The UAE has known the world over for its mind-boggling tourist sites. It’s one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. The tourism business contributes majorly to the GDP of the UAE Around 5.4 % of the GDP of the UAE is from the tourism sector. The tourism worth is expected to be around AED 116 billion by 2027. This sector supports around 75000 jobs. The global pandemic has definitely had a negative impact on the tourism business. However, the upcoming EXPO 2020 will surely contribute positively to the tourism business. Therefore, a travel and tourism business in UAE will surely reap profits.
Types of Travel and Tourism Business
A travel and tourism business in the UAE is formed as an LLC. 51% of the shares rest with the UAE national and the remaining 49% with the owner.
There are 3 types of tourism businesses:
- Inbound operators- As the name suggests, inbound means within the boundaries of the country. The business may assist local travel, events, visa issuance, transportation, foreigners or tourists willing to travel to the UAE.
- Outbound operators- This business may sell tourism packages outside the UAE through e-commerce.
- Travel agency- This business sells tickets and offers booking services.
Steps to Start a Tourism Business:
- At first, the businessman has to select business activity. In other words, the entrepreneur has to decide whether to start an inbound tour business, an outbound tour business, or a travel agency.
- After that, the owner has to select a name for the business. The name should not have any similarity to the names of existing companies. It should also be in concurrence with the rules of the land.
- Next, the owner has to apply for a license from the DED. The owner has to furnish a Memorandum of Association, Certificate of incorporation, and shareholder’s passport copies. The DED issues the trade license within 7 working days.
- In addition, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) approves tourism license. That is to say, the operator requires an inbound operator license/outbound operator license/ a travel agent license. With the license the operator can:
- Sell tourism packages through online or offline
- Issue travel insurance
- Provide accommodations/ stay options
- Provide visa related supporting services
- Sell flight/ railways/ bus tickets
- Provide car rental services
- Sell adventure tour packages.
- The manager has to submit an outline of the business plan.
- The manager has to get a NOC from the Civil Aviation Authority for selling air tickets. The company has to renew the NOC every year 30 days before expiry.
- In addition, the manager has to apply for a provisional 60-days employment visa for the employees. Once the provisional visa is issued, the employees can perform an in-country status change to activate an entry permit which is an important step to get a full employment visa.
- A trade license from the DED, passport copies, and establishment cards are very important to start the business.
- Finally, the manager has to open a corporate bank account.
After getting the licenses and approvals, the company can start its function in the UAE. Meanwhile, the owner has to get the company registered with the Dubai Chamber to issue the Dubai Chamber Certificate. This helps in registering the company or agency with the government departments and for future business expansions or branching.
The travel and tourism business has lots of scope in a country like the UAE. With major share in countries economy, and much more to grow, this business definitely attracts large number of investments.