About event management industry in UAE
Event Organizing is a quarter billion industry of Dubai. With Expo 2020, where Dubai is expecting 25 million visitors, this number is going to grow manifold. Though this activity sounds amazing and simple to start, the base work has to be very sound. The individual should have relevant experience, definitive business plan, thorough market research and enough sources of funds for the enterprise. Once we are clear with above, we can proceed ahead for having an event management company setup done.
Setting up an event management company can be possible on Mainland as well as in Free Zones in UAE. You can have an event management company registered in mainland or in free zones.
For Mainland, It falls in the category of professional services, where an individual can be 100% owner of the license. Mainland setup can deal directly with the local market without the services of a local agent and can take on government contracts. Normally, individuals having a setup in the mainland and can usually conduct event anywhere in UAE.
For Free zones, There are various free zones in UAE such as Dubai World / Dubai South and also the Dubai Creative Cluster or Fujairah Creative City that are home to event management companies. Though you are permitted to carry out any number of the event management activities, it’s important that you specify activities you required to undertake on your license application.
How to start an event management company in Dubai
Economic Department of Development(DED) is responsible for the mainland licensing economic activity for all businesses outside the free zones. Events organizing & managing is a professional license and can be formed as professional license or commercial license.Below is the activity description for having an Event management license in dubai
Activity Group: Consultancy-D-management, information and marketing
Activity Name: Events Organizing & Managing
Activity Code: 8230009
License Type: Professional
The organization and management of events, which involves, devising the event concept, planning logistics, coordinating the technical aspects before executing the modalities of the event, the activity applies to a variety of areas, such as, corporate events, marketing programs, general meetings, team building, gala dinners and launches, award ceremonies, press events, children parties, hair and makeup shows.
How to setup an event management company in Dubai Mainland
- Trade name approval
- Initial Approval from DED.
- For specific event locations like beaches / public parks, you might need approval from DTCM / Dubai Municipality (DM) as well Dubai Police.
Benefits of event organizers license in Dubai Mainland
- 100% ownership with the expatriate with UAE National being a service agent in the company for professional licensing.
- Free to conduct events at any location in UAE
- No limitations on the visas in the company
Event management license in UAE Free Zones
Setup in Free zones is simple and cost-effective way to start an events company. For startups there are various free zones in UAE such as Fujairah Creative City and also the Dubai World Center, Dubai Creative Cluster whilst individuals looking to have an enterprise setup can also have setup in DMCC or JAFZA as their setup option. They offer many attractive benefits including 0% personal and corporate income tax and 100% exemption from customs tax. Also, UAE free zone businesses benefit from the freedom of being able to repatriate all invested capital and profits and there are no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions. There is no requirement for paid up share capital in most of the Free Zones.
Steps to setup an event management company in UAE Free Zones
Setup in Free zone is a cost-effective solution to start an events company. They offer many attractive benefits including 0% personal and corporate income tax and 100% exemption from customs duty. Also, UAE free zone businesses benefit from the freedom of being able to repatriate all invested capital and profits and there are no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
However, Free zone companies, on the other hand, cannot take on government contracts or operate directly with the UAE market. Ticketing for the events outside the Free zone license is subject to relevant approvals from DED, DTCM or DM.
Office space requirement for event management license
Eligibility of investor & employment visas
Maximum 2 investor visa allowed on event management license. 2 employment visa allowed if license issued on office desk space and 4 employment visa if license issued on office in business center which is typically 200 Sqft.
Document requirements for event management license
For both mainland and free zone licensing, you are usually required to provide a few details and some basic documentation, including
- Passport copies of the proposed owner or owners.
- Copy of visit visa or on arrival or entry stamp of of the proposed owner or owners.
- Two color passport size photograph
- at least 3 trade name options
- office ejari for mainland licensing
- NOC from the current sponsor, if applicable.
Business setup costs in Mainland & Freezone
The setup costs for an event management company is different for mainland and free zone but fairly reasonable. Mainland costing depends on the legal type of the license be its professional or commercial license. Professional license cost and commercial license cost almost same with minor difference. freezone and mainland costs are comparable. The only difference is that in freezone you don’t need an UAE national as a service agent / partner in the company while in mainland it will be required. Be very careful in selecting a reliable UAE service agent to avoid any complications in future. Free zone cost varies from free zone to free zone and mostly come as a package which is based on activity and number of visas i.e 0 to 6 vis packages are available.
Event management company is very promising venture to get into. Also, on evaluation, I would suggest to have this setup in the mainland as it comes with its unique advantages over the free zones.
- Almost similar costs of company formation.
- No restrictions with regards to the venue/s.
- Opportunity to conduct events for government bodies.
- Option to have unlimited visas.
This blog is written by Ms. Divya, Senior Business Advisor at Flyingcolour business setup, accounting & VAT services in Dubai and across UAE. Call us for a more detail on your business setup advisory. Please send inquiry to info[at]flyingcolour[dot]com or call +971 4 4542366.