How to set up a Yoga Studio in the UAE

How to set up a Yoga Studio in the UAE

The love for yoga has united thousands of residents from different nationalities and faiths as they celebrated International Day of Yoga at various venues across the UAE. June 21st marked the third International Day of Yoga after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called for the day to be declared as a global celebration of yoga in 2014. An ancient practice that has slowly become a worldwide phenomenon, yoga is very much a popular activity in the UAE, presenting an opportunity for new businesses in the country.

Why yoga?

The UAE is a country that takes a very holistic view of well-being; not only have the government recently introduced a Minister of Happiness, but healthy lifestyle campaigns are regularly being implemented across the nation, designed to promote well-being, health and quality of life. As a popular and accessible sport for people of all ages and nationalities, the demand for yoga in the UAE is growing, therefore presenting a lucrative gap in the market.

How do I set up a yoga business in the UAE?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most common commercial entity type that you can establish in the UAE. Once established, an LLC provides the most flexibility and scope to trade, as well as the ability to set up further studios and branches around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE from this single LLC.

As with many countries in the GCC region, commercial law in the UAE states that one or more local Emirati partners (individuals or companies) must have a minimum ownership of 51% of the shares in an LLC, meaning that a foreign investor therefore cannot own more than 49% of the business. Local partners are not obliged to contribute practically to a business, however the Profit and Loss does not have to reflect the shareholder percentages. This shareholding issue naturally raises some concerns for foreign investors.

One option is to partner with a professional corporate local partnership specialist, this will eliminate the need for a protracted search for the ideal local partner altogether.

Establishing an LLC through PRO Partner Group, ensures that agreements are in place to ensure that the foreign investor can fully control and manage the business, and retain the intellectual property and assets. PRO Partner Group also ensures a penalty free exit/company sale strategy for the foreign investor should it be required.

If you are considering establishing a yoga center in the UAE, it is imperative that you seek approval from Youth and Sports Welfare and from the Ministry of Public Health. Again choosing the right local partner to assist with this is crucial – PRO Partner Group can assist companies with these regulatory steps and will be able to guide you on the specific measures that you need to take in order to establish a compliant studio, especially if you wish to offer yoga for kids. For instance, male and female areas will need to be kept separate.

As a corporate partner, PRO Partner Group will also provide businesses with additional benefits through their fully compliant administrative support and PRO Services for staff visas for example and can also assist with the regulatory approvals and to check the studio for compliance.

The experts at PRO Partner Group specialise in providing foreign investors with advice on the most efficient and profitable way to set up your business in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE and Oman.

James Swallow is Director of PRO Partner Group. For further information on how to set up a Yoga Studio in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or the wider UAE and any other related government liaison matter in the UAE and wider Gulf, contact James on or call a member of the team on:

T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai) T: +971 (0) 2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)

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