How to Set Up a Real Estate Business in Dubai

by Zaara 22, May 2018

Real Estate Business in Dubai

Dubai is a vibrant city and pretty powerful. Dubai’s world-class infrastructure has already established it as a major player in terms of trade, tourism and has attracted major foreign investors in the world. So, if you have planned to embark on a real estate business in Dubai, as an entrepreneur you have to see the unlimited amount of potential and just keep building.

And the good news for entrepreneurs is that real estate is one of the thriving businesses in Dubai. As for the race in the Gulf States for skyscraper structures, Dubai is the front-runner. The world’s highest building Burj Khalifa, along with Marina 101, the Princess Tower and several other are the evidence of the growing real estate business in Dubai.

According to the recent research release, increasing rent moderation, supply, and changing demand for executive positions in the employment market are all anticipated to continue and impact the residential market during 2018. That’s the reason, you may mind find many foreign residents who have purchased residential flats in Dubai. Therefore, it could be a great opportunity for real estate entrepreneurs initiating a real estate business in Dubai.

But what is the process of setting up a real estate business in Dubai? For this, I did some research to find out the basic procedures that may help you in opening a real estate company in Dubai and save your costs. Read on.

1. Explore the location and business type to set up your real estate company

Firstly, explore the location for your real estate business, as according to the UAE regulations, businesses are required to be 51% owned by a United Arab Emirates (UAE) national. But ownership can be 100% if you explore different areas because there are few locations within the country labeled as free zones. In such areas, regulations are lower, attracting more businesses. Moreover, having a real estate business in free zones can help you with the corporate tax exemption for 50 years, no personal income tax, freedom from import duties, no currency restrictions, and avoidance of excessive regulations.

Have you decided your type of business organization? Well, in Dubai there are 8 kinds of business organizations:

  1. Sole Proprietorship
  2. General Partnership
  3. Partnership en-Commendam
  4. Joint Venture
  5. Public Shareholding
  6. Private Shareholding
  7. Limited Liability Company
  8. Professional Company

2. Register a trade name for your real estate business

Registering your business legally is essential in every country. So once you decide upon the business type, register a trade name along with all the relevant documents to the Department of Economic Development in the Emirates. Try to include “real estate” or “broker” in your trade name as the trade name should be related to your business activities.

Most of the registration work can be completed online to receive an initial approval. But this not where your process ends; you need to re-submit initial documents along and add a few more to receive the final approval. After this, the UAE government will grant you a commercial license for buying and selling real estate.

This connects you to the next point...

3. Educate or certify yourself for licensing process

For initial approval and authorization from Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in Dubai, you need to undertake a professional training or course and obtain a certificate. This is essential to get the permit from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency in Dubai.

Moreover, if you have graduated and have a college degree, you need to take the Real Estate Certified Practitioner’s training course. In case you don’t have a degree, you will need to register for the Real Estate Executive Diploma program, and to get more information on this certification, you can visit the RERA website.

4. Hire back-office services

Being an entrepreneur, you have to manage all your tasks like a pro. But at some point, you might feel bogged down with certain tasks such as back-office, real estate accounting, etc. Managing your accounting books is essential as you are a start-up, and keeping a track of your expenses and revenue will help you implement better strategies.

So it’s better, if you opt for outsourcing accounting services, as hiring an in-house team of experts, can cost you more.

Why outsourcing is better?

Outsourcing your accounting services can help you with:

  • Reduced operational costs
  • Round-the-clock service
  • Access to expertise
  • Delivery of projects within the agreed timeframe

What accounting services do firms offer?

  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Preparing Financial Reports
  • Payroll Processing
  • Tax Preparation

5. Set up your real estate office

Being a real estate business owner, having your own office will be your distinctiveness in the market and help you win the trust of your customers as they feel that you are working ethically. Moreover, appropriate licenses from the UAE government and RERA will help to establish you as a trustworthy business owner.


In the end, if you are establishing a real estate business you are going to learn more about people, more about community issues, more about life, more about the impact of government, probably than any other profession. So brace up, and get going – the world’s your oyster! Contact us today...


What is RERA?

Real Estate Regulatory Authority, part of the Dubai Land Department, is a government agency that licenses real estate agents, brokers, and developers and regulates all real estate activities in Dubai.

What is the cost of opening a real estate brokerage in Dubai?

The cost of obtaining your real estate brokerage license will depend on many factors, including your specific business activities and company size and location. In most cases, however, start-up costs are usually low.

3. Which business entities can be registered to carry out real estate business in Dubai?

There are two main structures through which your real estate business can be registered –

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

4. What are the documents required to register a license for Real-Estate Business in Dubai?

Along with license fees, you must provide these documents –

  • Completed application form
  • Two Passport size pictures
  • Passport copy of the owner and the partners or shareholders (if any)
  • Copy of emirates ID of the local sponsor (if any)
  • Notarised MoA and LSA
  • NOC for ex-pat partners
  • Valid residence or tourist visa
  • Tenancy contract (Ejari)

5. Which are the additional approvals needed to start real estate business operations in Dubai?

Apart from RERA,

  • It would help if you got your real estate brokerage company registered with the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) and Ministry of Labour (MOL) to employ foreign employees and sponsor their visas.
  • Approval from the Dubai Land Department is required for opening a real estate brokerage in Dubai. The Dubai Land Department is a governmental body administrating everything concerning real estate in the region.
  • Certificate of Good Conduct from Dubai Police General Headquarters

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