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How to setup travel agency business in UAE


Today’s day United Arab Emirates is the very popular tourist destination. After all, there are perfect conditions for a resort vacation: year-round favorable climate, azure coast, ancient architectural monuments and stunning modern buildings. But the most important aspect is that the government of the United Arab Emirates makes considerable efforts for the development of the tourism and entertainment industry. The combination of these factors makes the jurisdiction attractive for the running of the tourist business.

Flexible corporate environment, the tolerance of the local population and highly qualified personnel make the Emirates the perfect place for opening a travel agency or a company.

First of all one must obtain the relevant license in order to carry out any kind of entrepreneurial activities. It is generally accepted to distinguish two types of state licenses among the most popular business areas in this industry. Let’s consider each of them separately.

Operator of inbound and outbound tourism

This type of license provides for the organization of the outbound tourist trips, services for organizing tours within the country, including international conferences and specialized exhibitions. You have to submit the following set of documents to the registration authority in order to obtain this business license:

• Application, filled in due form;
• Copy of the foreign passport of the applicant;
• Certificate which approves the professional qualification of the manager;
• Clean criminal record certificate regarding the owner and manager of a company;
• Studies about the economic feasibility of the project.

Travel agent
Agents carry out selling of the air tickets outside the country, provide visa support, tourist accommodation, and organize guided tours and transportation services. Besides, the travel agent is the provider which secures the tourism operators the implementation of their tours.
As to the documents, the list remains the same, but with a few additions. The agent must additionally provide the letter of approval on behalf of the Department of civil aviation of the Emirate. Getting this letter is quite a long and difficult procedure.

As soon as all the documents are provided and the registering body has given first approval, the procedure of state licensing is started.
Despite that, there are few Simple Steps you should follow in order to start the travel agency business on the right foot.

Step-1- Solo or Not

Your small business can either include an entire travel agency or just one independent travel agent. If you choose to work solo, you will receive the commission from the agencies with which you connect. Working as a consultant sounds less glamorous. However, you will be able to work from home, in addition, it is much more affordable.Neverthless, a travel agency can specialize in more services and it can easily build partnerships with other travel companies.

Step-2 Services

No matter which of the two you choose, you will need to decide on the type of services you are going to offer. For Example, you can focus on hotels and resort reservations, transportation arrangements, cruise tours, and etc. Also you can select a particular sphere like corporate, family or honeymoon travel.

Step-3 Come up with Business Plan

To do that, you may need to have some more knowledge on the sector. If you don’t consult an expert or someone who has experienced in the field. When writing your business plan consider all your possible scenarios.

Step-4 Estimate Startup Cost.

Here you do not have much flexibility. Regardless of whether you intend to work as an independent travel agent or to run a travel agency, you will need to invest some money in your ideas. Estimate the amount of capital you will need to start your business. Take into consideration everything, including additional cost and Refundable Deposits..

Step-5 Get to know the local government policies for starting travel related business.

Depending on where you live, the rules and regulation on founding a small travel agency business tend to differ greatly from one another. Therefore, take all the time to research all the paperwork and license you are going to need.

Step-6 Insurance

Do not forget to insure your business. It will be helpful in case of settlement or lawsuit. In addition, it will cover the cost on any possible workplace injuries.

Step-7 know your Responsibilities.
One of the most essential requirements in learning how to start a travel agency business is to know the extent of travel business owner’s responsibilities. Though the usual knowledge lies in booking of cruises, airline tickets, and hotels rooms, there are additional services like obtaining of the visas, arrangement of airport to hotel transportation and even in event planning etc.

Step-8 Build a Network

Start by creating partnership with other travels companies. This is a common practice for many travel agencies and companies. On that case you will have both the chance to increase your client and profit. Create new contacts and improve your skills and knowledge on the market.

Step-9 Launch a Website

Today, many clients prefer to work with agencies who are giving online services like online booking. That is why if you are looking to build a name in this sphere you will need to create the website for your agency.

Step-10 Marketing

Take advantage of all type of marketing. From social media and radio to ads flyers, business cards etc, the more the better. Don’t forget to make client list with email address and client preferences. In this way you will able to send the offers and promotion to your most valuable clients.

IMPORTANT: opening a travel agency requires availability of sufficient financial resources – from 100 thousand dollars, plus the obligatory presence of a qualified manager with a relevant professional diploma.
Without a doubt, this list of task is very long. Nevertheless, travel agencies and even independent travel agents have the chance to enjoy good profits, especially when they take into account these tips.


With this approach it is quite easy to open a travel agency in the UAE because this market segment is strictly regulated. You can always use the services of the specialized firms. Of course, you can solve all the organizational issues independently, but it will lead to significant time expenses. It is much more efficient to entrust the job to the professionals, and to develop your own business ideas and plans. Contact our staff and get a qualified advice for free.

This article is written & compiled by Mr. Ammar (Senior Business Consultant at flyingcolour business setup services).
Please call +97144542366 or ammar [at] flyingcolour [dot] com for more information.

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