How To Set Up A Furniture Manufacturing Company In The UAE

May 27, 2024

Since it serves both aesthetic and functional purposes, the simple fact is that people love buying furniture. In the UAE, the furniture manufacturing industry is on an upward trend, with a market size exceeding $1.9 billion. In fact, the industry is expected to grow at a steady pace of over 3.9% in the coming years.

So, what has led to this industry boom? Three key reasons stand out.

  • With increasing disposable incomes, people are spending more on home improvements and furnishing. 
  • With a large expat population and more nuclear families, people are buying homes that they furnish uniquely. 
  • The rise of new developmental and hospitality projects, all of which need furnishings once complete.

A furniture company looking to establish themselves in the UAE would benefit from conducting market research to understand which category they may fit into. The UAE furniture market is fragmented, with many small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Whether you’re looking to nurture a homegrown brand or pioneer the next leading furniture chain store in the region, here are the business activities you may have to equip yourself with.

Note that every activity below references the manufacture of furniture built with any material except for stone, concrete, and ceramic.

3100.01 – Manufacture of chairs and seats for offices, workrooms, hotels, restaurants, public and domestic premises

There are many furniture manufacturing companies that specialize in one type of furniture. With this business activity, furniture companies can manufacture chairs for a wide variety of settings. A competent manufacturer will produce wide varieties, keeping in mind varied functionalities, design styles, and purposes that each client may require. 

For example, a hotel may require comfortable furnishings for their lobby while a workroom may require something sturdy and multipurpose. There’s room for tons of creativity here, with the potential to appeal directly to buyers and interior designers as well.

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3100.01 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3100.01 is exempt from this requirement.

3100.05 – Manufacture of special furniture for shops: counters, display cases, shelves etc

Any shop, restaurant, supermarket, or store will always require display shelves and counters. Wood, metal, and glass are popular material choices for shelves. Manufacturing of these displays also requires considering factors like weight capacity, ease of access, lighting, and refrigeration.

While functional, furniture designers can also experiment with innovative styles and techniques here. Either way, it’s undoubtedly a profitable business segment for entrepreneurs to create a niche speciality in.

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.05 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.05 is exempt from this requirement.

3100.07 – Manufacture of office furniture

Gaining a special recognition for quality office furniture can set you on the map in the furniture world. For example, Officemaster Furniture, the largest office furniture manufacturer and supplier in the UAE and GCC countries, is a household name in the region.

Entrepreneurs would benefit from understanding market trends, looking closely at client needs, and manufacturing versatile products to fill any gaps in the market. Office chairs and desks are certainly popular types of furniture manufactured under this category, but don’t let that stop you from experimenting further. 

As office culture becomes more casual and informal, furniture for break rooms, creative brainstorm rooms, and futuristic desks (such as walking and standing desks) can set you apart from the crowd. 

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.07 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.07 is exempt from this requirement..  

3100.08 – Manufacture of kitchen furniture

Kitchen furniture is an area that’s constantly innovating and shifting with trends. The top requirements, however, always remain the same: functionality and style.

For example, smart storage is one of the newest trends out there. Storage solutions like hidden drawers, pull-out shelves, and appliance fixtures maximize space and keep things organized. Similarly, kitchen islands are no longer just for prep work. They’re designed to serve multiple purposes, incorporating sinks, seating areas, and even charging stations for devices.

That brings us to technology integration; we’re now seeing Wi-Fi-enabled appliances that can be controlled remotely or with voice commands and features like sensor-activated faucets. A furniture manufacturing company that keeps up to date with these trends will always come out on top. 

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.08 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.08 is exempt from this requirement.  

3100.09 – Manufacture of furniture for bedrooms, living rooms, gardens etc.

As we’ve already established, it’s a great time to capitalize on the UAE’s boom in developmental projects and new families – whether local or expat – who are furnishing their residences. From large villas to modern apartments, the potential here is immense. 

Furniture companies can produce everything from bed frames, wardrobes, and sofas to garden chairs and tables. Space optimization is key in many UAE homes. For example, beds with built-in storage ottomans, platform beds with integrated drawers, and sleek wardrobes that maximize vertical space are popular. Multi-purpose furniture is common even in living rooms, such as ottomans with storage compartments and coffee tables that convert into desks.

In terms of design, natural materials like wood and woven textures, incorporating greenery with plants, and calming color palettes inspired by nature are all gaining popularity. On the other end of the spectrum is the incorporation of technology. For example, smart beds with adjustable settings and built-in lighting, alongside touchless controls for lights and blinds, are becoming increasingly popular for a touch of luxury and convenience.

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.09 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.09 is exempt from this requirement.  

3100.13 – Finishing of furniture such as spraying, painting, french polishing and upholstering

Magnificent pieces of furniture don’t just come to life. They require premium finishing touches and expert craftsmanship. This can include spraying, painting, french polishing, and upholstering of a wide variety of furniture types. 

With this activity, the end-to-end process of manufacturing furniture is now covered. These finishing touches are key in producing pieces that stand apart from the clutter and establish your brand as one to watch out for.

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.13 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.13 is exempt from this requirement..  

3100.15 – Manufacture of mattresses: mattresses fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with a supporting material and uncovered cellular rubber or plastic mattresses

If you’re choosing to go down the residential route, perfecting bed frames – whether they’re smart beds or typical beds – isn’t enough. This activity enables you to manufacture high-quality mattresses to accompany your bed designs. 

Based on their needs, clients can opt for various types of mattresses. As such, having a wide range of high-quality mattresses can get you noticed in a competitive market. Here’s your reminder that SPC Free Zone offers instant licensing for all the business activities mentioned above, making your business set-up process a breeze. 

  • Third-party Approval: No third-party approval is required for this business activity.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 3001.15 is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 3001.15 is exempt from this requirement. 
It’s important to note that the following manufacturing activities cannot be carried out with any of the above licenses (3100.01, 3100.05, 3100.07, 3100.0, 83100.09, 3100.1,3 3100.15): Pillows, poufs, cushions, quilts and eiderdowns, Inflatable rubber mattresses, Light fittings or lamps, Ceramic, concrete and stone furniture, Blackboards, Car seats, railway seats, aircraft seats, Modular furniture attachment and installation, Partition installation, and Laboratory equipment furniture installation.

Did you find what you were looking for? Explore the other guides in our Activity Hub for exploring unique business ideas in Dubai and navigate the essentials of business setup with ease.

You can also calculate your business setup costs easily using our handy cost calculator and choose from our customized company setup packages to find your perfect fit.

Get your business license in the UAE today and explore a world of opportunities waiting for you.

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