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The process of creating a real estate business in Dubai

Процесс создания бизнеса в сфере недвижимости в Дубае

Property transactions in Dubai have a high yield. Moreover, even due to the ongoing pandemic this year, the real estate business in Dubai remains stable, transactions continue throughout the year. Where the investment market is developing, there is a demand for related, for example, real estate brokerage services in Dubai. 

In the UAE, there is an increase in the density of the indigenous population and expatriates. This, combined with a business-oriented government policy and a strong economy, creates favorable conditions for attracting potential investors to open an intermediary firm. If you are interested in such a business, then you should hurry up. To help you get started, we have highlighted the basic requirements. 

Registration of a real estate brokerage company

Legal registration of your business is required in any country. You can register it either in zones for local organizations or in free trade zones. Free zones are optimal for property operations. 

Definition of the legal structure

Before starting a brokerage firm, determine the type of business structure. There are two main types: 

  1. Individual entrepreneurship.
  2. Limited Liability Company (LLC). 

It is noteworthy that in accordance with the legislation of the UAE, a brokerage firm can only be established in the full ownership of a citizen of the UAE or a company wholly owned by a citizen of the UAE. Therefore, you will have to appoint a UAE citizen as a local sponsor or partner..

Registration of a trade name

Trade name registration

As soon as the legal structure or type of business is determined, it is necessary to register the name by contacting the Department of Economic Development together with all relevant documents.  

Request for preliminary approval

The next step is to receive a receipt for preliminary approval, for which it is necessary to send the necessary application form and the following initial documents: 

  • application form
  • copies of passports of the owner or all shareholders and manager
  • copies of visas of all shareholders
  • confirmed certificates of graduation from high school or university of partners and manager

Approval of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (ARN) 

The next step involves obtaining permission from the ARN. To do this, you need to get a qualification. You will need to pass the official qualification procedure, which is regulated by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DIN). The certification obtained is known as Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers. Next, you will need to pass the exam of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. 

Foundation Agreement or Local Sponsor Agreement

Depending on the organizational and legal form of the business, a completed and signed Foundation Agreement or an Agreement on a local sponsor is required. This document is notarized in court. 

Choosing a room or location for your business

To organize a business, it is mandatory to have an office space. In the case of a lease (Ejari), it is necessary to negotiate with the interested parties. 

Applying for a license

License application

Before opening your intermediary business in Dubai, you must obtain a real estate license in this country. It will allow you to conduct business legally. 

How does the Department of Economic Development determine the purchase and sale of real estate:     

License categoryTypes of activities
Title: real estate
Code: 702001
Group: real estate
Type: Commercial
These include firms engaged in the purchase and sale of property, acting as intermediaries between owners and buyers. The role is to sign the contract and get the approval of the commission.

If the opening is planned in the area for local companies, then you need to apply to the Department of Economic Development. If the company will be created in a free zone, you can apply to the selected FEZ authority. 

When submitting an application, together with the license fees, you must provide: 

  • application form;
  • two 35×45 mm photographs (as for passport);
  • a copy of the passport of the owner and partners or shareholders (if any);
  • a copy of the Emirates ID card of the local sponsor (if available);
  • notarized Foundation Agreement or Local Sponsor Agreement;
  • NOC for expat partners;
  • valid resident or tourist visa;
  • lease agreement (Ejari).

After receiving the entire package of documents, the Department of Economic Development issues a payment voucher, which indicates all payments for the purchase of a license. After their payment, a license is issued. 

Registration in ARN

As soon as you get a license, the company can be registered in the ARN. The authority will need to provide: 

  • application;
  • copy of the license of the Department of Economic Development;
  • lease agreement (Ejari);
  • receipt for payment of ARN courses;
  • location data;

Registration with the Department of Naturalization and Residency of Dubai and the Ministry of Labor

You need to register your organization with the Department of Naturalization and Residency of Dubai (DNRD) and the Ministry of Labor to hire foreign employees and sponsor their visas. 

Certificate of proper behavior

The certificate is issued by the Dubai Police Headquarters. 

Approval of the Dubai Land Department

The approval of the Land Department is required to open a brokerage company. This is a government agency responsible for all actions with real estate in the region. 

What is the cost of opening a brokerage company in Dubai?

Company in Dubai

The creation of a company requires a large number of approvals and permits, which, in turn, are not free. The payment varies, and depends on the type of business structure and location. The initial cost usually includes the following services: 

Registration (service)One – time
Cost of preliminary approvalOne – time
Booking a trade nameAt a time
License feesAnnual
Bank guaranteeAnnual
Sponsorship + professional servicesAnnual
Buying an officeDisposable
Office rentAnnual
Typing and translation of the constituent agreementAt a time
The founding agreement (articles of association) – the cost of certificationOne – time
Drafting of the LLC agreement and confirmation of the Court AgreementDisposable
Broker Identification NumberAnnual
Certificate of good behaviorOne – time
Fees of the Land DepartmentAnnual
The work of real estate brokers ARNAt a time
Administrative services and municipal feeDisposable
Market fees (250 dirhams)Annual
Immigration cardAnnual
Foundation CardAnnual
Labor cardOne – time
Employee visaOnce every 2 years
Emirates IDDisposable
Mailbox rentalAt a time
Landline phone (optional)At a time
Stamp (optional)One – time

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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What service are you interested in?
Company setup
Obtaining a residence permit
Buying real estate
Opening a bank account
Auditor or accountant services
Trademark registration
Tax support
Notarial Power of Attorney (PoA)
Launching a business

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