top of page

Online business in the UAE

E-Commerce Licence in Dubai

E-commerce business is booming in Dubai. We shop online more than ever and the regional digital economy continues its upward trend. 

Online business in Dubai

Dubai's got a serious online shopping scene! With hundreds of stores catering to its 3.6 million, tech-savvy population, it's no wonder the city's buzzing with e-commerce activity. Think about it: who wouldn't love 24/7 shopping access, killer deals, and the convenience of browsing from the comfort of your couch?


And the demand for online businesses is only growing! That's why there are tons of options for setting up your own e-commerce venture in Dubai. So, if you've got a business idea bubbling away, this might be the perfect place to turn it into reality!


Here's what makes Dubai such a fertile ground for online entrepreneurs:


  • Tech-savvy crowd: Forget dial-up days! Dubai's residents are armed with smartphones, laptops, and the purchasing power to fuel their online shopping habits.

  • Convenience is key: Who wants to battle traffic when you can shop from your PJs? Online stores offer round-the-clock access and save precious time for busy professionals.

  • Deal-finding paradise: The competition is fierce, meaning you can score major bargains on everything from fashion to electronics.


So, are you ready to join the e-commerce revolution in Dubai? With the right strategy and the perfect platform, you could be the next online shopping sensation!

What is E-commerce

E-commerce, or "e-business," is all about making money online. Think selling anything from groceries to private jets, all through the magic of the internet.


Whether you're a solopreneur or a global giant, having an online presence is no longer optional, it's essential! In today's digital world, every business needs to be an e-business.


Here's why:


  • Reach a wider audience: The internet opens doors to millions of potential customers, way more than you could ever reach with a physical store. Think of global domination!

  • Open 24/7: Unlike traditional shops, your online store never sleeps. Customers can browse and buy anytime, anywhere, even in their PJs at 3 am.

  • Lower costs: Ditch the rent, utilities, and staff! E-commerce lets you run your business with fewer overheads, freeing up resources to invest in growth.

  • Endless possibilities: From selling handmade crafts to offering consulting services, the possibilities are endless with e-commerce. Find your niche and let your creativity flow! 


So, are you ready to join the e-commerce revolution? With the right strategy and a touch of digital magic, you can turn your online business dreams into reality!

Online trading in UAE

The importance of e-commerce in UAE has never been greater than today. However, the market is still far from being saturated, with just a few big names on the list: 


Dreaming of bringing your business online in the UAE? You've got options! Here's the lowdown on the three main routes:


1. Marketplace magic: Dive into established platforms like Amazon or Noon. Benefit from their built-in audience and marketing muscle, but be prepared to share the profits with commissions. Plus, you'll need to keep your stock levels up and deliveries smooth.


2. Go solo with your own website: Craft your own online haven, free from marketplace fees. But remember, advertising and logistics become your responsibility. Think of it as building your own digital empire, but be ready to invest time and effort in attracting customers.


3. Social media savvy: Connect directly with your target audience on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It's a great way to showcase your brand personality and build relationships, but reaching a wider audience might require extra effort.


The secret sauce? Combining these worlds! Many successful UAE businesses use a mix of all three approaches. Think of it as a multi-channel marketing strategy for the digital age. Leverage the reach of marketplaces, build your own brand identity with a website, and engage with your audience on social media.


So, which path will you choose? The perfect mix depends on your business, goals, and resources. Experiment, get creative, and find the online selling strategy that makes your UAE dreams a reality!

How to start online business in UAE

Thinking of starting an online business in the UAE? Great choice! But navigating the different licence options can get confusing. No worries, I've got you covered.


1. Portal/E-marketplace License:


Imagine yourself as Amazon, connecting buyers and sellers. This licence is for you if you act as an intermediary platform. Think online classifieds or marketplaces. Luckily, most free zones offer this easily.


2. E-commerce Licence:


Selling your own products through your own website? This licence is your best bet. Whether you're a niche store or a giant like Mumzworld, this fits the bill.


3. Commercial/Service License:


Don't see a perfect category for your online business? No sweat! Open a company with any relevant licence and sell online. The law doesn't care how you sell, as long as your activity is legal. So, sell food, clothes, or offer online courses - you're good to go!


4. E-trader Licence:


Looking for the most affordable option in Dubai? This AED 1,070 licence issued by the Department of Economic Development is your answer. Perfect for small-scale online businesses.


5. Freelance Licence:


Freelancing is officially legal in the UAE! Get this licence to advertise and offer your services online, be it design, IT, tutoring, or anything else in the freelance realm.


Remember: There's no one-size-fits-all solution. Choose the licence that best suits your specific business model and budget. Happy selling!

Online shopping sites where you can sell your goods

Most popular way of online business in Dubai is selling goods through marketplaces. Here is a list of online shopping sites in the UAE where you can start your e business:


How to create your e-commerce website in Dubai

First thing you need to have if you want to launch your own e-business is to set up an e-commerce website in Dubai. 


The easiest way to do it is to use ecommerce platforms such as: 

Using them will save your time and efforts and will help to launch your ecommerce website faster. 

Payment gateway UAE 

Needless to say, your website should have a payment gateway to enable your customers to pay by card. There are a few online payment providers in UAE that are friendly to new businesses:



Getting paid is important! Here's how you can receive money for your online business in the UAE:


Popular options:

  • Stripe UAE: The easiest and most popular choice. Setup is smooth, but expect a commission per sale (2-3.1%). Some plans have monthly fees too.

  • PayPal UAE: Familiar and convenient, but not always suitable for all business types.

  • Cash on delivery (COD): A good option for starting out, but can be inconvenient for both you and customers.


Remember: Every payment gateway charges fees. Be sure to research and compare plans before choosing.


