The economic boom in Dubai has made it a truly global city, attracting people from around the world. It’s no wonder the real estate industry is thriving too. Just this February 2023, Dubai’s residential market witnessed a 43.8% surge in demand. A real estate licence in Dubai might just be your next step to success.
Now is a prime time to get into the real estate industry in Dubai, whether it’s starting your own real estate business or becoming a property broker. However, there are certain regulations and rules you must follow to secure a real estate licence.
Here is an overview of how to get a real estate licence in Dubai.
This guide will cover the main steps involved if you’re new to the city and are interested in becoming a real estate agent.
In case you’re not already in Dubai, you will need to start by obtaining a visa. Various visa types are available depending on your purpose and duration of stay.
A work visa is the most straightforward option. To obtain this visa, you’ll first need to secure a job offer from an employer in the real estate sector. Your company will then sponsor you for the visa and handle the application process.
Another option is an investment visa, which typically offers a longer-term residency in Dubai. To qualify, you must commit to investing a certain amount of money into UAE businesses. For example, the golden visa offers a 10-year residency for those who can provide proof of at least an AED 2 million deposit in an investment fund.
An Emirates ID is issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security-ICP. All UAE residents are required to have this card, as it is used to verify identity when accessing government services and other important facilities.
You can apply online via the ICP website.
Assuming you’re already in Dubai, the next step is to complete a Certified Training course offered by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI). It is a 4-day course that covers the following topics:
- The history of Dubai’s real estate market
- Country’s real estate law
- Real estate sales processes and legal agreements
- Leasing and renting processes
- Code of conduct for real estate agents
- Other essential skills for real estate brokers
The course is conducted at the Dubai Land Department (DLD). You can also choose to take the course online. Just register through the DLD’s online portal.
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is the regulatory arm of the DLD and is responsible for managing and licensing real estate activities in Dubai.
Once you’ve passed the Certified Training course, you will have to take the RERA exam. This written test covers all aspects of real estate activities, typically everything you learned in the course.
Prepare to pay an exam registration fee. At the time of this writing, the fee is AED 772.5. The fee may be higher for those who don’t hold any bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Of course, before you move on to this step, you’ll have to make sure you pass the RERA exam. Once you’ve confirmed your passing grade, obtain a good conduct certificate. This document ensures that you don’t have any criminal record.
Now, you’re ready to apply for your real estate licence. Go to the city’s Economic Department and submit your course training certificate, proof of your exam passing grade, and the good conduct certificate. The department will then issue your licence and broker card within several days.
Unfortunately, your real estate licence in Dubai is only valid for one year. You must renew it annually to keep working as a real estate agent. To renew it, you will need to retake the RERA exam and pay a renewal fee. It is a good practice to renew your licence a month or two before it expires.
If you’re a foreign entrepreneur looking to start a real estate business in Dubai, expect to go through a lengthy and detailed process. Here are the steps you need to take.
You’ll need to decide whether to set up a free zone company or a local mainland business. Free zones are special areas with their own rules and regulations, while the local market is subject to the city’s laws.
We recommend establishing your real estate business in DUQE. Here, you can enjoy full ownership of your company, full repatriation of capital & profits, and tax benefits like zero tax on personal income. You may contact our agents for assistance.
You need to decide on your location first so you can narrow down the corporate structure options available to you.
For a free zone business, you can choose between being a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) and a Free Zone Company (FZC). The former is a limited liability company with a single shareholder, while the latter requires two or more shareholders, with a maximum of five.
Once you’ve decided on the business structure and location, it’s time to choose a name for your company. Note that the country employs strict naming conventions on companies, and the name you choose must not be offensive or violate the UAE’s religion and culture.
Our DUQE agents are available to offer advice on names for free zone companies.
While this may be the tedious part of the process, it’s also the most crucial. When you’re ready with your company name, you will need to complete a business application at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development and provide the necessary documents of each shareholder.
Here is a general list of the requirements:
- Copies of shareholder and director passports
- Proof of address
- Minimum 3 months’ bank statement
- Education certificates (if applicable)
- Certificate of share capital deposit (if required)
You may have to wait a few weeks before you hear back from the authorities.
