What is Travel Agency License in UAE?

20Mar, 22

What is Travel Agency License in UAE?

There is no doubt that Dubai is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. The pleasant climate, beautiful coast, architectural monuments, and stunning modern buildings make Dubai an ideal destination for any vacation. The UAE government is investing heavily in the development of the tourism industry. The combination of these factors makes Dubai an appealing jurisdiction for running a tourism business or a travel agency. If you're considering entering the travel industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the first steps to take is acquiring a travel agency license. Whether you plan to establish your business in Dubai or Sharjah, understanding the intricacies of obtaining this license is essential. In this blog, we'll delve into what a travel agency license is, the process of getting it, the associated costs, and even explore the importance of a Civil Aviation License for travel agencies.

What is a Travel Agency License?

A travel agency license is a legal requirement for anyone looking to operate a travel-related business in the UAE. This license is essential for organizing and selling various travel services, including booking flights, hotels, and arranging holiday packages for clients. It not only ensures compliance with local regulations but also instills trust and confidence in your customers.

Primary Reasons for Starting a Travel Agency in Dubai

Dubai aspires to be the most popular travel destination worldwide, given its rapid growth as a tourist destination. As a result, starting a travel agency in Dubai can provide you with other advantages in addition to a tenfold rise in revenue, such as:

Utilizing the tourism industry to boost the UAE GDP by roughly 10%

Since the tourist industry makes up around 10% of the UAE's GDP, the government is naturally drawn to it and gives it full attention. The UAE's tourist sector is estimated to expand by roughly 3% annually and is expected to do so in the future.

Famous Landmarks and Vacation Spots that Boost the Travel and Tourism Sector

Dubai boasts many opulent hotels and eye-catching tourist attractions, ranging from Palm Deira and Palm Jebel Ali to Dubai World, the largest artificial island now undergoing construction. Individuals enjoy travelling to these locations and staying in the most lavish hotels on the planet.

Welcomes Diverse Travelers:

The UAE has no restrictions when it comes to inviting visitors from around the globe, which is one of the reasons why the country's tourism sector is growing. For this reason, it welcomes travellers from over 200 nations each year.

Business-Friendly Environment: 

With a robust transit network, contemporary facilities, and a well-established infrastructure, Dubai provides a business-friendly environment. The city's adequate air, sea, and land connectivity makes it easier for visitors and makes planning trips easier. Furthermore, Dubai's advantageous position makes it a great starting point for planning local trips and excursions since it provides access to other well-liked Middle Eastern locations.

Cultural Diversity and Activities: 

With its rich cultural legacy, Dubai offers visitors various experiences. Dubai offers a mix of modern entertainment and retail establishments with traditional souks and cultural festivals. To provide your clients with an unforgettable experience, as a travel agency, you can create distinctive itineraries that highlight the city's cultural variety.

How to Open a travel agency business in Dubai?

Anywhere in the world, there are several legal procedures and other regulations that you must consider when launching a firm. You get these experiences after working in the corporate environment for a considerable time.

Because of this, Dhanguard specialists have aided in the founding of other companies throughout the UAE. Because of this, our professionals have started travel businesses in Dubai before.

Here's a more in-depth explanation

Learn About the Different Types of Travel Agency Licenses in Dubai

The first thing you should know before applying for a travel agency license in Dubai is the different types of travel agency licenses issued by the management. There are three kinds of Dubai travel and tourism agency licenses. To launch this agency, you must first select one of three licenses.

The three types of licenses are as follows:

Let us now look deeper into the specifics of the licenses above

As an Inbound Tour Operator

Firms that arrange local incentive tours or tours for foreigners to attend conferences and events are included. The travel agency handles visas, transportation, and residency under this license type.

As an Outbound Tour Operator

This license is granted to companies that organize and sell tourist programmes in other countries through travel and tourism agents.

As a Travel Agent

It includes selling airline tickets to individuals on behalf of authorized agents. These offices' responsibilities are limited to seat reservations, ticket issuance in coordination with the agent, and hotel and car rental-related services.

Collect all Necessary Documents.

After deciding on the type of license you want, the next best step is to gather the necessary documents. They can be imitated in the manner described below.

  • An application form filled out by the authorities

  • Copy of the applicants' valid passports

  • Manager's professional qualification certificate/work experience certificate

  • Owner's certificate of good conduct/certificate of clean criminal record

  • The project's economic and technical feasibility study report

  • The Civil Aviation Authority issued a no-objection letter.

Meet All of the Special Requirements

Aside from submitting the documents, an individual or a company must adhere to a few additional requirements. The following are the circumstances.

  • When establishing a travel agency, it must be structured as an LLC, with the foreign citizen owning 49% of the shares and the local sponsor holding the remaining 51%.

  • Suppose the company's manager has a bachelor's degree or a certificate in Travel and Tourism). In that case, they must have at least three years of experience certificate and five years of experience certificate if the manager has a secondary diploma.

  • A license as a travel agent requires one additional document, namely approval from the Emirate's Department of Civil Aviation.

