How to Set Up a Chemical Product Manufacturing Business in the UAE

In the UAE the demand for chemicals spans myriad industries, fueled by the UAE’s strategic position as a global trade and logistics hub. Supported by a government keen on fostering growth, initiatives like free trade zones and investment incentives create a welcoming environment for aspiring entrepreneurs in the chemical industry.

But what sets the UAE apart is its resolute drive to diversify its economy beyond oil and gas. This push translates into a burgeoning manufacturing sector, where chemical products play a pivotal role. As an entrepreneur, tapping into this momentum means not just entering a market, but becoming part of a transformative journey towards sustainability and innovation. 

If you want to venture into the manufacturing of chemical products, here are the business activities that you can select under your license:

2020.00 Manufacture of other chemical products

“Manufacture of other chemical products” encompasses the production of a wide array of chemical goods beyond basic chemicals and man-made fibres. This includes items such as pesticides, paints, inks, soaps, cleaning agents, perfumes, toiletries, explosives, pyrotechnic materials, chemicals used in photography, gelatins, and composite diagnostic preparations. This category represents the diverse spectrum of chemical manufacturing, catering to various industries and applications, from everyday household products to specialised industrial and scientific needs.

2021.00 Manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemical

The “Manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemical” class involves the production of a range of chemical substances specifically designed for agricultural purposes. This includes the manufacturing of insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, and herbicides, which are utilised to control pests, weeds, and diseases that threaten crops. Additionally, this class covers the production of anti-sprouting products and plant growth regulators aimed at enhancing crop yield and quality. Furthermore, it encompasses the creation of disinfectants used in agricultural settings and other related applications. This class also includes the manufacture of other agrochemical products not elsewhere classified. 

  • 2021.01 Manufacture of insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides
    This includes insecticides to kill crop-damaging insects, rodenticides for controlling rats and mice, fungicides to combat fungal plant diseases, and herbicides to eliminate weeds competing with crops.
  • 2021.02 Manufacture of anti-sprouting products, plant growth regulators
    This covers anti-sprouting products that prevent unwanted germination and plant growth regulators that influence plant development in various ways.
  • 2021.03 Manufacture of disinfectants (for agricultural and other use)
    This includes disinfectants used in agriculture to kill germs on surfaces, equipment, or seeds, along with disinfectants for general cleaning and sanitation purposes.
  • 2021.04 Manufacture of other agrochemical products n.e.c.
    This is a broad category encompassing various products besides the ones previously mentioned. Examples include soil conditioners for improvement, micronutrients for essential trace elements, and other crop protection products.

However, it excludes the manufacturing of fertilisers and nitrogen compounds, which fall under separate classifications.

2022.00 Manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, printing ink and mastics

The “Manufacture of paints, varnishes and similar coatings, printing ink and mastics” class encompasses the production of various substances used for coating surfaces, printing, and sealing. This includes the manufacturing of paints, varnishes, enamels, and lacquers, which are applied for protective and decorative purposes on surfaces such as walls, furniture, and vehicles. Additionally, it involves the production of prepared pigments, dyes, and colours used to tint these coatings, as well as opacifiers to control opacity.

Furthermore, this class covers the creation of vitrifiable enamels, glazes, engobes, and similar preparations applied to ceramics and other materials. It also includes the manufacture of mastics, caulking compounds, and non-refractory filling or surfacing preparations used for sealing gaps and joints in construction and other applications. Moreover, the production of organic composite solvents, thinners, and paint or varnish removers falls within this classification.

  • 2022.01 Manufacture of paints and varnishes, enamels or lacquers
    This covers paints, varnishes, enamels, and lacquers used to coat and protect surfaces like walls, furniture, or cars.
  • 2022.02 Manufacture of prepared pigments and dyes, opacifiers and colours
    This includes prepared pigments and dyes that add colour to various materials, opacifiers that make things non-see-through, and colouring agents in general.
  • 2022.03 Manufacture of vitrifiable enamels and glazes and engobes and similar preparations
    This covers glazes and enamels used to coat ceramics, glass, and other materials, along with engobes (clay coatings) and similar preparations.
  • 2022.04 Manufacture of mastics
    This refers to mastics, which are sealants or adhesives used in construction and other applications.
  • 2022.05 Manufacture of caulking compounds and similar non-refractory filling or surfacing preparations
    This covers caulking compounds and similar non-refractory materials used to seal gaps, cracks, or uneven surfaces.
  • 2022.06 Manufacture of organic composite solvents and thinners
    This includes organic composite solvents and thinners used to dilute paints, varnishes, and other coatings.
  • 2022.07 Manufacture of prepared paint or varnish removers
    This refers to prepared paint or varnish removers used to strip unwanted coatings from surfaces.
  • 2022.08 Manufacture of printing ink
    This covers inks used in various printing processes.

However, it excludes the manufacturing of dyestuffs and pigments themselves, as well as the production of writing and drawing ink, which are classified separately.

2023.00 Manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations

The “Manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations” class involves the production of a diverse range of products aimed at personal care, household cleanliness, and aesthetic enhancement. This includes the manufacturing of organic surface-active agents used as key ingredients in various cleaning and cosmetic formulations.

