How To Set Up An Educational Service In The UAE

May 27, 2024

The UAE government is investing heavily in education, set on becoming a global leader in education. As part of this initiative, the government has been consistently increasing funding for education, improving teacher training programs, and developing new curricula. 

Typically spanning Kindergarten to Grade 5, primary education in the UAE is dominated by private schools. This is driven by factors such as the diverse expat population in the country who may be seeking specific curriculums. 

When it comes to secondary education, there’s a strong emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This provides an alternative pathway for students seeking a career-oriented education alongside traditional academic programs. The benefits can range from greater employability to access to a wide range of specializations. 

So for an entrepreneur looking to contribute to this rewarding field, here are the different business activities you may choose from. SPC Free Zone offers all of these with an instant business license, along with a guaranteed banking account in three working days and unlimited visas for partners, investors, and employees. 

8510.00 – Pre-primary and primary education

The purpose of pre-primary and primary education is two-fold. The first goal is to introduce young children to school, encouraging early adjustment to a structured learning environment and preparing them for future academic years. The second goal is to equip students with the basics of reading, writing, and math, alongside introductory lessons in various subjects like history, science, and the arts.

While typically aimed at young children, this activity also enables literacy programs for older people who may have missed out on elementary education, equipping them with the foundational skills of reading and writing, amongst others.

Another major area of primary education is special education for handicapped students. Globally, the importance of inclusive education and specialized learning environments has never been more prominent. Educators entering this field would benefit from keeping this in mind, ensuring their business and educational plans prioritize the learning needs of handicapped students.

It’s important to note that other forms of adult education are prohibited under this, along with operating daycare services. 

  • Third-party Approval: Third-party approval from the Ministry of Education (Sharjah) is required for this business activity, prior to obtaining your business license
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 8510.00 is exempt from this requirement
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 8510.00 is exempt from this requirement

8522.00 – Technical and vocational secondary education

We’ve already established the strong emphasis the UAE gives towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). So, let’s dive into the types of education this activity facilitates. 

To begin with, let’s note that this business activity allows educators to provide general secondary education as well, not just TVET. Subject matter specialization is key here, involving the teaching of both the theory and practical skills associated with each student’s chosen subject. These can be for rather vast, general fields of employment, such as business management, or very specific training, such as for cosmetology. 

Here, teaching locations can vary from educational institutes and workplaces, homes, training facilities, to digital means such as online classes or even television. Remember, this type of technical and vocational education can fall below the level of bachelor’s or master’s degrees. 

Here are some specific fields you can base your educational service center around:

  • Instructing tourist guides 
  • Training for chefs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, 
  • Special needs education
  • Cosmetology and barber schools
  • Computer repair training
  • Driving schools for occupational drivers (trucks, buses, coaches, etc)

Similarly, here are specific fields you cannot enter with this license:

  • Education at post secondary and university levels
  • Other forms of adult education 
  • Art training, for recreational or self-development purposes
  • Driving schools for anyone other than occupational drivers
  • Training social workers (specifically without providing accommodation as well)
  • Third-party Approval: Third-party approval from the Ministry of Education (Sharjah) is required for this business activity, prior to obtaining your business license
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 8522.00 is exempt from this requirement
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 8522.00 is exempt from this requirement

8549.00 – Other education n.e.c

For educators who want to provide specific technical training – not at a school, college, or university level – this license is essential. 

Here, too, teaching locations can vary from training facilities and educational institutes, workplaces, homes, to digital means such as online classes or even television. Essentially, if you’re providing education under this activity, you cannot equip your students with a high school diploma, bachelor’s or graduate degree. 

So, what type of educational activities can you carry out with this degree? 

  • Academic tutoring services
  • College board preparation 
  • Remedial courses
  • Professional exam review purses
  • Language instruction, both written and conversational
  • Speed reading instructions
  • Religious teaching 
  • Computer training
  • Public speaking training
  • Survival training
  • Driving and flying schools

Remember, there are a few specific activities that are not enabled under this, including general secondary or higher education, adult literacy programmes, driving schools for occupational drivers, and cultural education. 

  • Third-party Approval: Third-party approval from the Ministry of Education (Sharjah) is required for this business activity, prior to obtaining your business license
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 8549.00 is exempt from this requirement
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 8549.00 is exempt from this requirement

8550.00 – Educational support activities

Apart from actual teaching services, a range of educational support activities are required to keep any educational institute running smoothly. These are the non-teaching services that ensure students have the resources and environment they need to learn effectively. 

From academic support to counseling and guidance, evaluations, and curriculum development, each activity here is crucial. Here are two specific business activities that enable different branches:

8550.12 – Education consultancy

Educational consultancy can involve counselors who help students with academic planning, career exploration, social-emotional issues, and mental health concerns. Education consultants and educational guidance counselors can operate under this.

Often, it is these resource persons who can shape a student’s educational trajectory. They are the individuals to whom students can freely confide for guidance on both educational and personal issues. For issues beyond their wheelhouse, these experts can guide students to specialized counselors as well.

8550.17 – Educational Services

Testing and exams are a large part of successful educational institutes, and this is where educational service experts come in. Assisting with developing curriculums, devising exam papers, assisting in evaluations and testing, dealing with student concerns, coordinating with academic experts, and ensuring fair examinations are carried out—these are just a few of their responsibilities. 

Note that research and experimental development within the field of social sciences and humanities cannot be carried out under any of these activities under 8550.00. 

  • Third-party Approval: Third-party approval from the Ministry of Education (Sharjah) is required for these business activities, prior to obtaining your business license (8550.00, 8550.12, 8550.17)
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activities 8550.00, 8550.12 and 8550.17 are exempt from this requirement
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activities 8550.00, 8550.12 and 8550.17 are 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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