How to Set Up a Real Estate Business in Dubai

Set Up a Real Estate Business in Dubai

Global real estate investors are increasingly drawn to Dubai, making it an ideal hub for establishing a real estate firm due to its strategic location, top-notch infrastructure, and attractive tax incentives. However, a comprehensive understanding of the legal, regulatory, and licensing processes is crucial before embarking on a business venture in Dubai. This article will delve into the requisite licenses for operating in the real estate sector and provide insights on setting up a real estate business in Dubai.

What Licenses Are Required to Start Real Estate Business in Dubai?

Securing the necessary licenses and permissions from pertinent authorities is a critical step in launching a real estate business in Dubai. The key licenses you need to obtain include:

Trade License:

At the forefront of setup business in Dubai is the imperative Trade License. Issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), this license authorizes the lawful execution of commercial operations within the emirate.

Real Estate Brokerage License:

A fundamental requirement for running a real estate firm in Dubai is the acquisition of a real estate brokerage license from the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Without this license, mandated by DLD, engaging in any real estate business activities in the UAE is not legally permissible.

Commercial License:

For those intending to have representatives conduct property transactions on their behalf, a Commercial License is indispensable.


Governing rental agreements in Dubai, the Ejari system is a prerequisite for landlords and property owners. It mandates the registration of tenancy agreements, ensuring compliance with regulations.

RERA Certification:

Dubai’s real estate sector operates under the oversight of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). Consequently, all real estate brokers and salespeople are obligated to obtain RERA accreditation, emphasizing the commitment to regulatory standards in the industry.

How to Set up a Real Estate Company in Dubai?

Setting Up a real estate company in Dubai involves crucial legal processes, whether within the free trade zones or on the Dubai mainland. Although both options are viable, free zones are often preferred for setting up real estate buying and selling brokerage firms in Dubai.

Follow these steps to initiate your real estate business in Dubai:

1. Choose the Right Legal Structure:

Before launching your real estate brokerage company, determine the most suitable legal structure. Two primary business structures for real estate brokerage in Dubai are sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company (LLC).

2. Register Your Trading Name:

Submit an application to the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, along with the necessary supporting documents, to register your trade name.

3. Preliminary Approval Request:

Submit the application form along with required documents such as passport copies of the owner or manager, visa copies of shareholders, and attested degree certificates. Obtain the preliminary approval request receipt.

4. RERA Approval:

Enroll in and successfully complete a formal qualification from the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), specifically the Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers. Pass the subsequent Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) test to gain the necessary credentials.

5. Memorandum of Association (MoA):

Complete and sign the MoA based on your company’s legal structure. Have the document notarized and legalized by the court.

6. Select Business Premises:

Acquire office space, either through ownership or rental. If renting, formalize tenancy arrangements (Ejari) with relevant parties.

7. Apply for Real Estate Trade License:

Obtain the Dubai real estate trade license before commencing operations.

8. Register with RERA:

After securing the license, register your business with RERA by submitting required documents, including the application form, DED license copy, Ejari, payment receipt for RERA courses, and business location details.

9. Registration with DNRD and MOL:

To employ foreign workers and sponsor their visas, register your real estate brokerage firm with the Ministry of Labour (MOL) and the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai (DNRD).

10. Approval from Dubai Land Department:

Before officially opening, obtain approval from the Dubai Land Department, the governmental entity overseeing real estate matters in the region. This approval is essential for the legal operation of a real estate brokerage in Dubai.

How much does it cost to set up a real estate company in Dubai?

Setting up a real estate company in Dubai involves various costs, including legal fees, registration fees, office space leasing fees, permissions and licenses, staffing, marketing, and operational expenses. The total cost can vary based on factors such as the size and scope of the company, office location, staff numbers, and marketing strategies.

It’s crucial to recognize that initiating a real estate business in Dubai requires a significant investment. Understanding the local market and complying with relevant laws and regulations is essential before commencing operations.

Once you’ve obtained a RERA training certificate, you can begin the application process for a real estate brokerage license. RERA charges AED 5,020 per activity. For an LLC, the trade license costs around AED 12,950. However, starting a real estate business in Dubai is estimated to incur a total cost of at least AED 21,000, taking into account various associated expenses. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary based on specific business considerations and choices made during the setup process.

Benefits of Starting a Real Estate Business in Dubai

Starting a real estate business in Dubai presents a myriad of advantages, making it an enticing prospect for entrepreneurs. Here are five key benefits of setting up a real estate business in Dubai:

  1. Dynamic Real Estate Market: Dubai boasts a thriving and continually expanding real estate market, making it an attractive destination for global investors. The escalating demand for real estate in Dubai creates abundant opportunities for real estate companies to flourish and capitalize on the growing market trends.
  2. Strategic Global Location: Positioned strategically between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai serves as a crucial global economic hub. The advantageous location provides real estate businesses in Dubai with easy access to a diverse and extensive pool of potential clients and collaborators, fostering international business connections.
  3. World-Class Infrastructure: Dubai has made substantial investments in developing cutting-edge infrastructure, encompassing transportation, communication, and utilities. As a result, Dubai stands as one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated and contemporary cities. This robust infrastructure not only facilitates seamless company operations but also enhances client accessibility to properties, elevating the overall real estate sector.
  4. Stability in the Economy: Dubai’s stable and diversified economy places a significant emphasis on the real estate sector. Government initiatives are in place to ensure stability and transparency within the real estate market. This commitment makes Dubai an appealing destination for real estate enterprises, providing a solid foundation for sustainable business growth.
  5. Business-Friendly Environment: The Dubai government has implemented various policies to foster a business-friendly environment. This includes streamlined licensing processes, a robust legal framework, and a supportive regulatory atmosphere. The commitment to ease of doing business enhances the overall entrepreneurial experience and encourages the growth of real estate companies in the city.

Do you need a license to sell real estate in Dubai?

Securing a real estate agent role in Dubai requires obtaining a real estate broker’s license to ensure legal operation within the UAE. The process involves intricate documentation and approvals from multiple government ministries. Additionally, passing an examination administered by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) is a mandatory step in the licensing process.

Is it a good idea to become a real estate agent in Dubai?

Becoming a real estate agent in Dubai can offer significant financial rewards, but it’s important to note that the job can be stressful if it lacks personal satisfaction. A common error among new agents is neglecting to delve deeply into understanding the property market or investing in their own professional development.

How long does it take to get real estate license Dubai?

The process of applying for a real estate license in Dubai can be completed online within approximately two weeks. The initial license fee is AED 5,000 for the first year, followed by AED 2,000 for each subsequent year. The issued license remains valid for one year.


establishing a real estate company in Dubai is a complex undertaking that demands a comprehensive understanding of local laws, regulations, and licensing requirements. Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits can be a time-consuming and financial investment. However, adhering to the guidelines and securing the required licenses can pave the way for a successful real estate business in Dubai. It is advisable to seek guidance from a qualified advisor throughout the process to navigate potential legal challenges. For further assistance, feel free to contact us at +971 582595164 or reach out via WhatsApp at +971 582595164. You can also contact us via email at