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.

Presentational image for an article

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

SORP solutions for licensing and support of
engineering businesses in the UAE


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


Fast processing through the legal
procedures 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

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.

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.

  • Company
    and licensing

    New companies are registered
    quickly and to very high quality
    standards by SORP Group
    specialists in close cooperation
    with the registration authorities.

  • Business

    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

  • International
    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

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).

Contact us on WhatsApp