If the application is successful, you’ll get a trade licence from the Department of Economic Development. But that’s not all you need to start your real estate business. You’ll also need approval from the RERA.
Simply go through the same steps mentioned earlier when obtaining a real estate licence: enrol in a training course, take the RERA exam, and acquire a good conduct certificate.
You may need other licences, depending on the services you plan to offer. For instance, if you’re planning to hire someone who will buy and sell properties on your behalf, you have to secure a commercial licence.
At this point, you’re nearly ready to start your business. The next step is opening a corporate bank account in Dubai. Make sure you bring all the necessary licences and documents to the bank.
The UAE boasts a wide variety of local and international banks. The best one depends on your business requirements and budget. We recommend speaking to business advisors to find the best option for your business. Our lines are open here at DUQE.
We’re now at the final step of setting up your real estate business in Dubai! Here, you’ll need to secure a visa. Since your business is in the free zone, there are limits to what type of visa you can get.
The best option for entrepreneurs right now is the golden visa. This is a type of investment visa given to foreign entrepreneurs who invest in UAE businesses. With this visa, you can stay in the country for up to 10 years.
But as stated previously, you’ll need to prepare a proof of share capital deposit when you apply. Once the visa is approved, you can start operating your real estate business in Dubai!
Here are just a few reasons why Dubai is an ideal city to start a real estate business and get your real estate licence in Dubai:
One of the main reasons why starting a real estate business in Dubai is so attractive is due to its rapidly growing population size. As more people move into this metropolitan centre, there will be increased demand for housing, which provides an excellent opportunity to establish a successful real estate business.
Dubai’s strategic location between East and West also makes it an ideal business hub, attracting investors from all over the world.
As a global financial hub, Dubai has one of the most advantageous and competitive taxation regimes in the world. Many international investors are attracted to the country due to its 0% capital gains taxes and no personal income taxes.
This makes it an attractive place to start a business as profits can be maximised without hefty taxes taking away from them. Furthermore, there are many other incentives, such as exemptions on property transfer fees and registration costs, that make it even more attractive for businesses operating in this sector.
Dubai’s real estate market consists of residential, commercial, and industrial properties, as well as hospitality, healthcare, and leisure options. There is also a healthy balance between affordable and luxury.
This allows investors to find the right investment opportunity that suits their needs and goals while also providing them with greater financial security due to the variety available.
Additionally, having access to such a wide range of properties makes it easier for businesses to tap into different markets quickly and easily to maximise their potential profits.
The Dubai government offers streamlined procedures for registering a business and obtaining any necessary licences, as well as helpful resources such as free consultation services from experienced professionals. This makes it easier for you to obtain your real estate licence in Dubai.
Many of the processes can easily be completed online, which saves time and money compared to other countries where setting up a business can be much more complicated.
These convenient setup processes offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to quickly get their businesses off the ground with minimal hassle.
With its expansive network of roads, airports, ports, and public transportation systems, the infrastructure in Dubai is highly developed and reliable. This makes it easy to access properties all over Dubai with ease.
The city also offers numerous amenities, like shopping centres, parks, and recreational activities, that make it an attractive destination for both tourists and potential investors alike.
With its booming economy and status as a global hub for international business, Dubai offers unparalleled networking possibilities for real estate entrepreneurs.
Business owners can make connections with local investors, potential tenants, property developers, and other industry professionals who may be interested in their services. These contacts could lead to new deals and valuable partnerships that can help increase profits and expand operations into different markets.
Furthermore, being part of the thriving network of real estate professionals in Dubai provides access to various resources, such as industry-specific information and contacts, that can help entrepreneurs succeed.
Starting a real estate business or career in Dubai can be a lucrative and rewarding venture for those who are willing to put in the effort and dedication required to succeed.
With a thriving real estate market, a diverse population, and a business-friendly environment, Dubai presents a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the industry.
However, it is important to do thorough research, understand the legal and regulatory requirements, and develop a solid business plan before embarking on this journey. With the right approach, a real estate business in Dubai can offer significant returns on investment and contribute to the growth of the city’s dynamic economy.
The DUQE Free Zone offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the real estate industry. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get started on your real estate journey in Dubai!