Everything You want to Know About DED (Department of Economic Development in Dubai)

by Zaara 06, Aug 2021

UAE is the home of a booming group of business owners and partners where the government is vigorously participating in heartening entrepreneurship, foreign direct investment, and assisting homegrown small and medium enterprises, leading up to Dubai Expo 2020. 

DED (Department of Economic Development) in the UAE was started with a mission to regulate and steer the country's economic agenda within the governance systems. It helps to recognize and support strategic sectors, offer services to domestic and international investors and businesses.

DED contributes in economic planning and business sector regulation for setting up a business in Dubai by executing development programs, policies,  and projects by offering the best resources possible.

DED is the government body that's equipped with improving Dubai’s business environment and increasing Dubai’s economic growth. DED is the "engine behind Dubai's economy."

DED Agencies

DED Dubai is made up of four agencies. They are :

Dubai Exports

how often will you be in contact? Is it a 5-minute call every day, is it every two days, once a week, or longer? How often will you have meetings for updates and review of the project?

You think of it this way that if the marketing company you rent is to be seen as a partner and add-on of your team, then you must ask yourself how often you would communicate with your team?

Dubai FDI

 Dubai Foreign Direct Investment is the arm that regulates and supports foreign companies looking to enter this market

Dubai SME

Dubai small and medium enterprise sectors are created to aid the growing startup and SME (small and medium enterprise sectors). Today, UAE has the most active startup sector across the Middle-East.

Dubai Economy

 It refers to the Dubai Competitiveness Office.

DED Goals

DED Dubai has three goals. They are :

  • Aid in achieving the vision of the Dubai Government and economic growth (for SMEs, FDI, exports, industrial sector, and trade)
  • ​Create a fierce investment landscape to captivate both local and foreign investment
  • Offer an environment that encourages creativity and business satisfaction. This involves regulating business activities, healthy business sustainability, simplifying processes, future-forward policies, and legislation.

DED Dubai is also the governing body accountable for controlling economic activities of all businesses in the Dubai mainland i.e., outside of Dubai Free zones. This comprises the corporate strategy sector, business registration sector, commercial compliance, and consumer protection.

DED Legal Entity

Let us get much deeper into the nuts and bolts of all that you need to know and understand for your business setup in Dubai.  The Licensed activities are categorized into: Commercial, Industrial, and Professional.

Following are the 16 types of Legal entities that you can start:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • One Person Company
  • Civil Company
  • LLC (Limited Liability Company)
  • Public Share Holding Company
  • Private Share Holding Company
  • Partnership Company
  • Simple Limited Partnership
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Representative Office
  • Dubai-based Company Branch
  • UAE-based Company Branch
  • GGC-based Company Branch
  • Dubai Free Zone Company Branch
  • Intelaq
  • SME License

For opening a startup in Dubai, you must understand your legal entity as it is essential for share distribution, mainly if you want to raise funding in the future.

While using the DED Instant License application, the four options of legal forms are:

  • Sole proprietorship: This can only be possessed by a UAE or GCC National if the License Activity is Industrial or Commercial. The owner can be a non-UAE National if a License activity is Professional. The owner will need a UAE National as a Local Service Agent (LSA) and to offer evidence of qualification for the activity selected.
  • LLC Single Owner: This can only be possessed by UAE Nationals.
  • Civil Company: This is a business partnership for professionals such as Engineers, doctors, and lawyers. A local service Agent is needed if the owner is a non-UAE or GCC National.
  • LLC: It must have at least two shareholders. One of the shareholders must be from UAE National, and at least 51% of the company possessed by the UAE partner. The requirement of Capital for an LLC must be described in the MOA. Shares cannot be provided to the public.

Estimated License Costs

The Costs of licenses will differ based on the licensed activity. If you wish to be on the safe side, then we would tell you an estimated cost in the region of AED 15K - 20K excluding additional costs such as Labor cards and visas.
Your market fee will be 2.5% of the office rental amount. For the DED Dubai instant licenses, the market fee is fixed at AED 3000.

Legal Contract & Required Documents

The documents you require depend on the type of Legal Entity you're starting. Following is the list of all the documents needed categorizing per legal entity.

  • Passport and visa copy of all your partners
  • Emirates ID of all your partners
  • NOC from Local Service Agent
  •  Signed MOA: This can be the eMOA produced online by DED or the registered legal firm, DED Legal Department, or the Notary Public can prepare it for you. The MOA will consist of the share distribution and company capital.

Once it is ready, all partners must meet at the Notary Public to sign the agreement and have it attested. If the Notary finds mistakes in the MOA with respect to any laws and regulations, you will be asked to make the revision before signature and attestation.


DED Platform is the lead to all the business opportunities in the UAE. It is vital for all the business opportunities that the UAE has to offer for the convenience of an established or a new business in the country.

Why us?

We, at Commitbiz, have been one of the business consultant players in the UAE region. We provide services for companies and business people interested in establishing their progress in the UAE. If you have any further queries, you can contact us.

We will be delighted to help you.