How to Start a Transportation Company in Dubai, UAE

start a transportation company in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is the undisputed leading business hub in the Middle East. Dubai is the major driving force behind this country’s transformation into one of the top four global business and investment hubs.

Dubai’s strategic location, its stunning infrastructure and fast-growing economy and diverse business attract foreign nationals, investors, and entrepreneurs from around the world. Over 20,000 companies start each year in the UAE thanks to our government’s zero-taxation policy on corporate and personal incomes and business-friendly visa regulations. Of the roughly 10 million people living in the UAE, about 8.5 million are foreign nationals.

The government’s economic activities are diversifying their income from solely oil-related industries. This has led to government-led and business-related campaigns for foreign investors and companies to start in the UAE. Their plans have already boosted the UAE’s economy into one of the fastest-growing in the world. They ranked Dubai in the top five best cities in the world to live and work.

With business booming in the Middle East, transportation companies provide an essential solution to help continue this growth in Dubai. They literally put the economy onto wheels. In fact, Dubai’s transportation industry is one of the most significant contributors to its economy.

Starting a transport business is unquestionably lucrative. Is it the right time to start a company in the UAE now? Undoubtedly so! Contact a local company setup specialist to guide and support you through starting a transport company in Dubai.

Benefits of Starting a Transportation Company in Dubai

#1: Strategic Location

Dubai is the most influential business hub of the Middle East and Africa, with easy access to Europe. In fact, Dubai is the place where East meets West. Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Egypt surround Dubai and the UAE. As a logistics and retail business hub, Dubai is well-connected to the rest of the world. Dubai’s retail industry is world famous: travellers around the world visit Dubai specifically for shopping. The way your company operates in the transportation industry will be important: from international bus services transport and road transportation, think of international firms that need freight companies, freight forwarding, courier companies, sea freight logistics support, and other value-added services for the UAE and nearby countries.

#2: World-Leading Infrastructure

Dubai’s sea, road and air infrastructure are second to none. With its world-leading road network, major sea ports, global shipping and logistics business assets, airports, and all the basic services in Dubai are high quality: it further adds to the allure of the UAE for foreign investors looking to start a transportation company.

#3: Benefits of Dubai for Companies

The tax benefits for foreign nationals and foreigner-owned businesses are some of the appealing incentives to live and work in the UAE. The UAE recently changed its regulations regarding visas and updated its company policies to allow foreigners to wholly own their businesses heightened the attraction of Dubai as a destination for foreign investment, entrepreneurs, and job seekers.

Another attractive reason to open a company in Dubai, such as a transportation company, is that this government requires no minimum capital investment. With free zones, of which they dedicated each to single industries, the government can better support SMEs through specialised support centres, business accelerators and incubators, and more.

Types of Transportation Services Allowed in Dubai, UAE

There are many types of transportation services allowed in Dubai, UAE. When you choose Dubai for your business activities, you can specialise in:

  • Cargo transport by heavy trucks
  • Cargo transport by light trucks
  • Water transport service
  • Rental and transport of heavy machinery
  • Car rental service
  • Bus rental transport services
  • Passenger transport (taxi services transport and tour buses)
  • Special rental vehicles such as trucks and related transport
  • Motorcycles rentals service
  • Vehicles towing services and vehicle transport
  • Specialist transportation services such as gas tanks, money and valuables transport
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Petroleum transport
  • Bicycle rentals service
  • Vehicle Fleet Management services
  • Luxury vehicle services

Steps to Start a Transportation Business in Dubai, UAE

Transportation is a profitable business in Dubai to start. As we’ve mentioned, business in Dubai is increasing and it creates an enormous demand for transportation services for those companies in Dubai to survive and thrive. Here are the necessary steps to start a transport business in Dubai.

Step 1: Partner with Trade License Zone

As we’ve mentioned, partnering with a local company setup agency is the first step to opening any type of business. A transport company must follow a strict business structure and formation regulations. Our specialists at Trade License Zone will manage all aspects of your company formation process, specialist transport operating licenses and guide you on the various governmental and municipal trade regulations for operating in the UAE.

