Engineering Consultancy Categorisation Dubai Municipality (DM) Procedures Dubai

Engineering Consultancy Categorisation – Dubai Municipality (DM) Procedures

Why is Engineering Consultancy Categorisation required in Dubai?
All Engineering companies setting up in Dubai are required to register their business through the Committee of Registration and Licensing at DM. Based on documents submitted, the DM committee will determine the size of project and scope of work which the company can undertake.

What is the purpose of this process?
The purpose of DM Categorisation is to ensure each companies’ competencies, i.e. that they are experienced and qualified to meet the criteria for the Category in which they wish to be classified. The goal is to ensure excellence and quality control.

What are the requirements for approval/classification
Broadly, the requirements for each Categorisation (irrespective of Engineering discipline) are based on the same criteria:

  • Project Experience (executed and ongoing projects during a requested time period)
  • Technical Experience (number of specified staff (engineers & architects) with a pre-determined number of years’ experience. Particular reference should be made to those staff possessing over 15 years’ experience
  • Other Conditions (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001)
  • For certain activities, Assets and Capital Value may be assessed

For Engineers, there are three Categories in which it is possible to classify:

  • First (Unlimited) Category enables participation in projects of any height;
  • Second (G+12) Category enables participation in projects up to 12 stories in height;
  • Third (G+4) Category enables participation in projects up to 4 stories in height;

Please note that all companies Incorporating as a Branch of a Foreign Company are required to apply for the First (Unlimited) category.

For Contractors, there are four Categories in which it is possible to classify:

  • First (Unlimited) Category enables participation in projects of any height;
  • Second (G+12) Category enables participation in projects up to 12 stories in height;
  • Third (G+4) Category enables participation in projects up to 4 stories in height;
  • Fourth (G+1) Category is an entry level approval which enables participation in projects up to 2 stories in height.

Examples showing the requirements for two different Categories
The criteria for each Category is different. To give two examples:

  1. A foreign Engineering company registering in the Unlimited Category:
  • Project Experience – At the request of DM, legalised and attested completion certificates, with projects having relevance to the activity and Category being sought;
  • Technical Experience – the Company should have a minimum 15 years’ experience and employ 3 architects with 10 years’ experience, 3 structural Engineers with 10 years’ experience and one further engineer, all to hold visas under the Dubai entity.
  1. A foreign Engineering company registering in the G+4 Category:
  • Project Experience – At the request of DM, legalised and attested completion certificates, with projects having relevance to the activity and Category being sought;
  • Technical Experience – the Company should have a minimum 5 years’ experience and employ 1 architect with 5 years’ experience, 1 structural Engineer with 5 years’ experience and one further engineer, all to hold visas under the Dubai entity.

What are the additional requirements?
In addition to meeting the various criteria for the specific Categories, it will be necessary for the General Manager of the proposed entity to meet with the DM for interview, prior to the submission appearing before DM committee. This is a valuable opportunity to put forward the business case and explain any nuances if required.

The Categorisation process forms part of the Department for Economic Development (DED) licensing process and PRO Partner Group can work with you to ensure compliance at every other stage of incorporation.

How much does the process cost?
Currently there are no fees payable to the DM committee for this adjudication process. However, it should be noted, that for companies needing to demonstrate previous completed projects to obtain higher Categories, collating project data may be costly and time consuming. As previously noted, if the projects have not been completed in the UAE it will be necessary to arrange attestations in the Country of Origin, prior to arranging legal translations into Arabic and stamping by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.

How long does the Categorisation process take?
This is dependent on how quickly the applicant can arrange the required paperwork. It is advisable to start the process early, allowing sufficient time for the attestations, especially if overseas.

Is it possible to change Categories?
Yes, providing all relevant criteria are met.

Is it possible to avoid DM approval?
This process is mandatory for any construction/engineering-related activities which DM are required to regulate.

Construction Opportunities in the UAE
For further information about Classification in relation to your own circumstances, please arrange a meeting with PRO Partner Group who will be happy to assist you.

Dubai Municipality (DM): www.dm.gov.ae

PRO Partner Group is Dubai’s premier company formation specialist dedicated to helping foreign companies set up their business correctly and cost effectively.

By understanding clients’ activities and goals for doing business, PPG helps them to understand the most suitable routes to market, including the risks, regulatory requirements, and ongoing commitments so that they can make an informed decision that is right for their business and its objectives.

PRO Partner Group provides a professional, dedicated corporate sponsorship platform for onshore companies with a focus on providing the foreign party with full security and management control. PPG can also manage the incorporation process to ensure a smooth setup.

Please contact us on info@propartnergroup.com or call us direct in Abu Dhabi on +971 (0)2 448 4810 or Dubai on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for any further information on this or any other PRO or Professional Partnership matter.