  • If you choose an inbound/outbound tour operator, you must prepare a feasibility study report spotlighting the advantages of the tourism sector in the country.

  • An irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of the DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) is administered by any bank in Dubai for an inbound tour operator.

  • A conclusive bank guarantee in the name of DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) issued by any bank in Dubai is required for an outbound tour operator.

  • Any bank in Dubai should issue a Dh 100,000 irrevocable bank guarantee in the name of the DTCM (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing) for travel agent activity. This activity does not necessitate insurance or a feasibility study report. If you combine the above three activities, the total bank guarantee is Dh 400,000.

Submit the Application and Pay the Required Fees

After you have completed all of the documents mentioned above, this step will walk you through the meat of the matter, which is how to fill out the form and submit the documents to obtain the license.

Following are the document

  • Submit the company's name to the DED counter at Tas'heel Centre.

  • Obtain preliminary approval from the same department to form a company. The form can be completed at any typing center, after which you must obtain signatures from all partners and submit it to the DED.

  • DED will provide a form for the site inspection after initial approval. Please fill out the form completely, attach a location map, and submit it to the DED along with your final documents. Before issuing the license, the officer will conduct an inspection.

  • Type the LLC agreement (MOA) from a legal translator and have it notarized by a Notary Public. If the deal is in Arabic, the legal translator's seal is not required.

  • All Partners or Attorneys must appear at the Notary to sign the Court Agreement.

  • Prepare the tenancy contract.

  • Submit all your documents, pay at the counter, and receive your license.

Once you have received your license, register it with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. Collect the registration form from there, fill it out, add an authorized signature and a company stamp, and turn it in at the Dubai Chamber counter. At the same time, a certificate will be issued. Payment has already been made to DED with the Tourism License fees. The Dubai Chamber certificate is required for registration with various government departments and expansion into other Emirates.

The validity of a Travel Agency License is only for a year and must be renewed afterwards.

What are the Types of Activity Permitted under a Travel Agency License?

To improve its travel sector, the UAE Tourism Department has provided various activities that a travel agency can offer its customers.

Dubai tourism companies can choose from the following activities.

  • Buying and selling plane tickets

  • Providing travel insurance

  • A website is used to sell tourist packages.

  • Assisting with visa issuance

  • Developing tourist packages and marketing them via various channels

  • Providing lodging options

Prerequisites for Starting a Travel Agency in Dubai

You must know the following before obtaining a travel agency license:

  • A travel agency license manager must have three years of experience if they have a university diploma or a certificate in travel and tourism or five years if they only have a high school diploma.

  • Provide a lease contract as well as a blueprint of the location where the travel agency will be located. The agreement must be signed for a minimum of three months, and the office space must be at least 30 meters squared for each activity.

  • The travel agent must obtain a certificate from Dubai's Civil Aviation Department.

Travel Agency License Cost in Dubai

The cost of obtaining a travel agency license in Dubai can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of business entity, the size of your office space, and the specific services you plan to offer. On average, the cost can range from AED 25,000 to AED 35,000 excluding any additional fees for visa processing, trade name registration, and office space.

Opening a Travel Agency in Sharjah

If you're interested in setting up a travel agency in Sharjah, the process is similar to Dubai. Sharjah is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes, making it an attractive tourist destination. To start a travel agency in Sharjah:

  1. Choose a Business Structure: As in Dubai, decide on the most suitable business structure for your agency.

  2. Trade Name Registration: Register your agency's name with the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD).

  3. Office Setup: Establish a physical office in Sharjah that complies with SEDD's requirements.

  4. Travel Agency License Application: Apply for the travel agency license through the SEDD. Prepare the necessary documents, including your business plan, MOA, and application forms.

Civil Aviation License for Travel Agencies

In addition to the general travel agency license, if you plan to sell airline tickets in the UAE, you'll also need a Civil Aviation License. This license is issued by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and is a crucial requirement for agencies involved in air ticket sales. It ensures your agency complies with aviation regulations, ticketing procedures, and customer protection guidelines.

What Is a Travel Agent's Role in Dubai?

As previously stated, regardless of the business form chosen by the owner, a travel agent is a mandatory requirement.

The travel agent is crucial to the company because he or she must complete the following tasks:

  • The agent will be in charge of selling plane tickets.

  • They will assist you in obtaining the necessary travel visa.

  • The agent will be in charge of arranging lodging for the tourists.

  • The agent will also arrange for transportation and guided tours (where applicable).


In conclusion, a travel agency license in the UAE, whether in Dubai or Sharjah, is a vital step for anyone seeking to establish a travel-related business. However, you can always hire the services of a specialized firm. Understanding the process, associated costs and the need for a Civil Aviation License is crucial to ensuring the success and legal compliance of your travel agency. With the proper preparations, you'll be well on your way to helping travellers explore the wonders of the UAE and beyond. It is much easier and more efficient to delegate the work to professionals and focus on developing your ideas and plans. Dhanguard can assist you in obtaining your travel agency license. Contact us today to learn more, and we will gladly help you.