How to Start an Event Management Company in Dubai and the UAE


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The UAE, and in particular Dubai, is one of the event capitals of the world. Events are a huge business here. So much so that Dubai World Trade Centre events and exhibitions alone are estimated to contribute some USD 3.3bn to the economy.

Within that, the emirate’s event management industry is understandably booming. The events industry size is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.2 percent from $1.13 trillion in 2019 to $1.55 trillion by 2028.

This upward trajectory started years ago and only continued with Expo 2020– the biggest event of its kind to be held in the Middle East. Expo 2020 attracted more than 24 million visitors to the UAE during its six-month run. The event featured over three million delegates and attendees taking part in some 350 events and seminars.

For event management companies, this represents a huge opportunity. And there’s more good news: starting an event planning business in the UAE is both quick and easy.

How to Start an Event Management Company in Dubai and the UAE

When starting an event planning business in the UAE, the first step is to apply for your event management license. This license lets you conduct a wide range of activities such as event production, hospitality management, event promotion, and more.

You are required to list your business activities when making your license application, however, so it’s important that you have a clear idea of exactly what business you wish to conduct. Our company formation expert works with you at this stage to ensure your license application is accurate and complete.

Once you have decided on the activities you wish to list on your license, it is time to submit your application.

Free zones are a straightforward and cost-effective way to start an events company. There are many attractive benefits including 0% personal and corporate income tax and 100% exemption from customs tax. Also, unlike in many other countries, UAE free zone businesses also benefit from the freedom of being able to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.

Event coordinator license fees are affordable by most standards and there is no requirement to put down any share capital.

If you are looking to get your company license in the UAE, free zone, or mainland, or even in Qatar and Saudi Arabia –  then our team can help.

Event Management License Cost

The start-up costs for an event planning business will depend on a number of factors such as business activities, and company size, and location. In most cases, however, event management start-up costs are usually low.

If choose to set up in a Free Zone, you can expect no requirement to take on office space with an events license.

What’s more, our flexi-desk packages – which afford entrepreneurs the use of business facilities such as desk space, mail services, and internet and phone use – come with eligibility for up to 15 employee visas.

The Ease of Starting Your Own Event Planning Business

Starting your event planning business in a free zone is incredibly straightforward with minimal upfront costs. Should you wish, you can even sign up for a virtual office package that includes a prestigious address, great facilities, access to a professional assistant, and much more.

The free zone is also home to a modern, fully equipped business centre that provides round-the-clock service. These services include meeting room access, fast-speed internet access through Wi-Fi and LAN, printing and copying services, café access, receptionist cover, telephone and fax services, and a maintenance and cleaning service.

If you, for example, start your event management business in Fujairah Creative City Fujairah, you can expect to receive your company documentation and be ready to trade within days.

Event management licensing timeline:

Day 1 Submit completed and signed application forms along with the requirements from the shareholder(s) and make payment.

Day 3 – Trade License released by the Free Zone and a scanned copy of the original will be sent to you via email. You may start operating your company from this point. Application for pre-approval is submitted.

Day 6 – Original Trade License, Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation, Share Certificate, and Lease Agreement (if applicable) are issued.

Day 14 – Security pre-approval is obtained from Immigration to proceed with the Immigration card application.

Day 17 – Company Immigration card issued. E-channel registration is launched

It is important to note that these deadlines can only be met if your event management license application is error-free and complete at the time of submission. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist when forming a new business 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.

We are the team of Set Hub, your best business setup advisor across the Gulf Region. If you are looking to open your company in Dubai, across the UAE, in KSA or Qatar, get a free zone license, or start a business in the mainland, then we can help. From visa applications to all the necessary admin tasks, we handle it all – leaving you free to get on with your business.