Securing an Industrial License in Dubai, UAE: A Practical Guide


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When setting up a business in Dubai, navigating the intricacies of licenses and permits is essential for any thriving enterprise. One such indispensable credential is the Dubai industrial license, a gateway that grants businesses the authority to engage in industrial-based activities within designated areas in Dubai. 

The industrial sector, as illuminated by the Dubai Industrial Report, is a testament to Dubai’s resilience and strategic foresight. Dubai’s industrial resilience resonates in the corridors of record-breaking demand for industrial and logistics space in the first half of 2023. This surge, as outlined in the report, represents a historic pinnacle, a testament to the dynamism and ambition woven into Dubai’s economic fabric. ‘Operation 300bn’ charts a course toward economic transformation, aiming to elevate the UAE’s industrial sector into a global powerhouse. Focused on fostering innovation, embracing sustainability, and leveraging technological advancements, the strategy lays the groundwork for a robust and diversified industrial ecosystem.

As a vital component of the regulatory framework, obtaining an industrial license is mandatory for those envisioning ventures in manufacturing, processing, logistics, and related activities on the mainland. Administered by the competent Department of Economic Development (DED), the industrial license in Dubai serves as a testament to the city’s commitment to fostering diverse industrial activities. 


An industrial license in Dubai is the gateway for businesses to engage in manufacturing, processing, logistics, and related activities. This vital document is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), emphasising the city’s commitment to fostering a diverse and thriving industrial sector.

It is a mandatory requirement for businesses wishing to carry out manufacturing, processing, and logistics operations on the mainland. Serving as a regulatory checkpoint, the DED ensures that businesses adhere to established norms, contributing to the overall economic growth and diversification of Dubai.

Activities Covered Under the Industrial License

Some of the key activities permitted by this license include:

  • Processing of Raw Materials: Engaging in the transformation of raw materials into finished products.
  • Extracting Petroleum and Metals: Covering activities related to the extraction and processing of petroleum and metals.
  • Textile Manufacturing: Enabling businesses involved in the production of textiles and related goods.
  • Casting of Metals: Allowing for activities related to the casting and moulding of metals.
  • Manufacturing of Appliances & Machinery: Providing authorization for the production of various appliances and machinery.
  • Production of Food Products: Encompassing businesses engaged in the manufacturing of food products.
  • Glass Industries: Allowing for activities related to the production and processing of glass.
  • Wood, Wood Products, Furniture Manufacturing: Covering the entire spectrum from woodworking to furniture manufacturing.
  • Plastic Industries: Authorising businesses involved in the production and processing of plastics.
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturing: Enabling activities related to the manufacturing of automobiles and their components.
  • Processing of Meat: Covering businesses engaged in the processing and manufacturing of meat products.
  • Light Aircraft Manufacturing: Allowing for the manufacturing and maintenance of light aircraft.


It’s crucial to understand the eligibility criteria that businesses must meet to obtain an industrial license in Dubai. The prerequisites typically include:

Nature of Activities

Businesses must align with the industrial activities outlined in the scope of the industrial license. The nature of the business must adhere to the regulations set by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Business Location

The intended business location plays a pivotal role. Whether on the mainland or in a free zone, the business location influences the approval process and requirements.

Ownership Structure

Complying with ownership regulations is imperative. Depending on the business location, ownership structures may vary, particularly concerning the percentage of local and foreign ownership.

Facility Requirements

Certain activities may necessitate specific facilities. Ensuring that the business has the required infrastructure, including a physical warehouse for storage, is essential.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process

  1. Speak to Business Licensing Experts

Set Hub can guide you through this intricate process. Their expertise ensures that the application is thorough, accurate, and aligned with regulatory requirements.

  1. Determine Business Location
    Depending on the nature of your business, decide whether to establish it on the mainland or within a free zone. This choice influences the subsequent steps in the application process.
  1. Administrative Approvals
    Obtain administrative approvals, especially if your business involves setting up a factory. This step may include obtaining clearance from relevant authorities.
  1. Submission of Application
    Initiate the application process by submitting the required documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED). The documents typically include:
  • Copy of passport and residence for non-citizens.
  • A summary of citizen’s registration.
  • Feasibility study.
  • Partnership contract (if applicable).
  • Copy of the trade license.
  • Copy of the balance sheet.
  • Approvals from regulatory bodies, such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Water, and others depending on the nature of the business.
  1. Additional Approvals

Navigate through additional approvals from authoritative bodies, including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Industrial Register, and other relevant authorities depending on the specific requirements of your business.

  1. Visa Processing
    Concurrently with the license application, register for UAE visas. This may include applying for visas for employees, partners, or dependents. The application process can be streamlined by speaking to the experts at Set Hub who can handle visa processing seamlessly.
  1. Final Approvals and Issuance

Once all necessary approvals are obtained, the final step involves the issuance of the industrial license by the Department of Economic Development (DED). This signifies the official authorization to commence industrial activities in Dubai.


Establishing an industrial presence in Dubai requires meticulous attention to facility requirements and adherence to stringent inspections.

Facility Requirements

Space Requirements – The allocation of space is a critical aspect. Industrial activities demand physical infrastructure that caters to the nature of the business. This includes manufacturing areas, storage facilities, and dedicated spaces for machinery and equipment.

Machinery and Equipment – Depending on the type of industrial activities, businesses must invest in machinery and equipment that align with safety standards and regulatory guidelines. Ensuring that machinery is well-maintained and meets specific specifications is paramount.

Safety Measures – Industrial facilities in Dubai are subject to stringent safety regulations. This encompasses the installation of fire safety equipment, emergency exits, first aid facilities, and compliance with occupational health and safety standards.

