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How to start a transport business in Dubai

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It is impressive to track Dubai’s evolution as a supply chain nerve center from a leading global logistics hub. Over the past few years, the UAE has gone through major land expansions following with building better connections through sea and air. Dubai, as its leading commercial nexus, oversees the growth of a thriving transport industry that hugely contributes to the emirate’s economic & international success. As a result, this makes it an ideal moment to start a transport business in Dubai. 

UAE’s Ministry of Economy has published studies that reflect the impact that e-commerce has on making a country a leader in logistics. Additionally, active government support for development of e-commerce hubs is leading to the increasing prominence of combined transportation. Every transport company in the UAE must follow regulations set by both the state RTA and the National Transport Authority.

Expand your transport business in Dubai 

Even though the transport business in Dubai is highly lucrative, it requires active planning, thorough execution & constant adaptation according to changing market conditions. Entrepreneurs can accordingly implement the given suggestions to grow their transport business in Dubai: 

Market research 

The transport industry in Dubai is particularly competitive. Therefore, business owners need to carve out their niche and finalise their USP from the beginning. To increase their reach, they can: 

  • Research the market 
  • Conduct a competitor analysis 
  • Identify the target audience 
  • Track industry trends 

Build your fleet 

It is important to keep a well-maintained fleet of vehicles depending on the type of transport business you want to run. It is important to ensure that you either purchase or lease the type of vehicle you want, be it taxis, buses, or limos. Also, all vehicles must be maintained as per industry standards and must be comfortable for passengers and accommodative for goods. 

Employing skilled drivers 

Any transport company in Dubai is only as good as the skill level of their drivers. They are also the backbone to successfully starting a transport business in Dubai. Therefore, the drivers must also be experienced and professional, and they need to carry a valid UAE driving license. A driver who knows the roads and the traffic rules well is an asset to the business. 

Enhance your digital presence 

Companies nowadays invest a significant portion of their capital in marketing leading to better brand awareness. For transport companies, a fully functional website that displays all their services and has a smooth interface will surely boost the traffic. Also, in this digital age, a user-friendly mobile app is undoubtedly an asset from which clients can directly book services. 

Quality customer service 

The transport industry in Dubai is one that is dependent on building a strong client base. Therefore, businesses that provide exceptional customer service will retain their customers successfully. Trained drivers who are polite and courteous, well-maintained, and cleaned vehicles, can make a huge difference when it comes to transportation business setup in Dubai. 

Plan ahead for expansion 

There is no limit once you have started your transport business in Dubai. You can also easily expand your Dubai business with the help of renowned corporate service providers like Shuraa Business Setup. Some examples of diversification include offering airport transfer, chauffeur services, corporate transport, among others. 

How to start a transport business in Dubai: Process 

There are some simple steps to follow to get a transport company license in Dubai. Depending on the type of services you are providing, you can apply among three types of transport license in Dubai: 

Logistics business 

Dubai is known for its superior logistics industry. There are also several free zones in Dubai which are specially designed for logistics trading. The legal process for starting a logistics company is pretty straight forward. Additionally, Dubai has modern logistical facilities & geographic locations to ensure hassle free operations for your logistics transport business. To start a transport company for logistics in a free zone requires the business owner to submit the necessary documents and a business plan. 

Courier transport 

To get a transport company license in Dubai that specialises in courier services, you need to register with the Emirates Post Group. After that, the next step is to get a commercial license and complete the trade activity registration. Generally, the courier services license is issued in 30 days. Entrepreneurs can hail from any nation and also submit their online application with the necessary documentation.  

Road Transport 

To set up a road transport business, entrepreneurs need to get their transport license from the National Transport Authority in the UAE. Vehicles from the fleet must also have safety gear equipped. You will need a commercial license before you can start your transport business in Dubai. The license is issued after a fixed fee along with an additional fee is paid for the passenger seats or gross weight of the vehicles.

Transport business in Dubai: Special regulations 

The transport company license is issued by the National Transport Authority. It is also known as an operation card. When it comes to transporting goods, all goods must have a transport and storage contract along with insurance for both. Drivers need to mandatorily add specific categories to their driving licenses.

The Road and Transport Authorities (RTA) requires an NOC for the issuance & renewals of transport company license in Dubai. AS per the RTA records, there are around 12,000 transport and car rental companies registered in Dubai, with over 255,000 vehicles registered for transport and rentals. 

Transport Company License in Dubai: Registration 

To start a transport business in Dubai, documents need to be submitted according to the Commercial Law. UAE offers three major types of transportation services that also have several activities under them. The transportation services are: 

  1. Freight companies
  1. Courier companies
  1. Transport and goods storage companies

Activities under a transport license in Dubai: 

  • Cargo transport (heavy trucks) 
  • Cargo transport (light trucks) 
  • Refrigerated transport 
  • Car/bus/motorcycle/bicycle rentals (separate activities) 
  • Passenger transport (taxi services/tour buses)
  • Vehicle towing or vehicle transport 
  • Petroleum transport 
  • Water transport 
  • Heavy machinery rental & transport 
  • Special rental vehicles (trucks or related transport)
  • Specialist transportation services (gas tanks/money/valuables) 
  • Vehicle fleet management 
  • Luxury vehicles

Steps to Start a Transportation Business in Dubai, UAE

Apart from these, entrepreneurs need to go through the following steps to form their transport business in Dubai: 

  1. Selecting your trade name 
  1. Finalising the activity and location type 
  1. Taking necessary approvals from the RTA (based on selected activities) 
  1. Getting documents notarised and license issued 
  1. Register the license with RTA 
  1. Visa Processing 
  1. Corporate bank account opening 

List of documentation: 

  • Passport copies 
  • Commercial license copy 
  • Proof of trade name reservation 
  • Proof of initial approval 
  • MOA & AOA (notarised and approved) 

Shuraa is your guide to the UAE 

Since the transport industry is a huge contributor to the Dubai economy, the increase in demand for sea-air combination for freight movement, ease of logistics and trade facilitation, integrating technology, establishing an efficient logistics infrastructure as well as the availability of qualified resources ensure that UAE retains its position as the region’s top supply chain provider and distribution gateway for the GCC.

This is where company formation consultants like Shuraa Business Setup finally come in. With over 22 years of presence in the UAE market, Shuraa consistently offers excellent services to entrepreneurs seeking to carve their niche in Dubai. We help you with everything to get your transportation business setup in Dubai. So, reach out to us and get a free consultation with our corporate experts.  

Call us at +97144081900, or drop us a WhatsApp message on +971507775554. For email assistance, mail us at [email protected].

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