An Ultimate Guide for Starting a Tourism Agency in Dubai

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UAE is one of the attractive tourist destinations in the world. Every year it attracts millions of tourists and that number is going to increase in coming years. Dubai is known for its warm beaches, landmark architecture, welcoming climate as well as vacationing culture. All these make Dubai ideal for incorporating Travel and Tourism Business. 

Steps to Open Travel Agency

It is worth noting that the traveling sector is regulated tightly. Even if you have a freelance visa in Dubai, consider consulting specialists if you have doubts related to opening a travel agency business. They could assist you with company formation in Dubai as well as save you from costly headaches. Here are the crucial steps that you need to follow 

Establish the Business Activity

First, you need to decide what kind of Travel Company you wish to operate. Would you specialize as an inbound tour operator, an outbound operator, or a travel agency business? There is a variety of activities to choose from the different markets you could serve. This decision would dictate which license you would need to apply for.

For this, the company formation specialists could advise what is best based on your business plan. This way you could avoid the mistake of getting wrong decisions as well as having to repeat that process or re-write the business plan.

Selecting the Company Name

Choosing the name for the company is a key step in the process of company formation in Dubai. Before you get familiar with the rules, do not get attached to any names. It is important to note that words like international, West, east, or global are acceptable. However, they could incur additional fees, as well as numerous restrictions, apply.

For instance, the offensive words are proscribed, as is the name of God either in Arabic or in English. The issuing authority in Dubai is DED i.e., The Department for Economic Development. In case the name of your company is similar remotely to an organization working in the same sector, DED would not issue the trade license. Therefore, it is essential to seek the expert’s advice to know what’s acceptable.

It is important to understand that doing this alone could be time-consuming.  In case the name of the company falls foul of rules, DED would not grant the business license. Moreover, you could be fined for misusing the name that DED allowed; however, fails to reflect the primary activity.

Applying for Business License

Be it trade or business (professional, industrial, commercial, and tourism), DED issues the license. Regardless of sector, all companies need to have a trade license. Usually, the application requires a memorandum of association, based on the legal form of business, shareholder passport copies, and certificate of incorporation. It is important to note that business setup in UAE Dubai certain sectors require additional licenses from the relevant issuing authorities. 

And, in tourism case, it is DTCM i.e., the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. With the help of company formation experts, you could complete the process in nearly seven working days. The set-up specialists could keep annual renewals on top for you as missing them risks blacklisting, fines, or even spontaneous liquidation. 

Applying for Tourism License

Along with a business license, it is crucial to obtain a tourism license for tourism company formation consultants in Dubai. After a trade license, the next step is to apply for one of three additional licenses to DTCM; travel agent, inbound operator, or outbound operator. If you are starting a travel agency, you would need to outline the business plan as well as a clean criminal record certificate. 

In case you decide to sell the airline tickets, you would need to obtain the NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Civil Aviation Authority. Remember, it needs to be renewed every year that too 30 days prior to expiry. You could take the help of set-up specialists for this as they are aware of the intricacies of the regulatory system of the UAE. For instance, now the tourism licenses are quite affordable. In January 2019.

The DTCM withdrew the requirement of bank guarantee for travel agents, outbound operators as well as inbound operators. It means you could apply for all tourism licenses in case you are starting the travel business. It would cost significantly less than it used to. It is a great option for setting up a one-stop shop. 

Setting Up Employee Visa

Ensure you apply within 30 days of entry of employee into the country. At this point, they would have received a visit or tourist visa. For staff entry permits, you could register on the Ministry of interior e-channels portal. On issuance, the employees could perform the in-country status change for activating the entry permit. It is an important step for obtaining a full-employment visa. 

You would require your passport copies, establishment card, and trade license- the service which filer the company with GDRFA. It stands for General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs. Note, you need to get ‘OK to Board’ approval before inbound travel for employees from South Asia Subcontinent.

Opening Corporate Bank Account

Without a trade license, no bank would recognize the business. However, you need to select the bank wisely as a poor or wrong choice might come back for biting you. Most of the banks would require a minimum balance. Along with maintaining the minimum balance, some would require proof of residency status that is not possible in case you have a freelance work permit in Dubai.

In case you do not have the relevant documents for the chosen bank, you might experience costly delays. In order to save money as well as time while establishing a travel business, consider consulting a reputed business set-up company. They could guide you through substantial paperwork as well as protect you from hidden traps.   

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