How to get an engineering
business license in the UAE

Engineering consultancy and contracting services are in-demand and highly paid business areas in the UAE. Licensing is mandatory and can be complex to navigate.

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Large scale construction and engineering projects remain a core driver of the UAE economy and across the entire Gulf region. Demand outstrips supply for qualified personnel and competent suppliers, and this shortage is driving the attractiveness of the country for foreign companies. SORP Group experience and expertise in the sector is your key to unlocking the rich opportunities in this market.

Main engineering licenses available for business setting up in the UAE to work there and abroad

Range of engineering
works abroad
Consulting, design and developing plans, task execution and commissioning - end-to-end from fleshing out concepts to topping out finished projects and all tax-free.
Designing structures
of all types
Elaborating on engineering plans and blueprints and providing support at all stages from design to implementation of residential, commercial, industrial and social facilities.
A full range of services for the development, justification as well as implementation of the project, as well as the supply of equipment on a turnkey basis.
Electrical Engineering
Consulting at the stage of design and installation of low-current electrical systems, electrical and telecommunications networks, and other electrical installation work.
Engineering systems
for buildings
Installation and design work for duct systems, ventilation, heating, drainage, sewerage, fire extinguishing systems and other structural works.
Commercial landscaping to shape spaces for construction and infrastructure projects from multi-story urban developments to cottage settlements.

The state regulates engineering activities to ensure quality control and excellence. Some engineering activities require multiple approvals from different authorities, often with minimum qualification levels specified for managerial roles – all checked and verified. To fast-track registration of your engineering company SORP Group consultants and experts have developed solutions that will save you time, money and hassle.

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We will choose the right type of company and most suitable place of incorporation for the best fit


Fast processing through the legal proceures based on of our trusted status with DM and DED

Local partner
or agent

Nominee service from SORP Investment LLC with a waiver of rights in the Dubai court

office address

SORP Business Centre provides our clients with the opportunity to rent an office under Ejari / Estidama license, rent flexi-desks or E-office

Opening a
bank account

Cooperation with UAE banks, understanding of compliance procedures and assistance in passing KYC and interviews

PRO - business

Representation of interests at the Ministry of Labor and other state authorities for visas and licenses with support always available 24/7

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What’s involved in obtaining business licenses in the UAE for different engineering activities

Service, repair, building
systems engineering and
landscape works
  • The process of obtaining licenses for these fields of activity is controlled by the Building Department. Additional specialized permits are required from the Road Transport Authority (RTA) or DEWA.
  • Some licenses do not have categories, meaning work permitted under the license can be carried out at any site
  • There are no requirements regarding owner's qualifications, education, or professional experience.
  • Likewise, managers are not obliged to possess specific levels of education or experience.
  • Availability of suitably qualified and accredited engineering and technical employees with the appropriate specialization license is a pre-requisite of obtaining engineering and service, design, and landscape licenses.
Architectural design
and complex engineering
  • A permit from the supervisory authority of the Building Department is mandatory. Additional approvals are also required from other regulatory authorities, such as Civil Defense, RTA or DEWA.
  • There are four categories that depend on or limit the height of the structure under design or proposed construction.
  • G+1 - design up to a height of 2 floors, G+4 - up to 5 floors, G+12 - up to 13 floors, UL - no restrictions.
  • Both the foreign owner and local partner must have minimum education qualifications and relevant professional experience.
  • The license class governs the education and qualifications requirements for managers. The availability of qualified architects and engineers must be demonstrated, the number of which depends on the field of activity and the license class.

Facts you should know when starting an engineering business

Place of incorporation

If you are doing business inside the UAE, you need to incorporate a local (mainland) company. These can freely provide services within the UAE and abroad, and participate in all tenders.

FTZ company incorporation

A company set up in one of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) can only be used for doing business in international markets outside the UAE. Only a limited number of these are issued.

Company ownership

A local company to perform repairs, major engineering, design or landscape works requires a local sponsor who has 51% share ownership (can be nominal). 49% can be owned by a foreign investor.

Professional license

Incorporation of a company with 100% foreign ownership suits carrying out of design and architectural works, and providing consultancy. You must assign a local agent to carry out all interactions with the relevant government agencies.

Legal entity of incorporation

Mainland (local) companies are usually incorporated as LLCs. Liability is limited to the amount of issued share capital. Professional licenses can be formed as Civil Company or Sole Establishment (sole proprietorship) types of entities.

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Comprehensive SORP support services for doing business in the UAE

Defining your
individual business
We integrate ideal development strategies for you based on the competition and the law. Then we choose the right operating license for doing local or global business.
and licensing
New companies are registered quickly and to very high quality standards by SORP Group specialists in close cooperation with the registration authorities.
It makes sense to use SORP’s expert professional administrative, recruiting, accounting and tax competencies, saving the cost of employing highly paid personnel.
Obtaining tax
residency status
Enjoy tax resident (domicile) status shielding you from CRS requirements for sharing your tax details and preventing double taxation.
Tax Planning
We design optimized tax solutions for international business within the full scope of UAE legislation, drawing on our wide experience and successful cases in this field.
Confirmation of
economic substance
We help fulfil proof of economic substance based on the registered location of your company, with its localized decision making as well as management, tax compliance

SORP Group will become your reliable long-term partner in supporting your UAE business

Integrated solutions

A comprehensive approach from drawing up a development plan for an engineering company, obtaining all permits and licensing, to supporting the company's activities

Complicated issues

We have expertise in all areas of the engineering business in the UAE, including specialist tools to help resolve even the most complex issues.

15 years of successful work

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

Expert Status

We are able to make a legally sound decision on the choice of a license based on an analysis of your needs and provide advice on all issues related to licensing.

SORP Business Center

54,000 sq. ft. of modern office space for passing licensing procedures in the UAE and confirming requirements for incorporation.

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