You are currently viewing Starting an import-export business in Dubai, UAE: A guide
  • Post published:May 31, 2024

Dubai is home to one of the world’s top import-export markets. The UAE’s prime location at the crossroads of world trade and its extensive port establish it as a natural hub for import-export activities. If you want to start your own import-export firm in Dubai or a interested in a company formation in UAE, you must obtain an import-export license. In this article, we’ll go over the most important details of obtaining an import-export license for Dubai in 2023.

The UAE imports and exports a wide range of items. The country is a leading exporter of crude and refined petroleum, gravel, crushed stone, and sulfur. It also exports a large amount of value-added items, including jewelry, broadcasting equipment, and rolled tobacco. Also, the Gulf nation is a significant importer of gold, diamonds, aluminum oxide, and broadcasting equipment as well. This blog Starting an import-export business in Dubai, UAE: A Guide will give you a detailed understanding of what steps you will need to take to start a successful import-export business in Dubai.

Import and Export Business License in Dubai

An Import and Export License in Dubai enables a business to conduct international trade. This license allows you to import items from other countries and export goods produced or obtained in Dubai to other nations.

The license can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED )on the Dubai mainland or from any of Dubai’s free trade zones. To be eligible, your business must be registered as a trading or general trading company.

Documents to get an import-export trading license in Dubai

  • Trade name options
  • Business activity
  • Passport copies of all the shareholders
  • UAE residence visa copy of the partner(s)
  • Copy of the entry stamp or visa page if the partner is on a visit visa.
  • Import Export Code (IEC) application (requirements may vary by country).

The Steps to Start an Import-Export Business in Dubai

An import-export company formation in Dubai includes several steps. They are as follows :

Choose Your Business Location: You have to decide between Dubai Mainland or Free Zones. Mainland requires registration with the Department of Economic Development (DED ) for a trading license, while Free Zones offer industry-specific benefits and tax breaks.

Finalize Your Business Name: Select a unique and compliant name and verify its availability through DED or your chosen Free Zone authority.

Register Your Business in Dubai: Register your company with the DED, specifying your business activity, trade name, and legal structure. Free Zone registration follows a similar process.

Obtain an Import-Export License: Apply for a trade license enabling import-export operations through DED or your selected Free Zone authority, detailing the goods you intend to trade.

Register with Dubai Customs: Upon acquiring your trading license, register with Dubai Customs to acquire an import/export code, facilitating customs clearance for your goods.

Open a Business Bank Account: Establish a corporate bank account essential for managing international transactions with suppliers and clients.

Obtain Visas: Research and apply for visas, considering requirements based on nationality and business structure, for yourself, employees, and partners through relevant authorities.

What will be the cost of an import-export license in the UAE?

An import-export license in Dubai will cost around AED 25,500; other Emirates cost data are provided below.

Sharjah: An import-export license in Sharjah will cost roughly AED 23,000 onwards.

Ajman: An import-export license in Ajman will cost around AED 24,000.

Ras Al Khaimah: An import-export license in Ras Al Khaimah will cost around AED 20,000.

To know more details about starting an export-import business, Connect with our experts at Damaar.

What makes the import-export business flourish in the UAE?

Several significant reasons contribute to the UAE’s thriving import-export economy, making it a popular destination for international trade. Here’s why.

Strategic Location: The UAE is located at the crossroads of important global trade routes, making it an ideal hub for importing and exporting commodities between Asia, Europe, Africa, and beyond. Its proximity to vital markets allows for faster and more efficient transit of commodities, drawing enterprises from throughout the world.

World-Class Infrastructure: The UAE has the cutting-edge infrastructure, including sophisticated ports, airports, and logistics hubs. These facilities are outfitted with cutting-edge technology and efficient handling systems, allowing for the seamless and timely transportation of goods into and out of the country.

Business-Friendly Policies: The UAE government has enacted policies that encourage foreign investment and trade and business setup in Dubai. This includes relaxed trade regulations, tax breaks, and simplified procedures for starting enterprises and acquiring trade licenses. These policies foster a favorable climate for import-export enterprises to prosper.

Diverse Economy: The UAE’s economy is broad and vibrant, with thriving industries like oil and gas, tourism, manufacturing, and banking. This diversity generates demand for a wide range of imported items while also creating chances to sell locally produced commodities and products.

Free Zones: The UAE has multiple Free Zones, each catering to a certain industry and offering benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, tax breaks, and streamlined customs procedures. These Free Zones are very suitable areas for import-export enterprises to establish operations and take advantage of advantageous business circumstances.

Freezones are the cheapest option to set up an import-export license in the UAE.

  • In the Dubai Freezone, import export license cost is only 12,500 AED
  • In the Sharjah Freezone, Import export license cost is only 5750 AED
  • In Ajman Freezone, it’s only 5555 AED
  • In RAKEZ Freezone, it’s only 5500 AED

Political Stability: The UAE is quite known for its political stability and security, making it a safe and trustworthy place for businesses to operate. This stability also gives immense trust to investors and traders. It encourages them to choose the UAE as their preferred destination for import-export transactions and other business activities.

In conclusion, several matters like the UAE’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, business-friendly regulations, diverse economy, Free Zones, and political stability all play important factors in UAE’s business sector.

Consult with Damaar for import-export business in Dubai

Are you looking to kickstart your import-export journey in Dubai? Look no further than Damaar Business Consultants,  for top-notch consulting services! We understand the ins and outs of the market, offering tailored solutions to meet your unique business needs. From selecting the right business location to obtaining essential licenses, we’ve got you covered. Count on Damaar to guide you toward success in Dubai’s thriving trade landscape.