All You Need to Know about Dubai Tourism and Tourism Licenses

Dubai has its place in the category of the world’s 10 most visited cities. The financial and industrial hub has secured the 6th spot in the top 10 most visited cities around the world, based on Global Media Insight. According to Global Media Insight, around 15.8 million international tourists visited Dubai in 2017. The major chunk of tourists who visit Dubai are from Asia and Europe.  It’s amazing to note that around 13% of the total Dubai visitors are from India, based on 2017 statistics.  It is estimated that Dubai’s tourism sector shall attain a growth rate of 6.2% in the year 2020. And it is predicted that this growth rate would remain the same for the next year too. The 2016 statistics state that the travel and tourism sector contributes around 12.1 % of the total GDP of the UAE. The travel and tourism industry in Dubai is on the path of expansion. The expansion is more concentrated on entertainment and leisure.

 Yes, Dubai’s Tourism sector has some great offerings for the investors.  

Before we go into the travel licenses issued in Dubai and UAE, let us have an understanding of the most visited travel destinations of Dubai.

Most visited tourist locations in Dubai

Describing below some of the best and most visited tourist attractions in Dubai

Burj Khalifa wonder


As you may know, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building ever built by man on the planet. To be precise, Burj Khalifa is 829.8 meters tall and is one of the most visited tourist destination spots in Dubai. Based on Uber rankings, the tallest structure in Dubai has got into the list of the top 10 tourist destinations of the world. It’s ranked sixth in the rankings along with other world-renowned destinations like the Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, Eiffel Tower and others. Uber formulated the rankings based on the Uber rider’s statistics of the ride taken to important tourist destinations of the world.  International tourists from all across the globe visit Dubai in millions to see and experience the breathtaking views of this wonder every year. It is estimated that around 2 million tourists visit Burj Khalifa every year. 

Dubai Mall


Dubai mall is one of the most preferred retail, lifestyle and entertainment hubs of the city. Located in the Dubai downtown, the mall serves as an entry point to Burj Khalifa as both are located very close to each other.  The entertainment scope is endless and the mall showcases a gaming area, movie complex, and a rink for ice skating. Dubai Mall is a shopping and entertainment haven without a doubt. The mall at regular intervals conducts fashion and music events. The celebrated Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the annual events organized in the mall with great vigour and enthusiasm. Another event that attracts a lot of tourists is the Dubai Summer Surprises festival. This is held during the months of June and August of every year. The other major attractions of Dubai Mall are the Underwater Zoo and Dubai Aquarium. More than 80 million visitors arrive at the Dubai Mall every year. The mall is currently on the expansion phase and is preparing to welcome 100 million visitors very soon. 

Other popular travel destinations in Dubai are Dubai Museum, Palm Island, Burj Al Arab and Ski Dubai. Detailed information regarding these destinations shall be covered in future blogs. 

Dubai Tourism Licenses

Companies and business establishment require a valid travel license in order to operate in Dubai and the UAE. These licenses are mandatory for tour operators, tour guides, hotels and travel agents that carry out various tourism-related operations in Dubai and other Emirates.


There are three major licenses issued in the travel sector and they are:

Outbound tour license 

Outbound tour license is issued for those tour companies that conduct both inbound and outbound operations. This means that the company is authorized by law to conduct tour operations both inside and outside of UAE. Outbound tour license holders offer services to those who conduct foreign trips from UAE.  

Inbound tour license 

An inbound tour license holder is allowed to conduct tout operations inside the limits of UAE. The license holder is not allowed to conduct any operations outside the limits of the country. 

Travel agent license

Travel agent license is issued to start up a travel agency in the UAE. Travel agent license holder is authorized to sell air tickets outside of UAE. The license holder can handle visit visa requirements too.

Tourism License issuance process

The government agency which is in control of the issuance of Tourism License is DTCM or Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Tourism license applicants are required to submit a set of documents for the purpose of License issuance and they are listed below:

  • Application form (duly filled)
  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of clean criminal background (applicable for the owner and manager)
  • Feasibility studies

These are all about Dubai tourism and tourism licences. If you are planning to invest in the travel and tourism sector of Dubai, it’s the right time. Please contact Kiltons business setup consultants for all your queries and doubts regarding company formation in Dubai. We have several satisfied and happy clients conducting travel related operations in the various UAE Emirates. Hope to see you soon.

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