Non-Permitted Business Activities in Dubai

Non-Permitted Business Activities in Dubai

by Vishakha Agarwal 21, Feb 2024

Dubai is a growing emirate, popular for its economy and business-friendly environment. It attracts business owners and investors from all around the world. Establishing businesses is highly beneficial due to the numerous opportunities provided in the city.

But there are strict regulations issued by the government. These regulations control businesses so that the Emirate can stand out as an international business centre.

This write-up will cover important points about the non-permitted business activities in Dubai for easy company establishments without any legal issues.

Understanding the Regulatory Framework in Dubai

Dubai is committed to improving the economy, increasing the entrance of new companies, and boosting investment in the UAE market. This is why various business activities are welcomed in the emirate through the analysis and laws issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

They are the governing body which assists in business setup in Dubai. However, the Department of Economic Development has imposed certain restrictions and prohibited some business activities in Dubai. This is because the legal regulations are made with keeping Islamic laws in mind. Therefore, there are non-permitted business activities in Dubai for the betterment of society.

What are the Non-Permitted Business Activities in Dubai?

Let’s look at the business activities in Dubai that are restricted by the governmental bodies so that companies can be easily formed by adhering to the local laws. 

1) Gambling and Betting Activities –

Dubai is an international destination that wholeheartedly supports entertainment, but gambling and betting activities are strictly prohibited. 

They are termed illegal because they can highly harm the individuals of the place.

2) Narcotics and Psychotropic Drugs –

Trading of illegal drugs and narcotics is prohibited in Dubai according to the laws issued by the authorities. The Federal Laws of the UAE ensure rigorous punishments, including imprisonment and high fines for individuals that are under manufacturing, trading, storing, etc, of these and any related substances. 

3) Alcohol and Pork Manufacturing –

Certain food products and beverages like alcohol and pork are surely available in the market, but they are bound to certain boundaries according to the authoritative bodies of the emirate. 

There are specific rules for producing, selling and advertising these foods, which must be followed before setting up a company in Dubai.

4) Human Trafficking and Pornography –

Individuals and entities cannot indulge in activities like Human Trafficking and Pornography as they are illegal and strictly prohibited in Dubai, UAE. These activities hurt religious sentiments and give a bad impression of the country as a whole. People found guilty will have to face legal actions and punishments by the courts of the emirate.

Apart from these non-permitted activities, all other activities in Dubai consist of an organised procedure. The companies need to acquire a business license and necessary approvals to function with the business operations. They must follow the regulatory framework and enjoy the benefits of opening a company in Dubai.

In conclusion, business activities are the foundation of any company. The business owners must have complete knowledge about the permitted and non-permitted business activities before starting a company.

It is suggested that they get in touch with a consultancy firm like Commitbiz to stay updated about all the regulations of the Emirate and function in the business the right way. Contact us today!


How can I find out if my business activities are permitted in Dubai?

There are specific business licenses signifying approvals by the government which must be obtained by the entrepreneurs of the company. If your business activity is applicable, authorities issue the relevant license to allow your operations.

What are the consequences of engaging in a non-permitted business activity?

Engaging in non-permitted business activities in Dubai can lead to penalties, fines, business closure and legal action.

Are there special permits to function with non-permitted business activities in the company of Dubai?

Individuals can apply for special permits for certain non-permitted business activities, provided they meet the standards issued by the DED. 


Can companies engage in temporary business activities in Dubai without a permanent license?

In this case, temporary business activities require special permits. Entrepreneurs need to consult with their respective authorities and operate accordingly.

What are the specific religious considerations while choosing a business activity in Dubai?

Dubai follows Islamic traditions, and that is why operations must be planned in such a way that religious sentiments are not hurt.

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