There is no doubt about the fact that Dubai is one of the most preferred locations for holidaying in the world. The favourable climate, wonderful coast, architectural monuments, stunning modern buildings make Dubai a perfect location for vacationing of any sort. The Government is making a considerable effort for the development of the tourism industry in the UAE. The combination of these factors makes the jurisdiction attractive for running a tourism business or a travel agency in Dubai.
Types of Activities under the Travel Agency License
The UAE tourism department, with a view to improving its travel sector, has provided different types of activities a travel agency can provide to its customers. The tourism companies in Dubai can choose any of the following activities -
- Selling plane tickets
- Issuing travel insurance
- Selling tourist packages through a website
- Providing support during visa issuance
- Creating tourist packages and marketing it through various channels
- Offering accommodation options
Requirements before Opening a Travel Agency Business in Dubai
As a business owner, before setting up a travel agency license, you must know this –
- The manager of a travel agency license must have three years of experience if he or she has a university diploma or a certificate in travel and tourism, or five years of experience if he or she only has a high school diploma
- Provide a lease contract and the blueprint of the location where the travel agency will operate. The contract must be signed for at least three months and the office space must have at least 30 meters for each activity.
- The travel agent must obtain a certification issued by the Civil Aviation Department in Dubai.
Steps to Obtain License and Start a Travel Agency in Dubai
For starting a Travel agency in Dubai, you need to get a license. And these steps will help you in understanding how to get one.
- Choose the type of travel agency license
- Gather required documents
- Meet all the special conditions
- Submit the application and pay fees
Here is the detailed explanation for you -
1. Know the Types of Travel Agency Licenses in Dubai
The first thing before getting a travel agency license in Dubai, you must be aware of the different types of travel agency licenses issued by the authorities. There are basically 3 types of Dubai travel and tourism agency licenses. And to start this agency, you need to choose one of the three licenses. The three types of licenses are-
- As an Inbound Tour Operator
- As an Outbound Tour Operator
- As a Travel Agent
Let us get into the depth of the aforementioned licenses
As an Inbound Tour Operator
It includes firms that organize local incentive tours or tours for foreigners to attend conferences and events. Under this type of license, the travel agency handles visas, transport, and residency.
As an Outbound Tour Operator
This type of license is provided to the firms that organize and sell tourist programs abroad via travels and tourism agents
As a Travel Agent
It includes selling air tickets to individuals on behalf of the authorized agents. The role of these offices is restricted to seat reservation, issuing tickets in coordination with the agent as well as carry out hotel booking and car rental-related services.
2. Gather the Required Documents
After deciding the type of license you want to opt for, the next ideal step is to gather the documents required to get the license. They can be emulated as under:
- A filled application form provided by the authorities
- Copy of valid passports of the applicants
- Certificate of professional qualification/work experience certificate of the manager
- Clean criminal record certificate of the owner/certificate of good conduct of the owner
- The study report of the economic and technical feasibility of the project
- No objection letter issued by the Civil Aviation Authority
3. Special Conditions
Apart from submitting the documents, there are a few special conditions that must be followed by an individual or a company. The conditions are as under:
- While setting up a travel agency, it must be set up as an LLC where 49% of the shares are owned by the foreign citizen and the remaining 51% must be owned by the local sponsor
- The manager of the company must have at least 3 years of experience certificate if he/she holds a bachelor degree or (Certificate in Travel and Tourism) and 5 years experience certificate if the manager holds a secondary certificate.
- If a license is to be obtained as a travel agent, one add-on document i.e. an approval on behalf of the Department of Civil Aviation of the Emirate is required.
- A feasibility study report must be made highlighting the benefits of the tourism sector in the country if you are opting for an inbound/outbound tour operator
- For an inbound tour operator an irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) is issued by any bank in Dubai
- For an outbound tour operator Dh 200,000 an irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) issued by any bank in Dubai
- Dh 100,000 of irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) should be issued by any bank in Dubai for a travel agent activity. No need for insurance and a feasibility study report for this activity. If you take above all three activities, then total bank guarantee: Dh 400,000
4. Submit the Application and Documents
Once you have taken care of all the above-mentioned documents, this step will take you through the crux of the matter i.e. how to fill the form and submit the documents to get the license.
- First, submit the name of the company to the DED counter at Tas’heel Centre
- Get the initial approval to form a company from the same department. The form can be filled at any typing centre after which you need to get the signatures from all the partners and submit the form at the DED
- After initial approval, DED will give a form for the site inspection. Fill the form with complete office details, attach a location map and submit the same at the DED along with final documents. Officer will come for inspection before issuing the license.
- Type the LLC agreement (MoA) from a legal translator and get attested from Notary Public. If the agreement is in Arabic, the legal translator's seal is not required
- Next, all the Partners or Attorney have to attend at Notary to sign the Court Agreement
- Make the tenancy contract ready
- Submit all the documents, make payment at the counter and get your License.
Once you receive the License, register the same at Dubai Chamber. Collect the registration form from there, fill in the information, put an authorized signature and company stamp and submit it at the Dubai Chamber counter. A certificate will be issued at the same time. Payment is already made at DED along with the Tourism License fees. The Dubai Chamber certificate is necessary for registration with various government departments and to expand your business to other Emirates.
The Travel Agency License is valid for one year and must be renewed after.
What is the Role of a Travel Agent in Dubai?
As mentioned earlier, the travel agent is a mandatory requirement no matter the business form chosen by the owner. The travel agent plays an important role in the company, as he or she will have to complete the following activities:
- The agent will be in charge of the sale of flight tickets;
- He or she will provide the necessary support in obtaining the travel visa;
- The agent will be in charge of securing accommodation for the tourists;
- The agent will also ensure the transportation services and guided tours (where applicable).
Commitbiz – A One-Stop-Solution to Start your Travel Agency in Dubai
Since the travel and tourism segment is strictly regulated, it is difficult to get this license or even open a travel agency. But you can always use the services of specialized firms. It is much more easy and efficient to entrust the job to professionals and concentrate on developing your ideas and plans. We at Commitbiz can help you get your travel agency license. Contact us today and know more.