How To Set Up An Event Management Company in UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a country that is world famous for being a picture perfect tourist destination and a one-stop spot for adrenaline pumping adventure, scenic skyscrapers, lifestyle that is oozing of sheer luxury and an ever-thriving business community that are open to foreign investments and multiple trades. As the most encouraging economy, they have come and leaps and bounds ahead of their game in the past few decades, as investors saw the true potential that UAE has, in terms of heavy profitability and excellent economic growth.

Event management company in UAE has become one such business which has not only become the number choice of business set up in the UAE but all around the world we see that event management companies are quickly booming. As each industry and sector is booming, this is one such industry that has become quite a rage in recent times and that is the event management industry!

It’s considered to be the new land of immense opportunities and every year people from all over the world visit UAE in order to start up a business venture which could take them places! Having improved incredibly and growing in the fields of tech industry, architecture, medicine, real estate, human resource, hotels, marketing and other avenues, this has become the country to follow!

In light of this, The American Express Meetings and Events in 2016 created a forecast which prophesied a phenomenal growth globally of this particular industry world-wide.

If we focus specifically on UAE, the events industry is following all the global and regional trends. The Dubai World Trade Centre, for instance, is famous for conducting hundreds of events under its banner and has got worldwide acclaim in this aspect. They have successfully hosted consumer shows, international trade fairs, corporate functions and pacts, which alone has attracted an amazing footfall and generates a phenomenal revenue for the whole of UAE through millions of global visitors that visit on an annual basis.

Dubai’s event management industry is growing from strength to strength every year. In retrospect, if we look through the pattern curve from 2013, the forecast for the event management industry was stated to be around AED 165m, which roughly equals to a staggering USD 45m! The growth in percentage accounts to 25% per year in the upcoming years. On an average, Dubai alone hosts quarter of a billion dirham events industry. That in itself is a remarkable feat and one that gives this city just one more reason to celebrate and pride over. The fact that people from all walks of life visit Dubai just to be part of their events and functions, is testimony to the fact that they are reaping more than they sow, and deservingly so!

With a million things happening around the hustle and bustle of UAE, 2020 is going to be the year to remember for Dubai! This buzz will not be slowing down anytime soon and the odds will always be in favour! There is an expected footfall of around 25 million visitors to the event on a global scale and is roughly estimated to generate a whooping USD 23 billion for the emirate. This accounts to 25% of the city’s GDB from 2015 till 2021.

The event management company is such a thriving industry which will provide new entrepreneurs with a lot of opportunities. Every year new businesses get involved in the event management industry and increasingly seek guidance and knowledge of event professionals. So how do we start an event management company in UAE that is a million dollar question?

So, the event management company set up process is pretty straight forward. Firstly, you have to decide the area of event industry in which you want to initiate business in. There are plenty of sector that you can choose from. You can select some of these activities under event management license. Some of the service areas in event management industry are as follow:

  • Corporate event organizing
  • Brand activation related activities
  • Public events
  • Entertainment
  • Corporate conferences
  • Weddings and so on

An event management company while working with clients has to follows a series of steps from briefing, planning and evaluation to conceptualization and execution.

Events in the UAE:

Here is the list of some of the events that takes place in the UAE:


This is considered to be the Largest Food and Beverages Trade Show in the world. This event covers area of over 1,000,000 square feet of F&B products and showcases. The Gulfood welcomes more than 98,000 attendees from 193 countries.

Middle East Electricity Exhibition and Conference:

This 44 year old event is by far world’s Leading International Trade exhibition for the Power Industry, transmission and distribution.

National Career Exhibition:

A specialized event organized for Banking and Finance Sector in UAE. The National Career Exhibition is an initiative by Government of the UAE to integrate the national workforce in operating the country forces’s. The exhibition combines the public sector and the private sector in the country’s facilities in one place by providing thousands of job and training for Emiratis youth.

[email protected]

The [email protected] program is a local and self-organized event that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDx, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to flare up deep discussion and connection among small groups. These local, self-organized events are known as TEDx.


The STEPConf is the largest tech festival in the GCC region. Stepconf started with a series of workshops and small gathering groups and is now the largest tech festival in the Middle East. The last edition in Dubai had over 6000 attendees and showcased more than 250 startups in the course of 2 days.

So, managing such events gives guaranteed exposure and experience to an event-management start-up Company.

