How to start a Real Estate Business Startup in Dubai

A Complete Guide to start a Real Estate Agency In Dubai

by Dr. Isma Amin

Table of Contents

Investing in real estate in Dubai might provide you with a promising financial future. Foreign investors are flocking to Dubai because of its first-rate infrastructure, stunning skyscrapers, trading prospects, and thriving tourism industry. The real estate market in Dubai is booming, and it offers some of the best profits in the world. UAE has also introduced more than 40 free zones, out of which certain free zones specifically cater to the needs of real estate startup founders in the UAE.

Real Estate

Let’s unwind the intricacies of starting a real estate business startup in Dubai:

What are the benefits of starting a Real Estate business in Dubai

There are many advantages to starting a real estate business in Dubai. Some of them have been listed below:

1.    Strategic location

One of the key advantages of starting a business in Dubai is its location. It’s located between Africa, Asia and Europe. This makes Dubai a significant landmark economically. It makes Dubai an area of interest for collaborators and potential clients and invites business from these areas.

2.    Progressing Real Estate Market

Dubai’s real estate market is one of the best and most sought-after markets worldwide. Investors worldwide are looking to set up businesses in Dubai, which makes it high in real estate demand. Due to high demand, the chances for real estate companies to progress are significant.

3.    Best Infrastructure

In recent years, Dubai has made remarkable advancements in many areas, including transportation, utility, and communication. It has kept up with all the latest trends and henceforth is known as one of the most technologically advanced places. This infrastructure and advancement facilitate the real estate business and help the companies operate efficiently.

4.    Easy licensing procedure

A real estate firm can be established with relative ease in Dubai. All you have to do is stick to the necessary protocols. The government wants to make sure that only capable people work in the real estate market, so passing the real estate exam is mandatory. You can then apply for a license after completing this step.

5.    Economic stability

When compared to other countries in the region, Dubai’s economy is more stable and diversified since it is less reliant on oil. The city government has diversified its holdings away from just oil into areas like real estate, tourism, and banking.

6.    Tax free market

There is no income tax or capital gains tax in Dubai, making it a tax haven for investors. Because of this, business owners and investors are drawn to the area.

7.    e-government

Certifications, business licenses, payments, and visa applications are now easier to obtain thanks to e-government services, which streamline the entire procedure online.

8.    Increasing tourism industry

The number of tourists visiting the emirate of Dubai has increased dramatically in recent years. With an increase of 89% from 2021, Dubai became one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in 2022, with approximately 23.7 million visitors.

increase of tourism in Dubai

Hotels, serviced flats, and vacation rentals in Dubai are in high demand due to the city’s large tourist population. Investors in real estate who want to benefit from the booming tourism industry should jump at this chance.

9.    Competitive prices of properties

Dubai’s real estate industry is appealing to those looking for economical investment options due to its low prices.

City Price per square foot
Dubai $620
London $2,000
New York $1,900


What are the things to consider before setting up a real estate Business in Dubai

Following are some of the factors a person needs to consider before stepping into the real estate business area:

Understand the market

One must have a firm grasp of the Dubai real estate industry to make it big as an entrepreneur there. Knowing as much as possible about the locations where one plans to establish a business is essential. It’s not enough to rely on digital data; one needs to go out and take a look at the real world. Talking to your neighbours is an excellent approach to learning about the local real estate market, as they will likely have valuable insights into your daily activities and means of making a living.

top selling properties

Step into the client’s shoes

A deal must never be made just to get a quick commission. Agents should always try to make a sale per the client’s needs. This will help agents in the long run as they will get more referrals and, as a result, be successful in the Dubai real estate market.

property demand

Keep up with the latest trends.

The real estate market in Dubai is always expanding and progressing. In order to compete in the real estate market, one has to always be on their toes and keep up with all the latest trends in the market. If one keeps their information up to date and stays ahead of the curve, they will have a higher chance of making sure their business sustains and succeeds.

best selling projects

In a similar way, it is important to keep in check what the competitors are doing, how they are handling their business, and what marketing strategies they are using.

