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Dropshipping in the UAE: Steps, license & requirements

September 16, 2022by Harneet Bhatia

Dropshipping in the UAE is one of the easiest ways for you to start your first business. Nowadays, this type of commercial investment is rapidly gaining popularity among new entrepreneurs due to its low cost. Also, it is relatively easy to establish and manage for several other reasons.

In this article, you are going to find out everything you need to know about dropshipping in the UAE. We will take a look at some benefits this business model offers, in addition to how to choose the type that suits your expectations and financial possibilities. Let us answer the following questions:

1. Is dropshipping legal in the UAE?

The dropshipping model is becoming increasingly popular around the globe. To align with this trend, there are more people who wish to establish a dropshipping business in the UAE each day. This is due to the fact that it requires minimal investment, being suitable for the smallest budgets. However, those aspiring to get started in this commercial activity commonly face the question: “Is dropshipping legal in the UAE?

The local government has made clear that they support small, mid-sized, and large businesses equally. With the new dropshipping license in the UAE, new entrepreneurs can legally pursue this lucrative business activity. Nonetheless, there is a set of steps to follow in order to obtain it.

The good news is that, similar to many other businesses licensing procedures, the process is rather simple and fast in the UAE. For this reason, on Connect ME, we encourage you to begin a new chapter as a businessperson and open your own dropshipping store.


2. How can I get a dropshipping license in the UAE?

As we previously mentioned, you require a license to perform this commercial activity under the law. The UAE Authority makes this possible through the issuance of an e Trader License dubai from the DED.

The DED (or Department of Economic Development) is the body in charge of issuing a wide range of business licenses in the Emirates. You should also note that this legal entity regulates imports and exports in the country. For this reason, it is critical that you obtain your trading license as soon as you choose to follow the dropshipping business model.

It is worth mentioning that there is no trading license specifically designed for dropshipping in the UAE. Instead, any UAE-based business selling products through their website or on social media will qualify within the e-Trader category.

3. What are the different types of dropshipping businesses in the UAE?

If you wish to learn how to do dropshipping in the UAE, the first thing you should consider is the exact model you would like to implement. Knowing this will not only give you a clearer idea of what dropshipping is, but you will discover which models better adapt to your budget.

Today, dropshipping in the UAE divides into four main categories. These are product reselling, business extensions, product creation and print-on-demand. Let us understand each of them in more detail:

3.1 Product reselling

This is one of the most-frequently seen types of dropshipping in the Emirates. With product reselling, you can find different products from several sources and list them as available on your website. On Connect ME, we recommend this model to those who are excellent at marketing products. It can also be a great choice for those who are experts in the field of their choosing.

The challenging aspect of product reselling is that it might require a higher capital to start. This is because the products you will be selling must be paid upfront.

3.2 Business extensions

These offer dropshipping services to retailers without an online presence. Business extensions work as a middleman to promote the retailer’s product. Each time that you (the dropshipper) close a sale, you will ask the retailer to send the products to the buyer.

However, this model may require greater effort compared to product reselling. The reason behind this is that you will need to establish a business relationship with a determined retailer. In other words, you must have a clear understanding of their products.

The bright side of deciding for this type of dropshipping model is that it can turn more profitable given the current lack of competition. 

3.3 Product creation

With product creation, you will take several items and bundle them into one for purchase. Next, you will send the bundled product to your buyer after they complete a purchase. This model requires critical thinking, as you will be the one to select these products in a way that makes sense for your target clientele.

Note that this involves shipping multiple items. If you create a bundled product from one single retailer, it could lead to various products being shipped simultaneously.

3.4 Print-on-demand

In case you would rather run a business focused on t-shirts, mugs, or any other product with a picture or design printed on them, this is the right model for you. Print-on-demand allows creators to send their preferred design to the dropshipper. Then, when a sale takes place, the dropshipper will print it on the selected item and send it directly to the buyer.

When pursuing this dropshipping business model, it is an advantage to be a great marketer.

4. Some advantages of starting a dropshipping business in the UAE

Establishing a business in the UAE is today considered by investors an excellent idea. Regardless of the field you choose to invest in, this country’s economy is on the rise, and this reality is not changing in the near future.

