How to Start Importing from the UAE?

by Zaara 09, Jun 2021

Whenever we think of the UAE, the term oil and gas enters our minds. Most of the UAE is dependent on oil and gas sales, including Dubai, but this scenario is gradually improving. With the governments pursuing the non-oil industry, the emirate can follow many sectors or companies. The importing of goods or services is a significant industry that plays a crucial role in adding to Dubai’s GDP.

The strategic location of Dubai has acted as an asset for Dubai's import firms. Dubai has been the center for doing business for several decades now, and one of those big firms is Dubai's import business. The UAE is its connecting route for trading between the European nations and the East Asian nations, becoming the hub of Asia. In the past few years, the importing industries have been in their business’s most lucrative position. To make their job more straightforward and more effective, the Dubai government has developed eServices for import companies in Dubai.

Anyone dealing in importing business in the UAE needs to register with the Dubai Customs. Dubai norms have become online. Mirsal 2 is the electronic declaration and clearance process of Dubai imports duties. Mirsal’s online platform provides the user manual for registration and how to get initiated with the importing business in Dubai.  The license at customs administration in Dubai is electronically, but all the documents need to be handed to the Customs officer in person. All goods imported from Dubai need to go through the Customs Office and be checked whether they fall under the Customs office’s restricted list.

Dubai Customs partnered with DP World and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone) to create an online Dubai exchange portal that offers a standard roof for all import and trading processes. The free trade deal with Dubai and other countries has reduced importing and selling goods from those countries to a low.

Why is Dubai an Ideal Fit for Trading Business?

Dubai has convenient access to the Persian Gulf, and Dubai is set up as a seaport initially. Dubai's location is very significant and is known as a Middle East logistics center. Several other variables make it very suitable for the setting up a business in Dubai, such as

1.Economic Diversification

In expanding the national economy, the United Arab Emirates government relies more on the non-oil market. It implies that the government accepts trade practices and also promotes them. If they wish to set up a trading company, the government gives several rewards and advantages to any entrepreneur or businessman.

2.Strategic Location

Dubai’s excellent location makes for stable networking, be it airways, seaways, or by ground. Dubai is strategically situated between the Asian, African, and European continents and is one of the best places to establish a trading company. Its connexion to the Persian Gulf enables it to access some of the leading commercial routes that make Dubai a vital seaport.

Dubai’s location also provides a time zone for the businesses appropriate for the east and the west. This way, Dubai becomes a gateway between the east and the west part of the world.

3.The Dilemma of Demand and Supply

In and around the UAE and the Gulf zone, there are not many manufacturing facilities. It makes imports a vital task for the country's proper sustenance. People living in the UAE are known for their splurging habits, ensuring that several different items would be necessary. It would only be possible if many import industries are based in the region.

4.Quick and Inexpensive Start-ups

You can take advantage of the latest instant licensing program if you plan to set up a trading business in the UAE. This licensing program enables a license to be acquired by an entrepreneur in less than 24 hours. The businessman would need not apply for a trading name, a valid contract, and perform any of the steps in between.

Dubai Imports

Import requires the acquisition or purchase of goods from outside the UAE borders or from a foreign nation or any other province of Emirates by compliance with all regulatory processes, paperwork, permits, fees, and licensing requirements. Using the trade license from the UAE license granting authority, anyone can become an importer and be licensed with the Customs authorities.

The Procedure of Importing goods in Dubai

  • When the vessel arrives, to show the initial Bill of Lading to the shipping agent and pay dues (if any), the importer must contact the shipping agent. After this, a distribution order will be provided by the shipping company.
  • The importer must ensure that all formalities for freight clearance are fulfilled before the shipping order’s expiry date. The shipping agent would then give the delivery order 3-4 days before the vessel’s arrival, keeping this in perspective.
  • The importer can then sign in to Dubai Trade to build and apply an Import Declaration application for Dubai customs checks. The importer can use the CDR account or E-payment to make payments for customs duty and other fees online. In the case of limited goods or duty-free freight, the importer should receive special authorizations before filling in the Customs Import Statement.
  • To collect customs duties and accept imports, Dubai Customs will inspect and appraise the documents issued. Dubai Customs may request an inspection of the goods by a competent authority before giving the cargo’s importer delivery.
  • The importer will verify the vessel’s delivery status electronically by logging into the Vessel Enquiry e-service and confirming the container’s discharge status using the Container Enquiry e-service. After the container’s discharge, the importer may select a transport company to collect, on behalf of the importer, the delivery of the cargo/container from DP World using the Dubai Trade hauler nomination service.
  • The DP World's Equipment Exchange Receipt (EIR) is given to the transporter for each container withdrawn from the port of Jebel Ali.
  • According to the Customs Import Declaration, if any inspection is necessary, the hauler must take the container to the competent authority's inspection area. The hauler would only be permitted to leave the JAFZA by displaying a copy of the EIR after obtaining the inspection clearance.

Documents Required Importing Goods Outside Dubai

  • Trade Invoice: from the exporter to the importer, describing the overall number, the definition of the products, and the total value of each object.
  • Certificate of origin (proof of origin of goods): authorized by the Chamber of Commerce of the origin countries.
  • Detailed Packing List: the packaging process and HS code for each particular item found in the shipment as per weight
  • Import license: from the competent authorities where limited goods or duty-free goods are imported.

Dubai Import License

If you are trying to establish a Dubai company in the import market, you need to get an import license in Dubai. The acquisition of an import appointment in Dubai has streamlined by Dubai’s customs and can be bought online. But you need to get a special import license in Dubai from the customs office, whether you are selling or importing unique or limited products.

Conceptualizing an import business is not the only thing the company investors have got; it is essential to establish such a company with an excellent technological base. It is necessary to take care of any other legal pomp and circumstance concerning setting up a Dubai construction industry. In this sector, it is, therefore, advisable to appoint a business setup expert. One such professional expert will take care of your requirements.

You will assist in your venture with the details given above about the import sector in Dubai. You can use the services of if you can set up a company in Dubai involving import in Dubai, and we will take care of the rest. Our team of advisors can direct you on any business-related criteria and help you set up companies in Dubai and other UAE locations.

Commitbiz "will help you set up your trading company and will also ensure that the relevant and recommended protocols as specified are followed." It also offers numerous other facilities that will aid in setting up the firm and associated facilities. Contact us for more information on these facilities. We would be delighted to assist you.


Is the import and export business in Dubai profitable?

Yes, the nation’s strategic location and the expansion opportunities it offers, make it more profitable.

Which are the major import and export activities of UAE?

Gold, diamonds, cars, petroleum etc are some of the major import-export businesses of UAE.

What license is required to establish an import and export company in Dubai?

A trade license is required.

Which products are prohibited to UAE import?

Drugs and narcotics, pirated content, Israeli trademark or logo products, duplicate currency, gambling tools and machineries are some of the many prohibited imports.

Do I need to register my import and export company with Dubai’s customs?