What are some of the real estate business activities in Dubai

Following are some of the real estate businesses one could become a part of or begin in Dubai:

1.    Real Estate Buying & Selling Brokerage:

A license from the Real Estate Brokers Registration Authority is required to work as a real estate broker or agent in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (RERA).

2.    Property Development

To accommodate the growing need for living quarters and workplace space, more buildings need to be constructed. This makes it one of the most sought-after real estate businesses.

average price per square foot

3.    Property Investment

Real estate investments in Dubai are popular among those looking to diversify their holdings and capitalise on the city’s rapid economic expansion.

sales value

4.    Property Management

Real estate management supervision service providers in Dubai assist landlords and property owners in all aspects of property management, including tenant screening, lease negotiations, rent collecting, property upkeep and repairs, marketing and advertising, and financial administration.

most sold apartments and villas

5.    Brokerage

Brokers and agents in Dubai’s real estate industry are crucial in connecting buyers and sellers and facilitating transactions. The broker has the job of selling the properties directly to sellers or buyers. They have a team that finds prospective clients.

What are the documents required to set up a real estate business in Dubai

Following are some documents needed to set up a real estate business in Dubai. They are not all, but the basic and important ones that will most likely be needed in most cases:

  • Certification of Real Estate Exam Completion.
  • A current, valid passport
  • Verification that you actually have an office.
  • Evidence that your broker has a valid license.
  • Documentation demonstrating that the accountant has been approved by RERA.
  • A recommendation letters
  • This is your formal degree.
  • Indictable history.
  • A property value report accepted by RERA.
  • Copies of your most recent three months’ worth of bank and credit card statements.

What is the cost of setting up a real estate business in Dubai

Location, company size, startup funds, and other variables all affect how much it will cost to launch a real estate company in Dubai. The cost of taking the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) exam will vary based on the educational background of the prospective investor in the real estate company.

license cost

This is not the same for people with a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or no degree at all. The price of a Dubai real estate license ranges from AED 30,000 to AED 45,000, depending on the nature of the company’s real estate operations.

What are the steps to set up a real estate business in Dubai

Following are the key steps one needs to follow to set up a real estate business in Dubai:

Step 1. Decide the business location

The first step to setting up a business in real estate in Dubai is to select a business location that is suitable to run the business. There are two options a person can choose from. One is the free zone, and the other is the mainland. Both come with their own benefits, requirements, features, and limitations.

The free zones provide the person with 100% ownership of their business. The mainland allows the businessperson to have only 49% ownership of their business, and 51% goes to Emirati ID holders. Therefore, this is the first and most crucial step in setting up a real estate business, and the decision must be taken after careful thought.

Step 2. Understand the business model

After this, the next step to starting a real estate startup in Dubai is to choose a proper business mode. This is a crucial step as it decides the future of one’s business in Dubai. Your business model can be:

  • Professional Company
  • Limited Liability Company

Step 3. Choose the company name

After selecting the business model, the next step in starting a real estate business in Dubai is to choose a company name. One should choose a name that follows the criteria set by the government. Th person should add names like “real estate” or “broker” with their company name to make it easy for customers and clients to find you and to know what kind of business it is that you run.

Step 4. Get the name registered

The next step is to get the name registered. For that, the person will have to reach out to the Department of Economic Development of the authorities that are relevant to the free zone. They will approve the name and then will register the company name. When the company name is officially registered, the person receives approval through their email.

Step 5. Get your qualifications

One of the key steps to setting up a real estate business is to have the required qualifications to run the business. Before applying for the license, one must register for the Dubai Real Estate Institute’s Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers course.

It is imperative to have this certification to apply for the license. The candidate has to pass the exam that will be taken at the end of the course. The candidate must also apply for the Good Conduct certificate from the Dubai police once they pass this course.

Once this is done, the next step will be to contact RERA and get the broker ID, which will allow the person to legally start their career in Dubai as a real estate agent. This license needs to be renewed every year.

