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Apply for an interior design license in Dubai 2023

June 7, 2022by Kate Williams

With the growth of the GCC economy, there will be ample opportunities for the interior design sector. For this reason, each time more professionals are interested in obtaining an interior design license in Dubai for the Mainland market. If you want to start your interior design business, here are all the answers you need.

In this article, you will learn everything about interior design licenses in Dubai. Let us observe the following:

1. An overview

Even the upcoming year appears promising for such a sector; because the Dubai government has approved the highest ever budget; because it pushes spending on Expo 2020; which is a global exposition that seeks out about 180 countries, with over 25 million international visitors.

Furthermore, beginning in 2018, VAT or value-added tax will be mandatory in GCC markets, bringing in at least $20 billion to government coffers through the Arabian Gulf, accelerating growth.

Many businesses use events to enter the market and meet and network with thousands of exhibitors from around the world.

2. How to start an interior design company in Dubai?

Follow these simple and time-saving steps to start your own interior design business. The following are the steps to establishing your interior design business in Dubai:

2.1. Trade name registration

Firstly, on a piece of paper, write down three to four names for your interior design company. After that, submit them to the appropriate authorities and wait for their approval. In addition, make sure you do not break any of the naming convention rules while compiling the list of names.

Trading names that are abusive, disparaging, or disrespectful, or that attack a person’s faith or feelings, are strictly prohibited. As a result, if you want your company to be known by a specific name, use the person’s full name rather than any nicknames. Additionally, in this article, you can learn about the procedure for trade name registration.

2.2. Complete the organizational structure and geographic location of the company

Do you want 100 percent ownership of your company or do you prefer to be the sole proprietor? If this is the case, you should start an interior design company in a tax-free zone. The Dubai Design District (D3) is one of the world’s most well-known free zones, and it provides a plethora of opportunities for those interested in interior design.

Furthermore, depending on your company’s requirements, you may want to consider the Dubai Studio City (DSC) free zone. If you want a central location with easy access to the local market, a Mainland company formation is recommendable. You will need to form a partnership with a local sponsor and apply to the Department of Economic Development for a business license.

2.3. Set up shop in an office building

The next step is to lease office space after deciding where you want to establish your interior design business. You must obtain a copy of the tenant’s tenancy agreement, which will be used as evidence during the license application approval process.

Renting office space in Dubai is advantageous in this case because it allows you to avoid large upfront costs and because you can simply relocate from one location to another.

2.4. Obtain the required licenses

Interior design firms in Dubai, like any other legal organization, require a valid license to operate in the United Arab Emirates. To obtain an interior design business license, you must, among other things, complete all of the necessary paperwork, pay all of the fees on time, and submit all of the necessary information.

You can work with business experts to obtain this license in a short period and at a low cost.

2.5. Obtain additional approvals

The commercial activities associated with the professional specialty of interior design are numerous. Interior design, space planning, conceptualization, and other services are available. It could also be an interior design firm or a maintenance office.

Any business operations involving duties not specifically specified in the license’s permission will necessitate the acquisition of additional permits from the appropriate authorities. These licenses ensure that your interior design company in Dubai can operate without fear of being sued.

2.6. Look after your visas

Are you planning a business trip to the UAE with your family? Would you consider hiring domestic workers to assist you with your daily tasks? You can apply for multiple visas for family members, employees, business partners, and so on. Follow the visa application procedures and submit your application to the appropriate jurisdiction as directed.

2.7. Open a business bank account

Lastly, you will be able to open a corporate bank account for your company after completing all other procedures and receiving the interior design license in Dubai. Spend some time researching the various banks in Dubai to gain a better understanding of their benefits and drawbacks.

Choose the one that is best suited to your company’s needs. You are all set to launch your interior design business in Dubai and establish your brand in the UAE’s highly competitive market. 

3. The benefits of establishing interior design firms in Dubai

The demand for experienced interior designers has grown over the years, and Dubai has become a magnet for interior designers from all over the world by providing substantial benefits when starting their businesses. Here are a few examples:

3.1. An open and free economy

The term “open economy” refers to a market in which not only local businesses but also organizations from other countries, influence commercial operations. A trade can be a management exchange, a technological exchange, or another type of exchange.

Dubai has an open economy that encourages cross-border commerce and commercial activity. With the Gulf Cooperation Council’s expanding economy, there are numerous opportunities for interior designers in Dubai. They may collaborate with enterprises and corporations from neighboring countries to establish their global footprint.

3.2. Taxes are insignificant

You may save a significant amount of money on your earnings due to Dubai’s favorable taxation policy. The majority of the money will be yours to keep and put to good use in other areas of your life. Even though the UAE’s tax policy continues to attract more international investors.

Furthermore, businesses in this jurisdiction may benefit from a zero-tax corporation tax structure, allowing them to significantly increase their revenue.