Step 2: Choose a Business Structure for your Transportation Business in UAE

Dubai is world famous for its innovative free zones. Free zones are special economic zones set up for dedicated industries. These offer tax benefits and business support services specific to each industry for foreign investors. Each free zone also offers licenses to investors – and of course access to stunning infrastructure, logistics business clients, skilled workers, and a high volume of customers requiring transportation services.

The process has been simplified and streamlined, but to trade legally in the UAE a commercial license is required. Free zones make this process easier to apply and get a license for your business in Dubai.

Step 3: Choosing and Registering a Business Name

Trade License Zone will help you select the right name for your business. According to the Registry Office, the business name may not include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Islam or Allah. You can include your name in your company name, but you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. We’ll then check if the name is available to be registered.

Step 4: Notarise your Company’s Documents

While we’re helping to process your company and visa applications, we’ll need to apply for the notarization of your company’s documents. This can only begin once the Registry Office has processed and approved your company name. The documents required for notarization are the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED).

Step 5: Submit your Business License Application

For a transportation company in Dubai, you’ll need to apply for a commercial license before applying for your transportation license. These two steps are handled by different government agencies: the commercial license can be applied for through a free zone application with the Dubai Department of Economic Development, while the National Transport Authority will issue your transport company license.

Along with your completed application form and business plan, you’ll also need to submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of ID and address for directors and shareholders
  • Passport copies for shareholders and directors
  • Copy of trade name confirmation from the Registry Office
  • Copy of commercial license
  • Proof of initial activity approval from cities management agencies
  • Notarised Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Notarised Articles of Association (AOA)
  • Copy of the lease or property agreement of the company’s physical address
  • Payment for trade license: for each passenger vehicle to be used by the company, a fee of AED 100 is required plus a fee of AED 5 for every passenger seat; They require vehicles transporting commercial goods to make a payment of AED 100 plus AED 10 for every ton of the vehicle’s gross weight

Step 6: Getting your Business License

Once complete, the National Transport Authority will issue your company with a business license. This process usually takes 2 weeks, but because of the limitations of COVID-19 restrictions, this may take up to 4 weeks.

How to grow a transportation business in Dubai?

Growing a transportation business in Dubai can be a lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning, execution, and adaptation to the changing market conditions. Here are some steps you can take to grow your transportation business in Dubai:

  1. Research the market: Before starting any business, it is essential to research the market and understand the competition, target audience, and industry trends. In Dubai, the transportation industry is highly competitive, so you need to identify your niche and develop a unique selling proposition (USP).
  2. Build a fleet: Depending on the type of transportation business you want to operate, you may need to purchase or lease vehicles such as taxis, buses, or limousines. Make sure to select vehicles that meet the industry standards, are safe, and comfortable for passengers.
  3. Hire skilled drivers: Drivers are the backbone of your transportation business, so it’s essential to hire experienced and professional drivers who have a valid UAE driving license and good knowledge of the city’s roads and traffic rules.
  4. Build a strong online presence: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business. Create a user-friendly website that showcases your services and allows customers to book rides online. Also, create social media profiles and use digital marketing strategies to promote your business.
  5. Offer exceptional customer service: Providing excellent customer service is essential to building a loyal customer base. Make sure to train your drivers to be polite and courteous, and ensure that your vehicles are clean and well-maintained.
  6. Expand your services: Once you have established your transportation business, consider expanding your services to cater to different market segments. For example, you could offer airport transfers, chauffeur services, or corporate transport.


Starting a transportation business in Dubai is a profitable and sustainable business. The company formation process and transport company license process in the UAE have been designed with simplicity in mind in navigating the legal requirements.

That said, it takes some hard work and in-depth knowledge of the region, its markets, its many customs and regulations.

That’s why it’s always advisable to sign up for the services of a UAE business setup company to guide you on your company’s license and setup based on your needs and budget.

When you work with Trade License Zone’s professional consultants, we’ll guide and manage the entire incorporation process for you, and guide you through the latest government regulations regarding your transportation license and businesses. Get in touch today for a personalised quote and competitive advantage.

We’ll give you peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.

All you need to provide is some basic documentation and some information about your company. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant government departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to trade. It is that simple.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity