How to open an organic farm in Dubai, UAE


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What comes to mind when you think of Dubai? Tall buildings? Epic views? Big business? How about farming?

While it’s not everyone’s first vision of this part of the world, it’s an industry that’s thriving; particularly in the organic space. Ministry of Environment and Water data shows that there are over 40 organic farms in the UAE today, harvesting more than 60 products.

And we can expect this figure to grow significantly in the years ahead. Dubai’s desert conditions are perfect for growing organic produce. As desert sand is inherently organic, farms can get accredited much faster than in other parts of the world, minimising ROI timeframes.

Dubai’s company formation industry is just as accommodating. When you start your organic farm business with Set Hub, you can be ready to grow in just a few weeks.

Types of farming activities in Dubai, UAE

There are several aspects to running a farm in the UAE, and you must be licensed to carry out any of them. The three commonly held licenses are:

  • Aquaculture license – permits the farming of fish and related animals
  • Livestock production farming permit – permits the farming of livestock
  • Agricultural activity practice license – permits a range of other agricultural activities.


Licenses for companies in the farming industry in Dubai, UAE

When starting an organic farming business in Dubai, you’ll need more than one of the licenses above. The additional permits that you require will depend on the type of farm you start. If you are starting an aquaculture business, you will need an environmental permit. If you are raising livestock, you will need a veterinary license or employ another person who has one.

You will also need a plot. This must be inspected by the local Municipality to be approved for farming. Once approved, you can begin kitting out your plot with the necessary equipment. Before trading, your finished plot will once again require inspection. This time, the local Municipality official will check that all facilities are in order and up to the Environmental Department’s standard.

Finally, you will need to obtain your organic certification. To do so, you must undergo a Conformity Assessment carried out by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA). You will then be issued a certificate of conformity allowing you to label your goods as organic.

Organic farm license steps

There are a few early steps to take before you can apply for your organic farming license. First, you’ll need to outline your business activities. This should be reasonably straightforward, but it is important to note that you may only carry out licensed activities. So, for example, if you only have an aquaculture license, you cannot raise livestock and vice versa.

Next, you’ll need to choose a company name. Be aware that you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions. You should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting.

Only now can you apply for your license. You can make this application yourself directly to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) or equivalent Municipality if you wish to set up elsewhere in the emirates. However, to ensure a smooth process, it is advisable to apply with the experts at Set Hub.

In either case, you will need to submit:

  • A completed application form.
  • Articles of incorporation (if necessary).
  • Passport copies for all shareholders.
  • Brief descriptions of intended business activities.
  • Proof of any qualifications and accreditations.


Finally, you’ll need a UAE residency visa to own and operate an organic farm in the UAE.

As well as applying for your visa, you can also sponsor visas for company employees, family, and domestic staff such as housekeepers or drivers.

The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company, your chosen setup and, for dependant visas, your personal earnings.

In all cases, the visa application process follows the same five steps:

  • Apply for an entry permit.
  • Status adjustment.
  • Medical and fitness test.
  • Emirates ID registration.
  • Visa stamping.


Farm license costs in Dubai

The licenses required to start an organic farming business in the UAE can range between AED 10,000 and AED 30,000. But this is only one of the costs involved.

On top of this, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of your premises, hiring staff, vet services, animal care, and any equipment that you may require.

You must also pay for your organic accreditation. This fee is made up of two parts:

  • Application fee: AED 1,000
  • Assessment fee: AED 2,500


For a full breakdown of all costs involved in starting an organic farm in Dubai, get in touch with Set Hub.

Are you ready to start your organic farming business in the UAE?

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up an organic farm business in Dubai, UAE, doesn’t have to be overly complex.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications that are required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.