Advantages of Setting Up a General Trading Business in Dubai

10Apr, 22

Advantages of Setting Up a General Trading Business in Dubai

Dubai, often called the "City of Gold," is a thriving business hub that grows entrepreneurs from around the globe. Among the many business opportunities in this emirate, setting up a general trading business in Dubai is a profitable venture that continues to attract investors. With its strategic location, business-friendly environment, and well-established infrastructure, Dubai offers several advantages for general trading businesses. This blog will explore the key benefits of establishing a general trading business in Dubai, including obtaining a general trading license and the various services associated with this venture.

General trading services in Dubai

General trading services in Dubai refer to the broad range of activities involved in trading various goods and commodities. These services encompass multiple products and sectors and are facilitated by selling companies based in Dubai. 

Here are key points to understand about general trading services in Dubai:

Diverse Product Range:

General trading companies in Dubai can import, export, and distribute a wide variety of products, including electronics, textiles, food products, machinery, consumer goods, and more.

Import and Export:

These companies often act as intermediaries between international suppliers and local or regional buyers, facilitating the movement of goods across borders.


General trading companies in Dubai may distribute products within the UAE or export them to neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.

License Requirements:

To engage in general trading services in Dubai, businesses typically need to obtain the appropriate trade license, which can vary depending on the nature of the goods being traded and the company's location (e.g., within a free zone or on the mainland).

Trade Regulations:

Trading companies must adhere to the UAE government's trade regulations and standards, including compliance with customs duties, import and export documentation, and product quality standards.

Business Setup Options:

General trading companies can be established in various forms, such as Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Free Zone Company, or Branch of a Foreign Company, each with its own rules and advantages.

Free Zones:

Many general trading companies choose to set up Dubai's free zones due to their benefits, including tax advantages, 100% foreign ownership, and simplified import-export procedures.

Access to International Markets:

Dubai's strategic location and well-developed infrastructure make it a convenient platform for trading companies to access global markets, especially those in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Types of Trading Companies

Trading business deals with various goods worldwide and their imports and exports. These goods are distributed to multiple firms, individuals, or countries depending on the situation.

There are primarily two types of trading firms in Dubai, and they are as follows:

General Trading Company

A general trading company must have a general trading license and can trade goods other than precious metals, cryptocurrency, and various hydrocarbons. These previously mentioned goods necessitate special approvals from the relevant authority.

Specified Trading Company

The government allows the exchange of certain electronic items, cosmetics, clothing, and other items. To purchase these items, you must first obtain a special trading license.

The Advantages of Having a Trading Company in Dubai

Setting up a trading company in Dubai can offer various advantages due to the emirate's strategic location, business-friendly environment, and well-developed infrastructure. Here are several critical advantages of having a trading company in Dubai:

Strategic Location:

  • Dubai is a bridge between the East and the West, making it a strategic trading hub.

  • Its proximity to Asia, Europe, and Africa allows easy market access.

Free Zones:

  • Dubai has numerous free zones, such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which offer various incentives and 100% foreign ownership.

  • These free zones provide tax benefits, customs duty exemptions, and simplified import-export procedures.

Business-Friendly Environment:

  • Dubai offers a pro-business environment with minimal bureaucratic red tape, making setting up and running a trading company easy.

  • The government is committed to supporting business growth and foreign investment.

Infrastructure and Connectivity:

  • Dubai boasts world-class infrastructure, including modern ports, airports, and logistics facilities.

  • The city is well-connected with a network of roads, ports, and airports, ensuring efficient transportation of goods.


  • While Dubai does not impose corporate taxes on most businesses, there may be taxes on specific activities, like banking and oil.

  • The absence of personal income tax is also an advantage for expatriate business owners.

Political Stability:

  • Dubai enjoys political stability and a reliable legal system, instilling investors' confidence.

  • The government's commitment to economic diversification reduces risks associated with oil price fluctuations.

Access to a Diverse Market:

  • The UAE has a multicultural and diverse population, and Dubai is a gateway to the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

  • The presence of a thriving expatriate community creates a diverse consumer base.