Environmental Compliance – Businesses engaging in industrial activities must adhere to environmental regulations. This involves implementing measures to minimise environmental impact, proper waste disposal mechanisms, and compliance with sustainability standards.

Mandatory Inspections

Dubai Municipality plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and compliance of industrial facilities. These may focus on various aspects, including:

  • Structural integrity of buildings.
  • Zoning compliance.
  • Waste disposal methods.
  • General safety measures.
  • Civil Defense Inspections:

Civil Defence inspections are crucial for assessing the fire safety and emergency preparedness of industrial facilities. Key areas of focus include:

  • Adequate fire suppression systems.
  • Emergency exits and evacuation procedures.
  • Compliance with fire safety codes.

Occupational Health and Safety Checks, ensuring the well-being of employees. These checks may include:

  • Adequate safety signage.
  • Implementation of safety protocols.
  • Availability of first aid facilities.

Periodic audits may be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations. These audits serve as preventive measures, addressing potential issues before they escalate.


As the global emphasis on environmental sustainability grows, industrial operations in Dubai are subject to stringent environmental regulations.  In a landscape where environmental stewardship is paramount, understanding and adhering to these guidelines is integral to the success and sustainability of industrial ventures.

Environmental Regulations in Dubai

Air Quality Standards
Dubai enforces strict air quality standards to mitigate pollutants. Industrial operations must adhere to emission limits and implement measures to control air pollution, ensuring compliance with established norms.

Waste Management Regulations
Proper waste disposal is imperative. Industrial facilities are mandated to follow guidelines for waste segregation, recycling, and safe disposal methods. Compliance with waste management regulations contributes to environmental sustainability.

Water Conservation Measures
Given the arid climate, water conservation is a priority. Industries must adopt measures to minimise water usage, implement recycling systems, and prevent water pollution, aligning with Dubai’s commitment to sustainable water management.

Chemical Management and Hazardous Materials
Stringent regulations govern the use and storage of chemicals and hazardous materials. Industrial facilities are required to implement safety measures, secure necessary permits, and adhere to guidelines for handling and disposing of hazardous substances.

Biodiversity Protection
Preserving biodiversity is integral to Dubai’s environmental agenda. Industrial projects near ecologically sensitive areas may require additional permits and adherence to biodiversity protection measures.

Renewable Energy Integration
Dubai encourages the adoption of renewable energy sources. Industries are incentivized to explore and incorporate sustainable energy solutions, contributing to the broader goal of transitioning towards a green and clean energy landscape.

How to Obtain Environmental Clearances

  1. Conduct a preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment to identify potential environmental risks and mitigation measures. This serves as a foundation for the subsequent clearance process.
  2. Collaborate with environmental consultants who specialise in Dubai’s regulatory framework. Their expertise ensures that the environmental clearance application is thorough, accurate, and aligned with local regulations.
  3. Submit a comprehensive environmental clearance application to the relevant authorities. Include details of the proposed industrial project, potential environmental impacts, and proposed mitigation measures.
  4. The environmental clearance application undergoes a thorough review by the concerned environmental authorities. This may involve site visits and assessments to validate the proposed measures.
  5. Upon successful review, the environmental clearance is approved, and the necessary permits are issued. This marks the official authorization to proceed with the industrial project in compliance with environmental regulations.


Securing an industrial license in Dubai is just the beginning of a business journey. To ensure continuity and compliance, understanding the renewal process, associated fees, and potential penalties is important.

  • Periodicity

Industrial licenses in Dubai typically have a validity period, commonly one year. It is imperative to initiate the renewal process well in advance to prevent any disruptions in business operations.

  • Application Submission

Begin the renewal process by submitting the required documents and renewal application to the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority, depending on the business location.

  • Documentation

Include updated documents such as financial statements, any changes in ownership or business structure, and other relevant paperwork. Ensuring that all documents are in order expedites the renewal process.

  • Payment of Renewal Fees

Pay the requisite renewal fees, which may vary based on the type of industrial activity, the business location (mainland or free zone), and other factors. Timely payment is crucial to avoid penalties and ensure a seamless renewal process.

  • Review and Approval

The renewal application undergoes a review process by the regulatory authorities. Upon successful review, the renewed industrial license is approved and issued.

  • Receipt of Renewed License

Once approved, the renewed industrial license is issued, signifying the business’s continued compliance and authorization to operate in Dubai.

Fees Breakdown

Application Fees – These fees cover the processing and evaluation of the license application.

Renewal Fees – Renewal fees are applicable when renewing the industrial license. The amount may vary depending on factors such as the type of industrial activity and the business location.

Penalties for Late Renewal – Failing to renew the industrial license within the specified timeframe may attract penalties. These penalties are typically calculated based on the duration of the delay.

Non-Compliance Penalties – Non-compliance with regulatory standards or engaging in activities beyond the scope of the industrial license may result in penalties. These penalties aim to enforce adherence to established regulations and standards.

Mitigating Penalties and Ensuring Compliance

To mitigate penalties and ensure ongoing compliance, businesses can adopt a proactive approach through various strategies. Initiating the renewal process well in advance is crucial to avoid delays, ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order and renewal fees are paid on time. Conducting regular compliance audits serves as a preventive measure, identifying and rectifying potential issues before the renewal period for a seamless process. 

In Conclusion

Obtaining and maintaining an industrial license in Dubai involves a meticulous journey from understanding eligibility criteria to periodic renewals, emphasising compliance with local regulations at every step. This process ensures not only the seamless authorization to operate but also reflects a commitment to sustainability. 

Businesses are encouraged to leverage Dubai’s strategic advantages, including its global connectivity and business-friendly environment, positioning themselves for robust industrial growth and contributing to the emirate’s vision of economic diversification.