Textile Industry in the UAE – An Overview

by Zaara 27, Aug 2020

Textile Industry in the UAE – An Overview

The textile sector is immense and affects all countries around the world. They are involved in textiles, either by growing the natural materials, scientifically creating the raw materials, making fabric, or manufacturing the end products. Another feature of the textile industry that has become more vital is the hub for shipping products. It means, when China makes their ready-to-wear clothing, they pack it up and ship it to different country, that country then assesses the packaging, repacks as needed, and ships the package off to the end destination. This is an aspect of the procedure where the United Arab Emirates has become involved.

Textile Industry in the UAE

The UAE’s textile industry is the second largest industry after oil. The country has been associated with oil for years. It is now slowly merging to be clothing and textile engineering hubs. UAE incorporates a wide variety of textiles like knitted garments, non-woven and woven materials. There are around 150 ready-made garment manufacturers permanently located in Dubai and near Sharjah. Accounting for close to 5.5% share of the world trade, the Middle East ranks the fourth biggest exporter of fashion and clothing accessories.

Moreover, the UAE has garnered much business from other countries moving their base of operations to one of its Emirates, Fujairah. In the year 2012, the UAE took benefit of this free zone and its growing population to add its large textile mill. The size of this mill is more significant than any other mill in the Middle East, and the personnel wear roller skates to get around quickly and efficiently.

From the chart below, we can see the CPI for textiles, clothing, and footwear in the UAE.

Textile Industry in the UAE

Source – Mordor Intelligence

Key Market Trends- Textile Industry in the UAE

  • The textile business in the UAE is thriving on support from the initiatives taken by the government in terms of infrastructure development, transparency and paperwork, and tax exemptions. The most recent growth in the fashion frontier has been setting Dubai as a fashion centre by 2020
  • The Dubai Design and Fashion Council is being launched to encourage creativity and attract regional and global designers and brands for various fashion events
  • The presence of an ever booming economy to luxury clothing has made the UAE an essential centre for apparel and textile business
  • Increase in labour cost has led to computerisation in the textile and apparel businesses. Development of technical textiles and providing ground-breaking textile products is what the Emirates manufacturers are aiming at and are showing an active interest in. it will increase the efficiency, quality of the product, and aid in delivering timely shipments of the orders
  • The UAE is becoming a perfect destination for investment in the textile and apparel industries, due to its lack of restrictions on profit, competitive labour costs, low corporate taxes, and deficient import duty

Here is the chart showing eCommerce sales in the UAE.

Textile Industry in the UAE

Places like Dubai also make the UAE a lucrative option since it lures loads of travellers around the world. The government is also inspiring the growth and development of small and medium-scale manufacturing enterprises. In fact, a separate free zone is established to help this sector in reaching greater heights.

Dubai Textile Village

Dubai Textile Village is a joint scheme between TEXMAS and Dubai Port and Customs Authority to enable the textile traders in Dubai and other parts of the globe. DTC free zone is located in Al Alwir Free Zone, facilitating packing of textile fabrics for long periods without appealing customs duty, which is 5% currently. It is supposed to help traders who are mainly in re-export business. DTC also has full support from Dubai Ports and Customs; the Custom Authority will help processing visa requirements of DTC members.

Activities Allowed in DTC Free Zone

  • Textile
  • Trading
  • Fashion

TEXMAS thinks that DTC will help to bring in discipline into the trade. It is also likely that the universal publicity and promotion of the Textile City will bring new markets and customers to the traders in Dubai.


UAE has an extensive range of textile products to offer from luxury and designer outfits to home textiles, and from technical textiles to ready-to-wear garments. As long as textiles are concerned, this oil-producing nation is putting its best foot forward and marching ahead with advancements.

Should you decide to set up a textile business in the UAE, or DTC free zone, then we at Commitbiz can help you with it. Our consultants have years of experience in this field and can make the process hassle-free. Contact us today to know more.


Which Freezone is for the textile industry?

Dubai Textile City is the freezone designated for the garment industry.

How to start a garment company in Dubai?

In a nutshell, first, choose your location and submit all your documents to get your license and also register your business with approvals from the respective authorities.

Who issues a business license in Dubai?

After you get approval from the respective authorities, the Department of Economic Development will issue you the license.

To sell clothes online in the UAE, what license is required?

To sell clothes online or through any social media you require an E-trade license.

What is the cost of opening a textile company in the UAE?

It depends upon where you want to start and what type of activity you do.

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