Step 6. Preliminary approval request

The next step to setting up the real estate business in Dubai is to request preliminary approval. For this purpose, one will require some documents to be submitted along with an application form. Following are some of the documents that will be needed:

  • Application form
  • Passport copies of the owner or the manager and all the other shareholders
  • Visa copies of all the shareholders
  • Attested university and high school degree of the partners and the manager

Step 7. Memorandum of association

To start a business in Dubai, a person must get an endorsement from the Memorandum of Association. It has a huge significance in starting and running the business. It must be typed in accordance with all the protocols of the UAE commercial law and the rules of the Department of Economic Development that one must follow.

Step 8. Apply for a real estate trade license

The next step to setting up a real estate business in Dubai is to apply for a trade license. To apply for a trade license for a business on the mainland, the person must go to the Department of Economic Development. For free zones, there are respective authorities that grant licenses.

Step 9. Registration with RERA

Once the license has been received, registering your business with RERA is the next step in the process. It will involve some paperwork, which is given below:

  • Application form
  • DED license copy
  • Tenancy contract
  • Payment receipts of the RERA courses
  • Location of business

Step 10. Registration with DNRD and MOL

Suppose one wants to hire workers from a foreign land and sponsor their visa. In that case, one must register their real estate business with the Ministry of Labor and the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai.

Step 11. Approval from the Dubai Land Department

To start their business, the real estate brokerages must get approval from the Dubai Land Department. The main government body governs and handles all the activities and businesses related to real estate in the UAE.

Step 12. Establish a professional office

Having a physical space that is professionally set up sets one apart from its competitors. Therefore, in order to distinguish oneself from other people in the real estate business, the next step is to get a rented office and set it up professionally. This will increase the client’s trust in the agent and make the service provider a proper businessperson.

What is the Golden Visa

Foreign nationals can work, study, reside, and own property in Dubai without the need for a native sponsor for as long as ten years with the help of the Golden Visa. Entrepreneurs with unique skills or cultural expertise may apply for this privilege. The holder of this visa is entitled to full ownership of a commercial enterprise in Dubai.

What are the most affordable residential areas in Dubai

The following are the most affordable residential areas in Dubai:

  1. Jumeirah Village
  2. International City
  3. Dubai Sports City
  4. Dubai Silicon Oasis
  5. Jumeirah Lake Towers

top selling properties

What is the salary of a real estate agent in Dubai

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Real Estate Agent can expect to earn a monthly income of around AED 30,000. In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a Real Estate Agent can earn anywhere from AED 625 to AED 1,14000 in bonuses per year.

salary with age and experience

Can a foreigner become a real estate agent in Dubai

Freelancing as a real estate agent is illegal in Dubai. To apply for a Brokers Permit, you must be employed by a licensed real estate agency. Registration for the license procedure is simple for UAE nationals and other GCC people. However, in order to work as an agent in Dubai, foreigners need to hold a resident visa.

Does one need a license to sell real estate in Dubai

Real estate property management requires a license before you can begin working in the industry. Real estate brokers and agents in Dubai may be required to register with the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) in addition to obtaining a real estate business license.

Is the Real estate market expanding and flourishing in Dubai

property prices

The Dubai real estate market is expected to have a significant uptick in the second half of 2023. The numbers show that in 2023, both the residential and commercial markets expanded noticeably over the previous year.

What is the difference between a broker and a real estate agent in Dubai

A real estate broker in Dubai is an expert in the field who has worked as an agent before rising to a higher degree of responsibility. The DLD has strict educational and work experience standards that must be met before one may become a broker.

What is the future growth potential of real estate in Dubai

The real estate market in Dubai is expected to grow by 46% in the coming year. Real estate prices in this city are expected to increase by 29 per cent by 2023.

Dubai property sales volume in the year 2023 compared to 2022:

dubai property sales volume

Dubai property sales value in 2023 compared to 2022:

dubai property sales value


In recent years, the real estate industry has contributed roughly 5.5% to GDP, making it a highly profitable industry in which to invest. If one is looking to make money in this industry in Dubai, this is a great investment option. Starting a real estate business is a lucrative yet fruitful process with a promising future that requires thorough research and then planned steps to step into the market. Careful thought and the right decisions can help one run a successful real estate startup in Dubai.

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