How to Set Up Event Management Company in the UAE?

The process of starting up an event management company is quite simple. In order to start a company, you need to choose either mainland, free zone, or offshore. The Emirates offers relatively flexible options in the above region. Once incorporated, certain processes are to be taken in consideration like:

Obtaining Event Management License

This is the basic steps that you need to consider after dealing with the registration process.

It is possible to apply for a license to handle events like the ones mentioned above, most start-ups will also apply for an event management licence which covers more events activities in UAE. Once you have decided your business activity, you will need to decide where you want to set up your business – on the UAE mainland or in one of its many free zones and both sectors offer certain advantages. For example, foreign businesses who want to set up in a UAE free zone do not require a local sponsor to conduct business and are can own 100% of their company. However, restrictions are there for Free Zone Company as to where they can conduct events and exhibitions. Free zone companies have to get permits for every event and cannot hold events in public space such as parks and beaches, whereas mainland companies have to apply to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in order to obtain event management license and can conduct events anywhere in UAE.

Office Space Requirements

Generally it depends on where you set up a business will decide on whether you will require office space or not. If you are considering to start a free zone company, then you might probably not require an office space, but can get an office space as per your requirement. However, if you opt for mainland set up, office space is a must. While choosing office space several factors need to be considered such as do the company need space to expand or do you require to be close to local conveniences also the lease period and so on. Once you have decided on these requirements , then you can look for a suitable space. In UAE there are multiple options of office space from fully decorated to budget activity offices all depends on your pocket size and requirement. You can also take guidance from company formation specialist as they can guide you through leasing process and steps related to acquiring office space.

Open a Corporate Bank Account

Obtaining a corporate bank account is one of the most important part of a any company in UAE. You have to set up a bank account with one of the Arab Bank in UAE. Once you are done with acquiring an events licence, setting up a corporate bank account in UAE quick and easy. If you choose to commence business in a free zone, then the relevant authorities will advise you on the relevant bank best suited to cater your needs and if you wish the authorities can also arrange meetings in branch for you. Now if you decide to commence set up on the mainland, a company formation specialist will walk you through the same process and you can approach any local or international bank by your own as well.

Opt for Visa Option:

As the company matures you would want to hire international employees, for that reason you need to opt for an employment visa and if you want to get the same for your dependents you have to to apply for visa services.

Easy setup process:

The setup process is extremely easy and straightforward regardless of the fact where you want to set up in the UAE mainland or in a free zone. If you wish to commence your business in a free zone, the basic step is to find a free zone that is relevant for your business. You can choose from several free zones throughout the Emirates such as Dubai World Trade Centre and Fujairah Creative City that are relevant for event management companies and could be the ideal place to start up an event company. Once you have decided on free zone you can send an application form along with other documents such as passport and colored copies visa to the free zone authority you have opted for. This process will take up to a week. The process of setting up an event company in the mainland is similar. However, the only difference between free zone and mainland application process is, rather than applying to a free zone authority, you apply directly to the Department of Economic Development (DED) and this process will take up to 90 days to process.

Cost of event company setup in UAE:

One of the plus points for investors who want to establish event company in United Arab Emirates is relatively low cost entry into the market. These event licenses are quite affordable as they start from around 17500AED. Also there is no requirement of share capital to be paid upfront for mainland event set up and in many UAE free zones. And depending of the business activity there are very low upfront cost outside of this, provided that you have got computer and talent to match you can consider yourself good to go.

 Sponsoring dependents:

The event management license doesn’t only make it possible for you and your employees to get visas, but it also makes provides you to sponsor dependants for their residence visas too. The application process is easy; all you have to do is provide with entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, then Emirates ID registration, and visa stamping. You can also seek advice from an expert in setting up UAE free zone businesses. They will help you make sure that before you start an application, both you and dependents meet the entry requirements.

Set up business with multiple shareholders: 

Regardless of whether you opt to set up an event Company in a free zone or on the mainland, you have an option establish your business with multiple shareholders with both individuals and corporate entities. 

So, there you have it if you have the right skills in the event management sector, then don’t worry as there are multiple Events happening in the UAE and more event management companies and making it big in this industry and will get bigger and better as we get ever closer to the global spectacle that is Expo 2020. So stop waiting for your perfect opportunity and with an advice from formation specialist acquire your event license application and commence your event management company in UAE.