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How to start a Real Estate company license with 100% foreign ownership?

real estate company license dubai
Table of Contents

The recent Companies Law amendment in the UAE has been a hot topic of discussion for the past few days, and rightly so. With this amendment, the UAE government has ushered in what can be called a revolution of sorts since it allows 100% foreign ownership in the companies of mainland UAE if the business activities and structure satisfy the expected standards.

What are these newly made laws?

The UAE government has announced that foreign investors can now get 100% ownership of their business on the mainland from June 1, 2021. The amended law has been made by President His Highness Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This new law is focused on the regulations of shareholding in a Limited Liability Company, which means that the expatriates, who are looking to set up their own business in the country, will not need to have an Emirati sponsor who used to be a minimum shareholder of 51% in the company even though the foreign national invests all capital and manage the company. In some activities like real estate brokerage in Dubai, the laws did not allow even 1% of foreign shareholding in those companies.

What types of changes can be seen?

Until May 31, 2021, foreign investors wanted to open a company with only 49% ownership in trading or manufacturing companies and 0% in real estate companies. However, with the current amended law, the government allows foreign nationals to be 100% owners of their companies in the UAE mainland.

How is it going to affect the market?

By making these reforms, the country will retain its position as the leading business hub, both locally and globally. Also, the country is going to diversify its economy by the contribution of foreign investors. These changes will reduce the operating costs and surely attract foreign investments, allowing greater and better revenue streams in the country. According to Richard Waind, Managing Director of Better homes said: “100% ownership gives foreign business owners the confidence to invest their time and money into growing businesses in the UAE.”

Many other changes have also been implemented after the pandemic. The government has ushered in new retirement visas for foreigners and new work-from-home visas, which allow workers from outside the country to live and work temporarily in the country. These approaches are going to benefit UAE fully to recover post- pandemic globally.

Real estate brokerage business in the UAE/ Dubai

In the first four months of 2021, Dubai’s real estate transactions continued to rise, totaling Dh92 billion from 24,455 transactions. With the real estate sector rebounding in the UAE, you might be tempted to start a real estate business in Dubai for instance. If you are looking to start a real estate brokerage business in Dubai, you should know that now the Dubai government is allowing 100% ownership of your real estate brokerage firm against the earlier norm of 0% for foreign nationals. Many investors do not know about these changes and are even doubtful about the recent law. Some people say it’s impossible to become 100% owner of a real estate business in Dubai.  Many investors were hesitant to open a real estate broker’s company in Dubai because of the 100% ownership of UAE nationals. Don’t hesitate – now’s the ideal time has come to open your owned real estate brokerage firm in Dubai.

Benefits of Doing Real Estate Business in Dubai

The real estate business in Dubai has large untapped potential. Apart from that one has lots of other benefits in this business.

  • A large untapped client base.
  • An attractive holiday destination works as an incentive for real estate investments.
  • Dubai has a considerable number of overseas workers and entrepreneurs moving to the emirates every year. Also, after introducing a long-term visa, most of these expatriates are looking to buy a house rather than rent it.
  • High number of new real estate projects.
  • Plenty of expensive luxury apartment projects that attract high-ticket clients.
  • The real estate laws of Dubai have other benefits, like it makes the industry very transparent and protects both brokers and the buyers.
  • Apart from that, the real estate market of Dubai has plenty of opportunities, like entrepreneurs in this industry can do business in property management, advisory services, valuations, consultancy and developments, and many more.
  • Easy documentation and transparency.
  • It has multiple business habitats.
  • Strict laws and fraud-free business ethos.
  • They have flexible labour policies. Here businesses can get help from all over the world.
  • 100% ownership.
  • World-class infrastructure.
  • Affordable office space.
  • No taxation

Though there is a strict verification method for opening a business in Dubai, the real fact is that getting a real estate broker license in Dubai is very easy. This is because of the ease of doing paperwork. There are many reasons for these comforts, such as zero corruption and good interdepartmental communication.

How to get a real estate broker license in Dubai?

The application for the real estate license in Dubai should be submitted through the Department of Economic Development. After that, it should get approval from RERA through Trakheesi System.

Step By Step Process:

Step 1 – Reserve trade name

Step 2 – Get initial approval of the enquiry receipt.

Step 3 – Submit all the relevant documents to the land department and complete online course registration. 

Step 4 – Get the NOC or approval from RERA once training is completed.

Step 5 – Get an initial approval certificate from DED.

Step 6 – Sign the Memorandum of Association or Local Service Agent Agreement or Civil works Agreement at the Notary Public. It should be noted that all the shareholders should be present when signing the document.

Step 7 – Submit the initial approval, trade name reservation, tenancy contract with Ejari, original approved DED form, and all the other documents mentioned above to DED and then get the payment voucher.

Step 8 – Collect the payment voucher and finally make the payment.

Step 9 – Get the trade license.

Step 10 – Get your office registration number and broker ID.

What are the requirements for a real estate broker license in Dubai?

Requirement at DED

  • Passport sized photographs with white background.
  • Memorandum of Association if required.
  • External Approval from the RERA. ‘
  • EJARI certificate and Tenancy Contract.
  • Passport copy of the owner, family book, and Emirates ID card.

Requirement at RERA

  • Trade Name reservation
  • Passport copy of owner, family book, and Emirates ID card.
  • DED Application form
  • Owner’s degree certificate.
  • Certificate of good conduct from the Police of Dubai.
  • Initial Approval enquiry receipt.
  • Real Estate diploma certificate or Real Estate practitioner course certificate.

About the Author


Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.