3.3. Special permissions are granted to artists and designers

The process of establishing and registering an interior design company in the UAE is simple. Before you can begin, you must usually obtain a professional service license as well as any necessary visas. You could, on the other hand, become a freelance interior designer consultant.

To work as a freelance interior designer, you must have a freelancing license or state permission. The DCCA free zone provides this freelancing license, also known as an Interior Design Consultancy License or an Interior Designers Permit.

As a result, to obtain these specialized licenses, you must complete the necessary documentation, have a relevant degree, and some prior experience in the field

3.4. A comfortable working environment

Companies in Dubai benefit from a work-friendly infrastructure and environment. According to reports, infrastructure spending in the UAE will increase as a result of a variety of projects. The increasing number of commercial projects in the Dubai area presents opportunities for interior designers to advance and grow their businesses.

The market has developed at a rapid pace as a result of Dubai’s strategic position and the rapid development of its sectors.

3.5. A rise in the demand for commercial and residential real estate

The Burj al Khalifa and the Marina 101 are two examples of world-class structures with distinct designs in Dubai. The demand for such one-of-a-kind and creative marvels in Dubai is constantly increasing, as is the supply. Hence, if you have the necessary skills and expertise, you will have no trouble capitalizing on opportunities in such markets.

The business sector is expanding rapidly, and both retail and residential enterprises have expanded significantly in recent years. As a result, interior design is at its peak right now, and it is without a doubt the best time to enter the industry.

4. Where can you start an interior decor company in Dubai?

There are two options for an interior design firm in Dubai. These are the following:

4.1.Free zone in Dubai Design District

Dubai Design District (D3) was established to promote the interior design industry. It has provided numerous incentives and presentations to strengthen young minds in the field of interior design. As a result, one should consider Dubai Design District to create and showcase their professional interior design skills in Dubai.

In D3, you can establish a UAE branch or an overseas company, freelancing, and a Free Zone Limited Liability Company. A Dubai free zone company formation entails several procedures and the submission of specific documents. The following are the detailed company development procedures in Dubai Design District:

4.1.1 Procedure for establishing a company in Dubai Design District

Stage 1: Submit an application for initial approval.

At this point, you must contact the free zone’s Business Development Team and submit an application for opening approval. Additionally, you must submit critical documents that will be reviewed by the authority. The following documents are required:

  • License application.
  • Comprehensive business strategy
  • The company’s original No Objection Certificate (in case the proposed company name is already registered in Dubai).
  • Passport photocopies of shareholders, directors and managers are required.
  • Copy of incorporation certificate or trade license

Stage 2: Business registration.

Secondly, you must choose a business location in the D3-free zone. The authority will review the legal documents and issue a Customer Confirmation Letter for the leasing of the zone’s office space. The following documents are required:

  • Company registration application form.
  • Memorandum of Association, both attested and notarized (MOA).
  • Post-dated Checks.
  • A notarized copy of the certificate of incorporation is required.
  • Form RIC.
  • Board decision.
  • Certificate for the Manager-in-Charge from the current sponsor (if applicable).

Stage 3: Lease document signing, personnel sponsorship, and license collection.

Stage 4: Collecting customer confirmation letters and paying the fees.

4.2. Dubai Mainland interior design license

An interior design license in Dubai Mainland allows you to set up shop anywhere in Dubai. In addition to the free zone, you can set up your interior design business in Dubai Mainland, allowing you to expand your business throughout the region.

Hence, anyone with a degree who wants to start this type of business can follow the steps below to obtain the license. Dubai-based company established

4.2.1. How to obtain an interior design license in Dubai?

  • Locate a local sponsor for your company.
  • Make a trade name reservation application.
  • Applying for a license with the DED to receive preliminary approval.
  • Once you have DED approval, you must obtain DM approval.
  • Choosing an office location.
  • Obtaining a tenancy agreement.
  • Final submission for company formation.
  • Obtaining a business license from the appropriate authorities.

5. How can C-UAE help you?

You made an excellent decision by investing your time and money in a Dubai interior design firm. All you have to do now is work with Connect Middle East to get the right advice for establishing your business in the UAE. We have you covered whether you are in the free zone or on the Mainland.

We will handle the entire process as we get you your interior design license in Dubai without any trouble. Working with us, you will get the best packages. In addition, you will be stress-free while you are focusing on the tasks that will generate you money.

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Start your business activities as a freelance interior designer with us. Call us now at +971 43 316 688 or alternatively write us an email at If you have any further questions about how to obtain an interior design license in Dubai, all you need to do is reach out to us at any time.

Kate Williams

Kate is the Global Strategy Director at Connect Group. She is specialized in business setup in dubai , international business expansion and employee relocation. She studied in Southampton (United Kingdom) and moved to the UAE in 2014.

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