Within this class, the production of soap and crude glycerol is central, alongside the manufacturing of surface-active preparations such as washing powders, detergents, and dish-washing solutions. Additionally, it encompasses the creation of cleaning and polishing products, covering a wide array of items like room deodorizers, artificial and prepared waxes, leather and wood polishes, as well as scouring pastes and powders.

Furthermore, the manufacture of perfumes and toilet preparations is integral to this class, spanning an extensive range of products including perfumes, beauty and make-up preparations, sunburn and suntan solutions, manicure and pedicure products, shampoos, hair styling aids, dental care items, shaving products, deodorants, and bath salts, among others.

  • 2023.01 Manufacture of organic surface-active agents
    This involves manufacturing organic surface-active agents, which are ingredients that help water mix with oil and dirt, commonly used in detergents and cleaning products.
  • 2023.02 Manufacture of soap
    This covers the production of bar soap and other soap-based cleaning products.
  • 2023.03 Manufacture of paper, wadding, felt etc. coated or covered with soap or detergent
    This refers to manufacturing paper products like tissues or wipes that are coated or impregnated with soap or detergent for cleansing purposes.
  • 2023.04 Manufacture of crude glycerol
    This involves the production of crude glycerol, a versatile byproduct of soapmaking used in various industrial applications and cosmetics.
  • 2023.05 Manufacture of surface-active preparations: •washing powders in solid or liquid form and detergents •dish-washing preparations •textile softeners
    This covers a wide range of cleaning and surface-active preparations including laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, and fabric softeners.
  • 2023.06 Manufacture of cleaning and polishing products: •Preparations for perfuming or deodorising rooms. •Artificial waxes and prepared waxes •Polishes and creams for leather •Polishes and creams for wood •Polishes for coachwork, glass and metal •Scouring pastes and powders, including paper, wadding etc. coated or covered with these
    This is a broad category encompassing various cleaning and polishing products like air fresheners, furniture polish, car wax, scouring powders, and metal polishes.
  • 2023.07 Manufacture of perfumes and toilet preparations: •Perfumes and toilet water •Beauty and make-up preparations •Sunburn prevention and suntan preparations •Manicure and pedicure preparations •Shampoos, hair lacquers, waving and straightening preparations •Dentifrices and preparations for oral hygiene, including denture fixative preparations •Shaving preparations, including pre-shave and aftershave preparations •Deodorants and bath salts •Depilatories
    This includes a vast range of personal care products such as perfumes, makeup, sunscreens, hair care products, oral hygiene products, shaving essentials, deodorants, and depilatory creams for hair removal.

However, this class excludes the manufacturing of chemically defined compounds as separate entities, as well as the synthesis of glycerol from petroleum products. It also excludes the extraction and refining of natural essential oils, which are classified separately.

2029.00 Manufacture of other chemical products n.e.c.

The “Manufacture of other chemical products n.e.c.” class covers a wide spectrum of chemical products that don’t fit into more specialised categories. It includes the production of various items that serve diverse industrial, commercial, and consumer needs.

This classification encompasses the manufacturing of propellant powders, explosives, and pyrotechnic products, including components like percussion caps and detonators. It also involves the production of gelatine, adhesives (including rubber-based), and extracts of natural aromatic products.

Furthermore, this class includes the manufacturing of resinoids, aromatic distilled waters, and mixtures of odoriferous products used in perfumery or food processing. Additionally, it covers the production of sensitised materials for photography, chemical preparations for photographic purposes, and various chemical substances used in industrial processes such as textiles, metalworking, and construction.

Moreover, products like writing and drawing ink, as well as matches, fall under this classification. 

  • 2029.01 Manufacture of gelatine and its derivatives, glues and prepared adhesives, including rubber-based glues and adhesives
    This covers the manufacturing of gelatin (a protein used for thickening and gelling foods and other products) and its derivatives, along with various glues and adhesives, including those made from rubber.
  • 2029.02 Manufacture of extracts of natural aromatic products
    This involves extracting concentrated flavours and aromas from natural sources like plants, fruits, or flowers.
  • 2029.03 Manufacture of aromatic distilled waters
    This refers to creating hydrosols, also known as aromatic distilled waters, which are floral waters produced through steam distillation.
  • 2029.04 Manufacture of mixtures of odoriferous products for the manufacture of perfumes or food
    This covers mixing odoriferous (pleasant-smelling) products to create fragrances used in perfumes or flavourings for food products.
  • 2029.05 Manufacture of photographic plates, films, sensitised paper and other sensitised unexposed materials
    This includes manufacturing traditional photography supplies like photographic plates, films, light-sensitive papers, and other materials used before the advent of digital photography.
  • 2029.06 Manufacture of chemical preparations for photographic uses
    This covers the manufacturing of specialised chemical preparations specifically formulated for use in photography.

However, it excludes the manufacturing of chemically defined products in bulk, distilled water, synthetic aromatic products, printing ink, perfumes, toilet preparations, and asphalt-based adhesives, as these are classified separately or excluded from this category.

Third-party Approval: These business activities do not require third-party approval. The exception is 2021.00 (Manufacture of pesticides and other agrochemicals), which needs approval from Sharjah Municipality post-issuance of the license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: These business activities are exempt from this requirement.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: These business activities are exempt from this requirement.


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