All You Need to Know About Dubai Tour Guide License

by Zaara 13, Jan 2020

Dubai, also known as the “City of Gold” or “the shopping capital of the Middle East” is the United Arab Emirates most attractive city. Dubai is mostly famous for its nightlife, shopping destinations and the rich culture. The fascinating ancient culture, beautiful heritage sites and mesmerising collection of antiquities and gold, makes Dubai even more popular among the tourists. According to a survey made in 2018, Dubai is ranked 4th most-visited city in the world. The city has witnessed 14.9 million overnight tourists in the year 2016 and is expected to reach 20 million by the year 2020. It is a city of landscapes, skyscrapers and various high-rise luxury hotels. Government of Dubai secures its largest part of the revenue from the travel and tourism sector. Travel and tourism industry is listed as one of the most profitable industries in Dubai, attracts many Entrepreneurs, Investors and Business companies to invest in this sector.

Major Tourist Attractions in Dubai

  • Burj Khalifa
  • The Dubai Fountain
  • Dubai Aquarium
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark
  • Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Deira Clockwater
  • Palm Island
  • Dubai Gold Souk
  • Dubai Museum
  • Dubai Creek
  • Meydan Racecourse
  • Bastakiya District
  • Ski Dubai
  • Dubai Marina
  • Global Village
  • World Islands
  • Madinat Jumeirah

How to Establish a Tourism Company in Dubai

Tourism companies in Dubai are at a major outbreak. The tourism business all over the globe has been on a rapid growth rate. Dubai being the most popular tourist destination spot gives a large scope to all the start-ups and investors who want to invest in the tourism business. To start a travel and tourism company in Dubai you need to have travel and tourism license. Travel and tourism licenses are approved by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai. The fee required for the grant of license in Dubai is around Dh100, 000-200,000. Obtaining a travel company license also depends upon the type of company you want to register in Dubai.

Steps to obtain a travel agency license

  • Step 1 is to pay the registration fees for approval of the license.
  • Register the trade name of the agency and obtain the approval for the use of that trade name.
  • An insurance policy must be given to the license office. 
  • A lease contract or a copy of the agreement must be furnished with the blueprint of the office or agency that is established.

There are a total of 3 Types of Travel and Tourism Licenses in Dubai.

1.License as an operator of Inbound Tourism

This kind of license gives you the authority to arrange inbound tours. The tours which are arranged within Dubai are termed as inbound tours. These are tours organised for foreigners to attend meetings, conferences or events within Dubai.

Conditions to be fulfilled to obtain an inbound license-

  • An irrevocable bank guarantee of Dh100, 000 should be provided.
  • The guarantee that is provided should be under the name of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • The bank issuing such a guarantee should be a bank operating within the Emirate.
  • To cover any future risks the travel agency should have an insurance policy.
  • After the date of expiry of the license, the term insurance policy must be finished within the next 30 days.

2.    License as an operator of Outbound Tourism

This license gives you the authority to arrange outbound tours. These tours are contrary to inbound tours. Outbound tourism license gives you access to arrange the tours not only within Dubai but also outside of Dubai. The company having this license can also arrange conferences, meetings and events on an international level.

Conditions to be fulfilled to obtain an outbound license-

  • An irrevocable bank guarantee of Dh200,000 should be provided by the company.
  • The guarantee provided should be under the name of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • The guarantee issuing bank should be a bank operating within the Emirate.
  • To avoid any future uncertainties or risks the travel company should have an insurance policy.
  • The total term of insurance policy will be until next 1 month after the date of expiry of license.

3.   License to operate as a Travel Agent

This type of license permits the company to appoint travel agents. These agents carry out the sale of air tickets outside the country. These agents provide services to tourists, such as helping them with their visas, accommodation, organizing tours, and providing other transportation services. It is very different from the other two licenses.

Conditions to be fulfilled to obtain a license as a travel agent-

  • Bank security of Dh100, 000 must be provided by the company.
  • The security must be issued under the name of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • The bank issuing such guarantee must be operating within the Emirates.
  • The agent must submit a No Objection Certificate (NOC), issued by the Department of Civil Aviation of the Emirate.
  • To acquire such NOC the applicant (agent), should submit a request letter in Arabic, in the name of a local sponsor.
  • A copy of the lease contract and a blueprint of location must be provided by the agency, as to where the travel agency will operate.

Obtaining a Tour guide license-

A Tour guide license can be easily obtained. Any person with the required qualifications can work as a tour operator. The duties of a tour operator include guiding them, accompanying them, to various historical and archaeological sites in the Emirate. They also provide them with about the site. Any person with the necessary qualification and valid license can work as a tour guide.

Conditions to obtain a tourist guide license-

  • The tour guide must have a valid tour guide license badge issued by the DTMC.
  • The person applying for the badge must have successfully completed its Tour Guide Award Programme.
  • Tour guide license badge is valid for 1 year only, is subject to renewal.
  • The tour guide license badge can be renewed annually, provided the applicant attends the annual refresher course
  • If any person fails to renew its badge for two consecutive years, they can be subject to penalty.
  • The tour guide should constantly wear its tour guide badge.

Dubai is all set to hold Expo 2020 for people around the globe. This makes a good opportunity for all the investors and emerging entrepreneurs to involve themselves in the tourism business. If you are looking forward to starting a Travel and Tourism company in Dubai, and have any queries or issues as to the incorporation of your company then our advisors at Commitbiz are here to help you. From setting up your travel agency to obtaining your agency license, if you need any assistance feel free to contact us- we are glad to help.