How to Obtain a Mainland Licence in Dubai

How to Obtain a Mainland Licence in Dubai

- Fatima Hussain

With business ownership regulations for the UAE revised in June 2021 allowing foreign businesses rights to 100% ownership in specific industries, businesses are curious to start operating in Dubai. Whether your business falls under the category of operations that allow 100% ownership in Dubai or not, PRO Partner Group can help you at every step. In this blog, we explain the steps and requirements to obtain a mainland licence in Dubai.

Steps to obtain Mainland Licence in Dubai

There are four main steps to obtaining a mainland licence in Dubai. They are:

  1. Preparing an MOA with all the relevant details.
  2. Preparing proof of rent and address for your business.
  3. Notarising your MOA at the Department of Economic Development (DED) and submitting office proof (as well as additional documents that depend on your business type).
  4. Paying your licence fees at the DED.

Memorandum of Association (MOA)

An MOA document must be prepared. This document outlines share and partner details, the purpose of the business, the nature of its activities, and the capital involved in the operation. 

Department of Economic Development (DED) Approval

The MOA formed at step one must then be approved and notarised by the DED.

Proof of Office Rental and Address

Investors must provide evidence of owned or rented real estate that they intend to use as office space. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) sponsors an initiative called “Ejari” (Arabic for 'my rent') that facilitates real estate matters and digitises them. Investors can present the DED with their Ejari as proof of office space.

Apply for a licence at the DED

Once the above requirements have been met (and there are possibly more depending on your business), an application for the new mainland LLC company can be submitted. Once the fees have been paid, registrants can wait to receive their trade licence, which usually takes about a week.

Requirements for a Mainland Licence in Dubai

Specific industries and business types require a local sponsor in the UAE. A local sponsor is someone (or an organisation) of Emirati nationality who will own at least 51% of the shares in your company. The local sponsor is paid an annual fee or given a set share of company profits.

However, this partner does not necessarily have to be engaged in decision making. Usually, a power of attorney is signed, giving the foreign investor full autonomy over the business. 

How can PRO Partner Group help?

If you need guidance on obtaining a Mainland Licence in Dubai, or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE or Oman, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you. 

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