Mainland Business Activities

Dubai is fast becoming the business center of the world. Big and small entrepreneurs can see the business potential of the UAE region and are flocking towards it to avail of this opportunity to grow their companies and achieve global reach. Out of the two economic zones in Dubai, Freezone and Mainland, it is more beneficial to set up your company in the latter one. One of the important reasons is that there are only many business activities that you can conduct in the Freezone area. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to the Mainland. You can choose out of the thousands of business activities listed by the Dubai Economic Department.

To nurture the business environment and promote economic development in the UAE, the government is welcoming new businesses and investors. When you are looking to set up a company in mainland Dubai, you need to fill up a legal form you choose after identifying the business activity you will be conducting. The type of trade license that will be issued to you is based on your business activity, so you must choose correctly. At Freezoner, our professionals will help and guide you to make the correct choice and set up your company.

Popular Activities

A few popular business activities in Mainland Dubai are listed below:

Hospitality (Food and Catering)

Restaurants, cafes, bars and food related establishments


Buying and selling of all physical products and commodities
Customer Oriented


Clinics, hospitals and pharmacies
Global Market Infrastructure


Freedom to trade goods without restrictions

Event Management

Managing functions, exhibitions and events for public and private clients
Establishing Companies


Manufacturing of products with raw materials and their sales and distribution

Professional Degree for Business

Entrepreneurs looking to start a business that is based on their skills and profession need to submit their degrees in order to acquire a professional trade license. Before they are approved to start providing their services, their degrees are verified, work experience is checked and, in some cases, they even have to take certain tests. Such activities include consultancy firms related to engineering, Design and Architecture, Healthcare etc.

Special Business Activities and Approvals

There are certain business activities that if you want to conduct in the mainland Dubai, you need special licenses and approval from other ministries than DED. These are special activities and extraneous approvals are required to ensure the financial or physical security of the public that may avail these businesses. The concerned government bodies will conduct a thorough due diligence before giving approvals for these special business activities. The examples for these are healthcare where the business owners must seek approval from Dubai Health Authority. Similarly, Financial establishments such as banks will require an approval certification from the Central Bank. Other such business activities are Tourism business, car rental companies, cafes, and gymnasiums etc.
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