How To Start a Travel Agency in Dubai 

Dubai, a city known for its modern architecture, luxurious lifestyle, and vibrant nightlife, has long been a global tourism hotspot. Its diverse cultural mix, cutting-edge infrastructure, and tax-friendly environment make it a preferred investment destination for entrepreneurs, particularly in the tourism sector. In this context, starting a travel agency in Dubai could be a promising venture. With a growing tourism industry and a steady influx of international tourists, there is substantial potential for travel agencies to carve out a lucrative niche in this market. 

Understanding the Scope 

Before jumping into the travel business, it is essential to understand the specificities of the market. Dubai is a city that attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. The diversity of its visitors is remarkable, with significant numbers arriving from India, the GCC, and Western Europe. This consistent inflow of international tourists, coupled with the city's robust infrastructure, presents fertile ground for establishing a successful travel agency operation. 

Types of Tourism Licenses in Dubai 

Depending on the nature of the services you plan to offer, there are three types of tourism licenses that you can obtain in Dubai. 

  • Travel Agency License as a Travel Agent: This license permits a full suite of travel-related services, including visa arrangements, travel accommodation, and the organization of tours and sightseeing. It also allows for the management of transportation and the sale of airline tickets. 
  • Inbound Tourism License: This license is intended for businesses that aim to attract tourists to Dubai, offering them local tours and cultural experiences that highlight the city's attractions. 
  • Outbound Tourism License: Conversely, this license is designed for agencies that arrange travel for Dubai residents to international destinations. This includes planning and booking international travel, including flights and accommodations, and crafting itineraries for those seeking to venture outside the UAE. 

Cost of Travel Agency License in Dubai 

The cost of a travel agency license in Dubai is dependent on several factors, such as the size of the company, the activities performed, and the number of owners. The cost of a travel agency license starts from about AED 35000, depending on whether the agency is owned by a single person who is eligible for one visa in the country. 

Requirements to Open a Travel Agency in Dubai 

To open a travel agency in Dubai, several requirements need to be fulfilled: 

  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): This document is a formal statement from a person or organization indicating their consent for the business activities you intend to pursue. 
  • Business Plan Outline: A detailed business plan is crucial for your travel agency's inception. It should detail your objectives, strategies for achieving them, market analysis, financial forecasts, and operational procedures. 
  • Good Conduct Certificate from the Police: This certificate serves as evidence of your integrity and law-abiding status within the UAE. 

Steps to Open a Travel Agency in Dubai 

Determine Your Specific Business Activity 

The first step in launching a travel agency in Dubai is to define the exact nature of the services you plan to offer. You must decide whether you want to operate as a travel agency, an inbound tour operator, or an outbound operator. 

Establish Your Company Name 

Choosing the right name for your business is crucial. The selected name should capture the spirit of your business while respecting cultural norms and avoiding any potentially offensive language. 

Apply for DED Business License 

You need to apply for a business license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to get your travel agency off the ground in Dubai. The type of license you need will depend on your business activities. 

Obtain Employee Visas 

After your travel agency is up and running, you need to obtain visas for any staff you plan to hire. This involves registering with the Ministry of Interior's e-channels portal and providing the necessary paperwork. 

Open a Corporate Bank Account 

The last step in launching your travel agency is opening a corporate bank account to handle your financial dealings. Dubai banks will ask for your trade license as evidence of your business's legitimacy. 

Benefits of Starting a Travel Agency in Dubai 

Global Tourism Hotspot 

Dubai's high ranking in the Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Awards reflects its status as a premier destination. With a staggering number of over 12 million visitors in the first nine months of 2023, the potential for a new travel agency is significant. 

Tax-Friendly Environment 

The city offers a low tax environment with no personal income tax and a competitive corporate tax rate. Moreover, businesses can benefit from customs duty exemptions on importing and exporting goods. They can reclaim VAT paid on eligible business expenses. 

Growing Tourism Industry 

The tourism industry in Dubai is growing at an impressive rate. The city saw a near doubling of its visitor numbers in 2022 compared to the previous year. With over 800 hotels and a vast array of rooms available, the infrastructure to support a burgeoning tourism sector is firmly in place. 

Establishing Your Travel Agency 

Once you have all the necessary licenses and permissions, it's time to set up your travel agency. 

Choosing the Right Location 

Dubai's strategic position as a crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa and its reputation as a top-tier tourist destination further enhance its accessibility and appeal as a global tourism hub. 

Setting Up an Office Space 

In Dubai, having an office space is a must for getting a business license. Your office should be easy for potential clients to get to and spot. 

Partnering with Providers and Suppliers 

To provide a full suite of services, your new travel agency will need to forge partnerships with various providers and suppliers. This includes airlines, hotels, and tour operators. 


Launching a travel agency in Dubai is more than just an exciting business venture; it's an entry ticket to a dynamic and flourishing industry with limitless potential. With dedication, a well-crafted business plan, and adherence to local regulations, your travel agency can tap into the pulse of this vibrant city's tourism scene. Armed with the proper knowledge and tools, and partnered with Carltrix Corporate Service Provider your travel agency is poised to take flight to this world-class destination.