Banking and Financial Services:

  • Dubai has a robust financial sector with numerous international banks, making accessing financial services for trade financing and investment easier.

Free Trade Agreements:

  • The UAE has established free trade agreements with various countries, allowing trading companies in Dubai to benefit from reduced tariffs and easier access to international markets.

Quality of Life:

  • Dubai offers a high quality of life, which can help attract and retain skilled employees and expatriate entrepreneurs.

  • It provides a modern and cosmopolitan living environment with various leisure and entertainment options.

Easy Company Setup:

  • Dubai's government has simplified company registration procedures, allowing for the quick and relatively hassle-free establishment of trading companies.

Expanding Infrastructure:

  • Dubai continues to invest in infrastructure and innovation, further enhancing its competitiveness and attractiveness as a business destination.

General Trading License

One of the critical elements for a successful general trading business in Dubai is obtaining a General Trading License. This license allows companies to trade in a wide range of products, making it a versatile choice for entrepreneurs. It covers the import, export, and re-export of goods, ensuring that your business can engage in many trading activities under one license. 

Required Documents for a General Trading License in Dubai 

To create a general trading firm, you must first secure your company's general trading license in Dubai. To accomplish this, you must present significant documents to the appropriate government. The following is a list of the documents you must submit: 

  • Copies of shareholders' passports.   

  • Entry stamp or a visa page.    

  • A photo the size of a passport. 

Activities that fall under a general trading license 

According to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), any of the allowed commodities may be imported, traded in, or re-exported by the owner of a general trading firm in Dubai.

Additionally, it permits you to trade in nearly anything except a few prohibited commodities like oil or cigarettes. Almost any other combination you can think of is allowed as a trade, including candy, toys, diamonds, shoes, pet supplies, and jewellery. 

An LLC in Dubai can engage in operations that require particular permits and agreements. 

General Trading License for the Mainland of Dubai 

Any country, whether the Mainland or a Free Zone, can grant a general trading license. However, the UAE's Mainland and Free Zones provide reasonably priced solutions that can be customized to meet your unique demands. 

General Trading License in Dubai Free Zones 

The establishment of a firm by foreign investors is permitted in every Dubai free zone jurisdiction. In the Dubai Free Zone, receive a general trading license. However, the price may vary based on the company and the jurisdiction. 

How to Begin a Trading Company in Dubai?

Starting a general trading company in Dubai is a simple five-step process:

Business Activities

The first step in obtaining your general trading license is to decide on your business activities. Every item you want to trade must be specified. There are thousands of options, so you're bound to find one or more that work for your company.

Company Name

The next step is to come up with a company name. Keep in mind that you must follow a strict set of naming conventions. Any offensive or scandalous language should be avoided. If you are naming your company after yourself, avoid names of well-known organizations and abbreviations.

Application for a License

You can now apply for a mainland general Trade license if you work with a company formation service such as Dhanguard. lWe can create and manage the application to ensure a quick and easy incorporation.


In addition to applying for your license, you can also apply for any necessary Visas. This includes your residency visa, company employee visas, and visas for domestic workers such as housekeepers or drivers.

The size of your company determines the maximum number of visas you can apply for, the setup you choose, and, in the case of totally dependent visas, your personal earnings.

Bank Account

The final step in launching your general trading company in the UAE is to open a corporate Bank Account. There are numerous local and international banks to choose from, but opening an account can be difficult for international entrepreneurs.

Dhanguard will help you set up a general trading company in Dubai with a 100% bank account opening guarantee.


Setting up a general trading business in Dubai presents many opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to enter the global market. Dubai offers an ideal platform for success with a General Trading License, access to diverse needs, a business-friendly environment, and significant tax advantages. Whether you are looking to trade in consumer goods, electronics, textiles, or any other product, the benefits of a trading business setup in Dubai are abundantly clear. It's a gateway to a world of possibilities in international trade. If you have a business plan in the UAE or are looking for services to help your business grow, Dhanguard can assist you in every manner.