real estate

How to start a real estate business in Dubai

The buying and selling of property in Dubai is popular for its incredible returns. What more, even on account of the ongoing pandemic this year, real estate business in Dubai has remained sturdy with transactions continuing all through, making it a lucrative business opportunity. And where there is a booming investment market, there will also be a demand for related services such as that of real estate brokerage in Dubai.

Moreover, the growing population density of Dubai especially the increasing number of expatriates in Dubai every year coupled with pro-business government policies and not to forget the robust economy, are enough to attract potential investors to set up real estate buying and selling brokerage company in Dubai.

So, if you are interested in starting your real estate brokering in Dubai, definitely now is a good time to invest in this huge and rewarding market. To help you out in getting started with your real estate brokerage company in Dubai, we have listed below the main requirements to comply with.

How to open real estate company in Dubai, UAE

Registering your business legally is necessary in every country including Dubai. So, interested in starting a real estate business in Dubai can register it in either Dubai mainland or in the free trade zones.

However, to set up real estate buying and selling brokerage company in Dubai, free zones are usually the most preferred option.

Before starting a real estate buying and selling brokerage company, decide on the right type of business structure you need. This will help in putting the company in the best position both operationally and financially.

Basically, there are two main types of business structures that can be registered to carry out real estate brokerage activity in Dubai:

Noteworthy, as per UAE legislation, a real estate brokerage company can be formed only under the full ownership of a UAE national or a company wholly owned by a UAE national. So, before anything, you have to appoint a UAE national as a local sponsor or partner of your company.

2. Registering a trading name

Once you decide upon the legal structure or business type, you need to get your trade name registered by applying to the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai along with all the relevant documents.

3. Preliminary approval request

  • The next step is to acquire the preliminary approval request receipt by submitting essential application form and following initial documents:
  • Application form
  • Passport copies of owner or all shareholders and manager
  • Visa copies of all shareholders
  • Attested high school or university degree certificates of the partners and manager

4. Approval from Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

Next step involves approval from RERA. For this you are required to obtain the necessary qualifications. This entails undertaking and passing a formal qualification issued by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI). The certification awarded is known as Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers. Henceforth. this is to be followed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) exam which you need to clear.

5. Memorandum of Association (MoA) or Local Sponsor Agreement (LSA)

Depending on the legal form of a business, a completed and signed MoA or a LSA of the business is required. This document will be notarised and legalised at the court.

6. Choose premises or location for your business

It is mandatory to have an office space to set up your business. In case, of rented premises arrange your tenancy contact (Ejari) with the concerned parties.

7. Apply for license

Before setting up your brokerage business in Dubai, you must obtain the real estate trade license Dubai which will allow you to run your business activity.

How the DED defines buying and selling of real estate:

License category Activities allowed
Name of the license: Real Estate
Activity code: 702001
Activity group: Real Estate
License type: Commercial
These includes of firms dealing with buying and selling of property acting as brokers between the owners and buyers. The role finishes off with the signing of the contract and upon receipt of agreed commission.

Notably, if your real estate brokerage company set up will be in mainland, then you will need to make your application directly to the DED. On the other hand, if you have decided on a free zone set up then you can make your application directly to your chosen free zone authority.

When making your application, you will need to provide the following documentation along with the license fees:

  • Completed application form
  • Two Passport size pictures
  • Passport copy of the owner and the partners or shareholders (if any)
  • Copy of emirates ID of the local sponsor (if any)
  • Notarised MoA and LSA
  • NOC for expat partners
  • Valid residence or tourist visa
  • Tenancy contract (Ejari)

Subsequent to receiving entire set of documents, DED issues payment voucher which consists of all due payments for acquiring the license. After payment is done, DED issues the license.

8. Registration with RERA

Once you obtain the license, your company can now be registered with RERA after submitting the following documents:

  • Application form
  • DED license copy
  • Tenancy contract (Ejari)
  • Payment receipt for RERA courses
  • Location of your business

9. Registration with DNRD and MOL

You need to get your real estate brokerage company registered with Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) and Ministry of Labour (MOL) in order to employ foreign employees and sponsor their visas.

10. Certificate of Good Conduct

This is certificate is issued by Dubai Police General Headquarters.

11. Approval from Dubai Land Department

Approval from the Dubai Land Department is required for opening a real estate brokerage in Dubai. The Dubai Land Department is a governmental body administrating everything concerning real estate in the region.

What is the cost of opening a brokerage company in Dubai?

Basically, setting up a real estate company in Dubai involves a lot of approvals and permits which of course will entail several costs which may vary according to the type of business structure and location. Nonetheless, the initial set up cost of setting up a real estate business in Dubai, broadly takes into consideration the following:

Services Payment period
Registration (service) One-time
Preliminary approval cost One-time
Trade name reservation cost One-time
License fees Yearly
Bank guarantee Yearly
Sponsorship + PRO services Yearly
Physical Office (buying of property) One-time
Physical office (rent) Yearly
MoA typing & translation cost One-time
MoA and AOA (articles of association) attestation cost One-time
Drafting the LLC contract and Court Agreement Attestation (CAA) One-time
Broker ID Yearly
Good Conduct Certificate One-time
Land department fees Yearly
RERA real estate brokers’ course fee One-time
Administrative services fee and public waste municipality fee One-time
Market fees (AED250) Yearly
Immigration card fees Yearly
Establishment card Yearly
Labour card fees One-time
Employee visa Once in 2 years
Emirates ID (per employee) One-time
P.O. box rental One-Time
Telecom landline (optional) One-time
Company stamp (optional) One-time

Getting started with your real estate business in Dubai!

If you are looking to set-up your real estate buying and selling brokerage company in Dubai, then, there is no better base than Shuraa Business Setup as we provide a simple, straightforward and effortless approach for setting up your business. Therefore, connect with us now and our professional and expert team will handle the entire prerequisites required for establishing your real estate business in Dubai, leaving you free to concentrate on developing your business!

  • Bharat
    Posted at 07:50h, 18 February

    This is quite informative but the query regarding the total cost is yet unanswered. What is it? And what is the difference of cost between opening a company in Mainland or Free zone?

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 08:55h, 18 February

      Thank you for your query. The cost of opening a company in UAE depends on the type of activities. Kindly share your email id or phone number so that we can share further details with you.