This is also true when it comes to dropshipping. If you never wondered how to start dropshipping in the UAE, right now is the moment to start learning everything about this business model.

Here are the most significant advantages of dropshipping in the UAE:

4.1 Affordable costs

While starting a business of almost any other nature can represent a huge expense, this is not the case with dropshipping. You will not be in charge of managing product development, storage, and shipping, among other expensive duties. As a result, the costs associated with this model of e-commerce will turn significantly low.

4.2 You can offer many products

Not necessarily being branded to a specific niche and not being tied to warehousing limitations allows you to sell a wide range of products. Your business can work with diverse retailers and sources. As long as you can market each product correctly and there is an audience to target, your dropshipping in the UAE can sell almost any (non-prohibited) item.


4.3 No shipping and logistics

Not needing to take care of this time- and-resource- consuming task is a key point that is leading many local entrepreneurs to wonder “how to do dropshipping in the UAE?”. Instead of you personally handling these tasks, the manufacturer will take care of it. This way, your customers will receive the item they purchased without you being involved in the shipping stage.

4.4 The UAE is the place for e-commerce in 2022

In the Emirates, going shopping is a regular activity for many. However, one of the practices that have lingered as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak is online shopping. Today, people find it more convenient to access the internet and buy any product they wish. This is especially true in the UAE, a country where -according to research conducted in 2020- A solid 100% of the population makes use of the internet.

This sets the climate for a successful UAE dropshipping business. Additionally, with the guidance of an experienced partner, you can obtain the right license to start operating fast, without complications.

5. Steps to starting a dropshipping business in the UAE

If after carefully considering each detail about dropshipping in the UAE, you are ready to get started, you must first know how to do it correctly. However, if you decide to request the help of a business licensing services provider, our agency will gladly assist you every step of the way.

These are the most important steps to follow to have your dropshipping business in the UAE up and running:

  1. Apply for an e-Trader License: This process consists of several stages as you work with the Department of Economic Development. As we mentioned in the beginning, this authority is in charge of business registration in the country. Please note that if you are a foreigner, it could be a challenge to obtain this license without a business liaison.
  2. Select your niche: In other words, choose the products you are going to sell and figure out to who you intend to sell them. Conduct market research to determine which market you find it most viable to focus on. For example, a determined market could have been booming last year, but it is currently dying. Stay up-to-date with these trends to maximize gains and prevent financial loss.
  3. Find a supplier: Make sure to locate a provider for the products you need that offers reasonable prices. However, never neglect quality. This can set the difference between one-time and recurring buyers. Thus, it will also determine the success of your UAE dropshipping business.
  4. Set up your online store: Many people decide to create their own website from scratch. Depending on how professional you wish to appear, this can be the best choice. Nevertheless, there are several free and paid platforms that you can use for your e-commerce. They can make this process easier if you lack the necessary experience building websites.

6. Choosing the right business consultant can help you succeed

While you can try to anticipate every situation you may face during your business setup process, there will always be things only an expert can know. Obtaining a license and entering the right markets for dropshipping in the UAE can always bring unexpected challenges. For this reason, on Connect Services Middle East, we offer you the best solutions and packages to help you thrive.

Choosing a consultant that can answer your specific demands is key, and carrying this out wisely will put you on the right path. With over 20 years of building a solid reputation as a top UAE consulting firm, we take pride in what we do. These are some of our most popular business solutions:

There are many reasons to make sure not to go through this process alone. However, you can always decide for what best suits your requirements and budget. Take a moment to reach out to our team and request more information!

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Are you looking forward to setting up your dropshipping in the UAE? Contact our specialists to share your questions or concerns regarding this business model at +971 43 316 688. We are glad to hear from you and from any friend you may refer. Let us know how we can help you via email at Do not hesitate and become a part of this new wave of entrepreneurial success that dropshipping has brought to the table!

Harneet Bhatia

Harneet Bhatia is the Sales and Compliance Officer at Connect Group. She is specialized in Company Setup Services , golden visa uae , Business Consultancy and Sales Assistance. She is working within Middle East and UAE. Also she has done her Master of Business Administration in Literature.

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