Licensing in the field of
education in the UAE

Open a popular and profitable business in the field of preschool, secondary, higher and
additional education in the United Arab Emirates.

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The rise in the standard of living of the UAE’s population, the growing competition of foreign specialists and the increased demand for services in the field of education have created favorable conditions for the opening of private educational institutions. This line of business activity is regulated by the state and provides for 100% foreign ownership of a company. SORP will guide you through passing all licensing procedures smoothly, as well as full support for your education business in the UAE.

Main types of educational and related licenses available in the UAE

All educational activities in the UAE are regulated by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Nursery and

Nurseries (0-3) are licensed by the MOCD. Kindergartens (3-6) are controlled by KHDA

Primary and
secondary schools

Licensing of a branch under an overseas program or local institutions is done by KHDA

development centers

Schools of music, dance, art and additional education are also controlled by KHDA

Universities and

Fall under KHDA control. It is possible to open foreign branches, or federal universities or colleges


Licenses for the organization of advanced training, as well as for personal professional accreditation, are issued by KHDA

Personal development

KHDA also regulates the activities of personal growth institutions: trainings, master classes, seminars

SORP Group services for licensing support in the field of education

SORP Group provides a set of solutions for licensing most types of businesses in the UAE. Being in close contact with Government authorities and holding the status of an agent in Free Zones, SORP guarantees prompt and seamless registration procedures.

Business model

We will identify a suitable business license, then select the best legal entity type for your activities.


Fast incorporation through our close collaboration with the state licensing authorities.

Outsourcing of core
business processes

Administrative, tax, accounting, legal and PRO support by SORP Group experts 24/7.

business address

Rent space in the SORP Business Center - offices with Ejari / Estidama, flexi-desks and virtual solutions

Opening bank

We will provide professional KYC procedures for onshore corporate structures and their shareholders

PRO business

Representation of your interests at state Immigration bodies and Department of Labor. 24/7 support

Features of licenses in the field of education

State control

The state supports the active development of the education sector, but at the same time carefully monitors compliance with quality standards. Business activities in education are regulated by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), and other regulatory and supervisory agencies.

Additional approvals and procedures

Particular attention is paid to the coordination of training programs for each educational course. You need additional permits before you can start any educational business activity in the UAE. Confirmation of an academic plan indicating the schedule, cost, training program in KHDA, CAA or MOCD (for nurseries). Inspection of the premises and equipment by Dubai Municipality (DM) and the Department of Civil Defense. Compulsory insurance of third parties.

Qualifications of management personnel and teachers

The quality of knowledge that each educational institution provides is based on the professionalism, competencies and experience of its managers and teachers. This attracts the close attention of the state to the availability and confirmation by business people of their qualifications and appropriate diplomas of all personnel involved in educational activities.

Success factors for educational activities in the UAE

  • Center for Transnational Learning

    The UAE hosts the largest number of foreign campuses in the world. As of early 2020, 29 branches of Universities from 12 countries accept students in two free zones: Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village. In total, 122 foreign institutions are accredited in the country. This is the world’s highest indicator per capita.

  • State support

    The UAE government allocates 15-20% of its annual budget for the development of the education sector. In 2020, 10.5 billion dirhams (15% of the total budget) was allocated solely for the development of higher and secondary education. This area is strategically important - initiatives and strategies include the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030 and the Education 2020 Strategy.

  • Access for foreigners

    The state has developed unequalled student support in the UAE, thereby attracting young professionals and talented students to the country. Outstanding students (with graduation mark at least 3.75 or 95% academic achievement) can obtain a 5-year resident visa, and graduates of international universities with a PhD degree - a Golden Visa for 10 years.

  • Development of the EdTech sector

    Particular attention is paid to R&D and innovation. National Science Technology and Innovation support programs and direct subsidies from the state under the Ambassador Initiative have been adopted, and educational institutions implementing EdTech practices can receive direct funding from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund

  • Increase in tuition fees

    The demand for educational services is growing annually by 14.5% (according to the Dubai Statistics Center), which in turn leads to an increase in the cost of education. In 2015 a year of study at a UAE university cost $12k-16k on average, and in 2020 this figure was already $22k-27k.

Conducting international educational activities from the UAE

By incorporating your business in the field of education in the UAE, you open up opportunities for doing business around the world from a prestigious tax-free jurisdiction, thus maximizing profits. It is important to comply with the legislative requirements regarding confirming your Economic Substance (ESR) in the UAE. This minimizes the risk of having your international activities considered as suspicious and even suspended.
  • Consulting business

    We will conduct a detailed analysis of your development strategy and recommend changes to leverage effectiveness based on legislation and how business is done here.

  • Company formation
    and licensing

    We will help you choose where to incorporate your business and what form of legal entity is best suited to operating your local or international education activities.

  • Bank account and

    We steer you through passing the KYC procedures of UAE banks to open an account using our close cooperation with them, as well as assistance also with e-commerce.

  • Economic substance

    Confirming that the business management and decision-making center is in the UAE as per the legal requirements of Economic Substance.

  • Registration of tax

    Obtaining tax resident status with protection from the automatic exchange of tax information (CRS), and applying double taxation agreements.

  • International
    tax planning

    Individual solutions to improve the efficiency of tax optimization schemes for doing international business based on legislation and our proven experience.

SORP provides a full range of services for business incorporation and management

SORP Group is a leading consulting group providing the full range of services for business incorporation, management and support in the UAE and abroad. We offer you our proven expertise, impeccable reputation, great opportunities and significant assets:

Comprehensive services

SORP offers comprehensive support for acquired companies and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining Bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. That is why we treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities.

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients acquire, build and develop businesses in the UAE

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

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