How to Set Up an Architecture Business in the UAE

May 8, 2024
architecture business in UAE

The goal of any professional architect is to see their vision come to life. With the combined acumen of an entrepreneur and the technical know-how of construction and development, the UAE is one of the best places to explore and start an architecture business. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gaining a global reputation for its progressive urban planning initiatives, massive infrastructure projects, and thriving real estate market. The strategic location of the UAE at the crossroads of global trade routes facilitates a steady influx of investment, attracting a diverse array of clients, from multinational corporations to high-net-worth individuals.

Additionally, architects who place an emphasis on sustainability in their work will find a supportive environment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) thanks to the country’s dedication to cutting-edge techniques in construction and sustainable development, which coincides with the increasing need for environmentally conscious and economically viable architectural solutions.

Starting an architecture firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an exciting prospect due to the region’s welcoming business environment, access to state-of-the-art resources, and expanding consumer demand for creative and original building designs.

Here are the business activities that you can select under your license when establishing your architecture business:

This category involves the expertise of professionals who want to set up a business providing services to clients in architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy. In this field, the business activities include architectural consulting, engineering design and project management as part of a wide array of services offered to clients

Architects provide expertise in building design, drafting, town planning, architecture related to landscaping development, and shaping the physical environment in urban and rural settings. Like two sides of a coin, architecture and engineering go hand-in-hand. Engineering activities integrate principles of physics to design a diverse array of structures and systems, from machinery and industrial processes to civil engineering projects, hydraulic systems, and water management initiatives.

In addition, these experts also focus on achieving clients’ objectives, all while ensuring safe and efficient execution of complicated projects by working on their design and implementation across a wide range of engineering disciplines, such as electrical, systems, mechanical, mining, chemical, and electronic engineering. Due to the extensive range of services provided by architectural and engineering consultancies, it also covers areas such as HVAC, refrigeration, sanitary engineering, pollution control, acoustical engineering, geophysical and geologic surveying, and geodetic surveying, which highlights their complex role in influencing infrastructure development projects and their influence in transforming terrains or landscapes.

However, this category does not include activities such as test drilling pertaining to mining operations, development or publishing of associated software, activities of computer consultants, technical testing, research and development activities related to engineering, industrial design, interior decorating, aerial photography,

Third-party Approval: This business activity requires Municipality approval – the Technical Department after acquiring the business license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 7110.00 is exempt from this requirement.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 7110.00 is exempt from this requirement.

7110.01 Architectural consulting activities

This category includes architectural consulting activities that involve the planning and development of physical spaces. Consultants in this field provide expertise to clients who rely on a wide range of services that include designing, creating blueprints, and creating plans that turn conceptual ideas into physical constructions.

Architects use their creative prowess and technical abilities to maximize the use of an area or terrain while also creating structures that are aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound, whether they are residential or commercial. In addition, architectural consultants are essential in city and town planning, working alongside stakeholders and urban planners to create sustainable and thriving urban environments. They work with clients to plan out urban environments that integrate natural and man-made elements in a way that promotes landscape architectural concepts.

However, this category does not include activities such as test drilling in connection with mining operations, development or publishing of associated software, activities of computer consultants, technical testing, research and development activities related to engineering, industrial design, interior decorating, aerial photography,

Third-party Approval: This business activity requires Municipality approval – Technical Department after acquiring the business license

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 7110.00 is exempt from this requirement.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 7110.00 is exempt from this requirement.


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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