What you'll need to get set up:

  • Company documents: Licence, Memorandum of Association (MoA)

  • Personal documents: Passport, residency visa, Emirates ID

  • Address proof: Recent utility bill

  • UAE corporate bank account: Essential for most payment gateways

E-commerce licence in Dubai or UAE

Thinking of starting an online business in Dubai? Great choice! But hold on before you rush for an e-commerce licence. Here's the deal:


You can actually sell online in Dubai with almost any business licence! That's right, the law doesn't care how you sell, as long as your activity is legal. So, whether you offer consulting, sell clothes, or teach yoga online, you're good to go with your existing licence.


But wait, why do people still get an ecommerce licence then? There are a few reasons:


  • Partners or vendors might require it: Some international partners or payment gateways might insist on an e-commerce licence.

  • Selling on marketplaces: Certain popular marketplaces might have it as a mandatory requirement.

  • Peace of mind: Some simply prefer the clarity and specific benefits that come with an e-commerce licence.


An e-commerce licence might not be essential for everyone. Do your research, understand your specific needs, and choose the option that best fits your business model and budget.

Cheapest e-commerce licence in UAE

Ready to set up your online business in Dubai? Exciting times! The good news is, getting an e-commerce licence is pretty straightforward. Most free zones offer this activity, so finding the right fit shouldn't be a hassle.


But before you dive in, let's talk cost:


  • It depends on a few factors: who issues your licence, if you need visas, and any extra facilities like office space or storage.

  • Looking for affordability? Smaller Emirates like Umm Al Quwain's UAQ Free Trade Zone offer some of the cheapest options. Bonus - their licence works in Dubai too!


Here are some popular free zones to explore:


  • UAQ Free Trade Zone: Budget-friendly, great for online trading in Dubai.

  • RAKEZ, IFZA, Ajman Free Zone: Well-established with various packages.

  • DMCC, DTEC: Ideal for high-value goods and technology businesses.

  • Ajman Media City, Fujairah Creative City, SHAMS, Commercity: Cater to specific industries like media and creative services.


Price isn't everything! Consider your specific needs, visa requirements, and future growth plans when choosing a free zone.

E-commerce licence Dubai cost

Setting up an online business in Dubai? Awesome! But navigating the licence options can be confusing. Let's break it down:


1. Location, Location, Location:

Most big e-commerce players in Dubai hang out in free zones. These zones offer special perks and regulations tailored for businesses like yours.


2. The Price is Right (Maybe):

Free zones offer e-commerce licences starting at around AED 15,000. But remember, this doesn't include extras like visas or office space.


3. On a Budget? Meet the E-trader:

The absolute cheapest option is the DED's e-trader licence, clocking in at just AED 1,070! Sounds amazing, right? But hold on…


4. Caveats Apply:

The e-trader licence has some restrictions. It's only for UAE residents and GCC citizens, and your business size and activities might not qualify. Check the details carefully!


There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Consider your budget, visa needs, and business plans to choose the best option. Don't forget to research specific free zone offerings and read the fine print on licences like the e-trader.

E-commerce licence Abu Dhabi

Dreaming of launching your online business in the bustling Emirate of Abu Dhabi? Great choice! But before you dive in, let's talk location:

Playing by the Rules:


Setting up in Abu Dhabi itself helps avoid potential hassles with local authorities and vendors, many of whom prefer working with Abu Dhabi-based entities. Consider it building goodwill from the start!

Your License Options:


  1. Department of Economic Development of Abu Dhabi (ADDED): Offers e-commerce licences, but with a twist – ownership is restricted to UAE nationals or partnerships with them.

  2. Free Zone: If you want full ownership freedom, head to a free zone like KIZAD. They offer e-commerce licences too, along with other benefits like flexible regulations and business support.


Finding Your Perfect Fit:

The choice depends on your ownership preference and specific business needs. If 100% ownership is crucial, a free zone is your champion. But if local partnerships are part of your plan, ADDED could be a good fit.

Each option has its own set of rules and fees. Research thoroughly and consult professionals if needed. With the right location and licence, your Abu Dhabi e-commerce journey can be a roaring success!

Top 10 questions about E-commerce licence in Dubai

  • your existing licence permits online sales, you might be good to go. But check with authorities and consider future growth plans.

  • Free zone or mainland? Free zones offer flexibility and perks, but mainland might be more suitable for local partnerships or specific needs. Weigh your options!

  • Which free zone is best for me? Each zone has its specialties and pricing. Research, compare, and consider your budget, visa needs, and future plans.

  • Is the e-trader licence a good deal? At AED 1,070, it's tempting! But remember the restrictions: UAE residency, limited business size, and specific activities only. Read the fine print!

  • What documents do I need for the application? It depends on the chosen authority and licence type. Check official websites or consult professionals for the latest requirements.

  • How long does the application process take? Again, it varies. Free zones tend to be faster, but mainland procedures can take longer. Be patient and plan accordingly.

  • What are the ongoing costs after getting the licence? Renewals, visa fees, and any additional services you use will add up. Factor these into your budget.

  • Do I need to worry about taxes? E-commerce businesses in Dubai are currently exempt from most taxes. Enjoy the benefit, but stay updated on any future changes.

  • What about visas for myself and employees? Visa requirements depend on your nationality, business structure, and employee roles. Consult visa specialists for tailored advice.

  • Where can I get help navigating the process? Official websites, free zone representatives, and business consultants are valuable resources. Don't hesitate to seek expert guidance!


Remember, the best e-commerce licence in Dubai is the one that fits your specific needs and goals. Do your research, ask questions, and choose wisely. With the right licence in hand, you're all set to launch your online business adventure in the vibrant city of Dubai!

Start Online business in the UAE

We received your enquiry, We'll 

bottom of page