External Government Authority Approval

business setup in uae

External approval is permission given by a third-party government entity and allows a business activity to take place in the UAE. For certain industries, independent enterprises need to seek external permissions before the final issuance of a business licence. Hence, conducting a background investigation before commencing the business registration procedure is highly recommended.
Alternatively, you can speak to a business Setup advisor at Zone 4 to provide all the necessary support you need to get your business off the ground.

External approvals in the United Arab Emirates

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the regulatory body in charge of issuing permits to new business establishments. But certain economic ventures in the UAE require external permissions in addition to local relevant body approvals to begin operations. Different government entities govern external clearances.

Which operations require external approvals ?

The following activities require external clearance from UAE authorities:

  • Banks and financial organisations must get permission from the UAE Central Bank.
  • The Dubai Sports Council must approve gyms and fitness centres. The Community Development Authority issues registration and licences for social clubs.
  • Cargo packing, cargo clearing, canal dredging contracts, and fishing cage manufacturing require a Dubai Maritime City licence.
  • The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) must approve travel and tourism-related operations.
  • The Ministry of Health can provide permission to export pharmaceutical and medical items.
  • Manufacturers of awnings, tents, and tarps require authorisation from Dubai Municipality’s Environment Protection Section.
  • The Knowledge and Human Development Authority must approve training centres and educational establishments.
  • The Ministry of Finance and Industry provides licences for manufacturing amenities.
  • The Dubai Municipality must approve contracting, building maintenance, and associated operations.
  • The Road and Transport Authority must approve transportation and car rental activity.
  • The National Media Council must provide printing, publishing, and advertising licences.
  • The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) must approve travel agencies that deal with airline tickets. The Ruler’s Court must approve agencies that deal with oilfield and natural gas-related businesses.
  • External authorisation from the Department of Protective Systems is required for setting up a jewellery trade and related operations.
  • Telecommunication and telephone operations require clearance from the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Cost to obtain external approval from the UAE authorities ?

External approvals are sometimes accompanied by a one-time charge and come with recurring payments at other times. Because business activities differ and provide a wide range of business prospects, there are no standard charges, which can vary from one operation to the next. Therefore, the costs for acquiring relevant approvals for a travel agency cannot be compared with the fees for participating in educational activities, for example.

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