Tour Guide License in Dubai

The Emirate of Dubai is staging itself as an international tourist in the UAE; the country is tourism department is primarily focusing on offering high-quality tourism experience to foreigners and locals through tour guides who take the visitors to feel and experience the best things that UAE has to offer. The tourism industry in UAE is emerging as a platform for international investments as the sector is said to grow at a consistent pace due to the constant influx of foreign tourists as well as local visitors.

Capitalising on the scenario the investors, business people, and well-established agencies can participate in the creation of tourist guide services, travel mobility platforms, hospitality infrastructures such as resorts, hotels & restaurants and other allied services. These services are expected to generate ample profits from the tourism industry for investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

Tourism Industry in Dubai

Long sandy beaches, scenic islands just across the coast, beautiful oasis resorts and culturally unique people makes Dubai an exciting destination for an international traveler who is excited to explore new destinations and experience the culture. The city of Dubai is ranked as the world’s 7th most visited city by international tourists. The blend of ancient and modern attractions along with the famous shopping destinations that offer diverse products for foreign tourists is a turnkey strategy for Dubai to lure tourists and visitors.

Growth of Tourism Sector in Dubai

The Emirate of Dubai invests its enormous wealth into designing and developing tourist destinations in its regions, over the last decade, Dubai has seen a steady growth within the tourism sector from the addition of new tourist attractions, tourist destination, and landmarks. In the recent years, Dubai is seeing an increase in the number of tourists with 16 million visitors in the year 2018 with growth in the percentage of tourists from France, China, Germany, UK, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Governmental Support for Tourism

The government of Dubai has grand strategies for boosting tourism in the Emirate by defining goals which when accomplished increases the influx of international tourists and makes Dubai the top tourist destination in the Middle East. Building on the tourist infrastructure to attract tourists the plan includes creating directives, commercial marketing strategies, creating new tourist attractions, designing travel destinations based on themes, and developing a world-class shopping infrastructure which aims to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the emirate’s economy.

Starting a Tourism Company in Dubai

By starting a tourism company or travel agency in Dubai, you can arrange tours and travels for your customers and clients to the travel and experience the fascinating destinations in the UAE. The tourism business is a profitable venture in UAE as the massive influx of international tourists gives tremendous opportunities for business owners to cater to a large group of people.

The government of Dubai gives the tourism and hospitality sector great importance as it sees the industry as a prospective way to accelerate the economic growth and infrastructure by bringing in revenue from outside the country. Before starting your business entity, you should note that the tourism sector is regulated and maintained by the tourism department of Dubai. You can start your business in Dubai only after proper registration and authorization by the governmental authorities and allied agencies.

In this case first, you are required to register your tourism company in Dubai. Then you need to apply for the valid permit for starting your operations through business partnerships and tie-ups. Finally, you must apply and acquire valid English tourist guide license for receiving, hosting and guiding tourists.

Generally, an individual can start operating the tourist company in Dubai only after obtaining an appropriate tourism license from the Dubai Tourism Authority. Besides, getting a relevant license is extremely important as there as specific licenses for each type and have their requirements, advantages & disadvantages. The travel agency or company licenses are namely

  • Travel agency license as a travel agent
  • Travel agency license as an operator of inbound tourism
  • Travel agency license as an operator of outbound tourism

Contact us to know more about obtaining a tourist license in Dubai as well as in other emirates of UAE.

Obtaining a Tourism License

Starting a tourism company and becoming a tour guide is an exciting thing you can do in Dubai as you can take the opportunity to receive, host and guide international travellers in Dubai. By taking tourists to famous landmarks, tourist destinations the tour guides are expected to offer them the real experience to UAE’s culture, heritage, and hospitality.

Furthermore, the travel and tourism businesses can even obtain additional permits from government agencies to form meaningful partnerships with other companies that support their activities giving them the opportunity to enhance their service and reap additional profits. The tourism business expansion includes partnering with vehicle rental services, hotels and lodges, resorts, entertainment services, sea sports companies and other allied firms that can assist them with visa, airline ticketing, and cruise ship services.

The tour guide licensing can be obtained from the Department of Tourism Dubai as a part of the government’s efforts to enhance the experience of the travellers and visitors to Dubai by offering world-class dining and lodging, safe and convenient travel services, tremendous opportunities for shopping, sightseeing, entertainment, and sports.

Requirements for Applying for a Tourism License

  • The individual applying for tourism guide licensing must have a valid passport or residency permit in Dubai
  • The individual must not be registered for crime in the home country as well as in UAE
  • If the licensing is done on behalf of a travel agency, then the individual must produce documents to verify the registration of the travel agency in the UAE

Documents Required for Getting a Tourist License

  • Tourist Guide license application form
  • Copy of valid passport of the applicant
  • Copies of certificates which validates the qualifications of the manager, this includes the education certifications as well as experience certifications (3-year experience certificate if he or she holds any bachelor degree, or if he or she has any certificate in Travel and Tourism; 5-year experience certificate if the manager holds only secondary certificate)
  • UAE clean criminal record certificate for the manager and the owner or investor of the company
  • No Objection Certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Supporting documentation with attestation to satisfy the space requirements of 30 square meter office space for each activity

Getting a Travel Agency License as a Travel Agent in UAE

For forming a travel agency which operates within UAE along with tour guides and other facilities must register and acquire a travel agency license in Dubai. By obtaining the travel agency license the company or the agency is permitted to carry out numerous below-mentioned activities such as

  • Organise tours that comprise of sight-seeing famous landmark locations, traveling across UAE, participating in entertainment, shopping, sports and leisure activities (i.e., camel riding, desert surfing)
  • Carrying out the sale of airline ticket outside the country
  • Arrange conferences, meetings, events, and exhibitions in UAE for international visitors
  • Offer visa application assistance and guidance for supporting tourism activities
  • Managing tour guides and agents
  • Providing accommodation and lodging facilities to tourists in the form of hotels rooms, resorts, and other services
  • Offer necessary supporting services to international tourists

Considered as one of the fast-growing destinations in the Middle East, the tourism industry in Dubai is expected to see continued growth in the years to come. The number of tourists increases, and businesses operating in the sector offer competitive packages for international travellers by creating exciting shopping destinations, family-friendly resorts, world-class hotels and restaurants giving a unique experience for the visitors.

The rapid expansion and growth in the sector have granted huge profits to businesses operating in this industry. The increase in the revenue from tourism is promising to the investors and business owners as Dubai has immense potential to grow as a dynamic tourist destination that captivates tourists with its innovative strategies such as Expo 2020, and firmly believe that growing tourism and hospitality industry can inject millions of dirhams into the economy. If you’re an investor or entrepreneur looking to start or expand your business as a tourist guide. Our team of experts in the UAE can guide you through the process of acquiring the tour guide license and establishing the tourism business in Dubai.


What is a licensed tour guide?

Tourist guides are certified and licensed professionals to lead others on tours or trips.

How many days does it take to obtain a tour guide license in Dubai?

It takes 2-3 working days to obtain a tour guide license in Dubai.

Can I start tourism in Dubai?

Yes, a foreigner can start a tourism business in Dubai.