How to set up an engineering company in Dubai Setting up an engineering consultancy in Dubai

Setting up an Engineering Consultancy in Dubai

Setting up an Engineering Consultancy in Dubai

As the largest Construction and Engineering event in the Middle East, The Big 5 attracts many construction companies interested in the region. Often these companies are new to the region, and are researching how to set up an engineering consultancy or contracting company in the UAE. Greg Hastings of PRO Partner Group explains the processes involved in meeting Dubai Municipality requirements, and to successfully obtain a commercial license to operate as an Engineering Consultancy in Dubai.

What is an Engineering Consultancy?

An Engineering Consultancy is the officially recognized licence for companies who wish to engage in engineering activities in Dubai. The objective of the Municipality is to regulate the engineering and industry in Dubai, ensuring excellence and quality control, and to guarantee that both foreign and national companies can safely and competently carry out the work they tender for.

It is essential that a company has the correct classification and is accredited by the Qualification team at Dubai Municipality’s Building Services Dept. before applying for a permit to practise in the areas of engineering or construction.

Classification Categories

There are two main categories of classification; one for engineering consultancy companies, and one for contractors. The set up process is slightly different depending on the legal form you choose. The differences are explained below:

Setting up an Engineering Company

In order to set up successfully as an engineering company, the following requirements should be met:

  • All companies, registering as a a branch of an overseas entity, must provide details of their work activities over the last 15 years so that they can be correctly classified.
  • Overseas companies must appoint a local agent to handle the application on their behalf. The local agent must be a Dubai-born individual
  • The General Manager of the entity must be an Engineer with not less than 15 years qualified experience, and be a national of the overseas country from where the Branch originates.
  • A certified engineer with not less than 15 years qualified experience must take responsibility for each activity listed on the trading licence, and should be a member of the Society of Engineers in the UAE.
  • Engineering companies looking to establish as LLC or Civil Companies, must partner with an Emirati Architect or Civil Engineer with not less than 10 years qualified experience. This Engineer must hold a minimum of 51% of shares in the entity.

Setting up a Contracting Company

  • In order to set up as a contracting company, the requirements are slightly different:
    All companies, registering as a a branch of an overseas entity, must provide details of their work activities over the last 15 years so that they can be correctly classified.
  • Overseas companies must appoint a local agent to handle the application on their behalf. The local agent must be a Dubai-born individual
  • Overseas companies applying for Branch licences must apply for ‘Unlimited’ classification – the highest grading available
  • A certified engineer with not less than 15 years qualified experience must take responsibility for each activity listed on the trading licence, and should be a member of the Society of Engineers in the UAE.
  • Contracting companies looking to establish as LLC, may be required to partner with an Emirati Architect or Civil Engineer with not less than 10 years qualified experience, dependent on the specific area of Contracting to be undertaken. This Engineer must hold a minimum of 51% of shares in the entity.

Proof of technical competence will be sought from Dubai Municipality in the form of project completion certificates, which will need to be notarised, legalized and translated for use in UAE. PRO Partner Group can act as liaison here to ensure the Municipality and client understand clearly which areas are to be covered, to ensure optimal results. Provided your business can meet the criteria listed above, a temporary permit will be issued, which will allow you to begin onboarding of staff before finalising your commercial licence.

The process of setting up an engineering company in Abu Dhabi is arguably just as complex, and as such it always beneficial to seek professional advice as early as possible. PRO Partner Group will use their expertise to guide you through the required procedure to complete your classification so that you can operate safely and legally as quickly as possible in the UAE.


Greg HastingsGreg Hastings is the Business Development Manager at PRO Partner Group. PRO Partner Group specialises in the formation of engineering companies in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE

and Oman. Contact Greg directly on greg@ppg.ae or call a member of the team on:
T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
T: +971 (0)2 448 4810 (Abu Dhabi)
www.propartnergroup.com