Understand Rental Requirements: Know the rental regulations of Dubai for business. Verify the lease agreement with the business requirements and the legal issue.
  • Size and Layout Matters: Make sure your office provides comfortable space and pleasant atmosphere for your team and your customer.
  • Budget Appropriately: Use budget to acquire a place for rent taking into account that prices for prime locations are high. Consider pros of location and cons of cost.
  • Check for Amenities: Guarantee that the office provides nascent facilities for instance parking, internet connectivity, and an easy link with clients who might have disabilities.
  • Negotiate Lease Terms: Do not be embarrassed to negotiate the lease terms if something does not suit you well. Moreover, ensure that your lease negotiation stipulates the flexibilities in lease period and provisions for expansions or renovations.

Moreover, renting an office space for your travel agency facilitate you to set up base of all operations.

Register license with Immigration Department and the Labour Department

After securing your rental space, the next significant phase of registering your travel agency license with the local authorities follows.

  • Prepare Necessary Documents: Do all the paperwork necessary, such as showing the trade license, the office agreement, and your ID.
  • Visit the Immigration Department: Address your application to Dubai General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ (Immigration Department). The registration mechanism is designed in such a way that it enables employers to file for visa sponsorship in this regard.
  • Apply for Establishment Card: Acquire an operating card of Immigration Department. This card is a core tool to process visas and all other document submissions.
  • Register with the Labour Department: The next step is that you must register your travel agency company at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Labour Department).
  • Submit Applications Online: When there is the opportunity, tender your applications online using the Dubai Government’s service portals. This way it can be simpler, as well as time saving.
  • Pay Required Fees: Be aware that you foresee to pay for each registration’s fees.
  • Receive Approval: when your applications submissions get approved, you will receive acceptance from both offices and they confirm officially your travel agency status in Dubai.

The initial thing that will put your agency on the map is registering your license with the Immigration Department and the Labor Department. Moreover, this will put you in the position to build a team and start offering your services to the clients.

Set Up Your Corporate Bank Account

Setting up a corporate bank account is the preliminary step to prepare your travel agency all set for doing business without any operational inefficiency.

  • Choose the Right Bank: Conduct the research and select a bank that gives services individualized to your business’s needs.
  • Prepare Required Documents: Generally speaking, you must submit the trade license, passport copies of the company’s shareholders, memorandum, and the lease agreement of the office to register the company.
  • Application Submission: Get to the target bank with all the necessary documents. Take into account that some banks may choose to provide an option of online applications.
  • Compliance Checks: Keep in mind that the bank will carry out its Know Your Customer This is a standard element of the UAE’s anti-money laundering laws. As it might be, this may include probing questions into your business activities and investments.
  • Initial Deposit: Generally, banks need an initial sum invested to get your commercial account active. Moreover, the bank fees can fluctuate greatly regardless of the bank.
  • Account Activation: After your application gets approved and your initial deposit is made, your bank account will be available. The necessary time needed for this procedure can be from a few days to several weeks.
  • Set Up Online Banking: Enroll to online banking services for the convenience of the management of your finances and to support digital transactions.

The creation of corporate bank account for a travel agency Dubai does not only legitimize your business. Also, it simplifies management of your finances from payment of clients to supply of goods and services.


In general, it is worth opening a travel agency in Dubai, as the city is one of the best destinations.

Every component is significant in terms of traveling Dubai’s regulatory environment and doing your business seamlessly and legally. Moreover, if you adequately find out the market and prepare yourself locally, your travel agency can be successful as you will give the tourists from all over the world with distinct and exciting experiences to remember.

Starting the journey will need attention to detail, following the laws, and a passion for the travel sector. Keep in mind that as you progress, you cannot be oblivious of the changes in laws, market trends and customers’ tastes in order to keep your business ahead of the game in the competitive travel industry of Dubai.

Connect Business Center

For businessmen who are willing to stay in Dubai and want professional support for the process of setting up a travel agency, Connect Business Center is exactly their best choice. Whether it be in the area of business setup, or office space solutions, we have you covered. With us, every step of the way through your travel agency is a smooth start for your business. Contact us now!

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