How To Set Up A Construction Business In The UAE

construction business in UAE

With a multitude of ongoing and planned projects to boost the country’s development, the UAE is fertile ground for construction companies. In fact, the UAE construction market is estimated at a sizable USD 41 billion in 2024, and is expected to reach over USD 50 billion by 2029. 

The UAE has an enormous number of ambitious building projects both on-ground and on the horizon, such as the MBR City, Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai Metro expansion, Dubai Wholesale City, the Valley, and the Dubai Financial Centre expansion, amongst many others. With these projects comes a demand for competent construction companies and engineering services. 

With the industry’s swift tech adoption through technologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM), for efficient planning, designing, and project management, there is a particular demand for construction consultancy (including both concept and design consultancy) as well. 

From specialized construction activities to construction engineering services, here are the business licenses that we recommend aspiring construction entrepreneurs acquire to kickstart their enterprises. 

4320.00 – Electrical, plumbing and other construction installation activities

Electrical, plumbing and other construction installation involves the behind-the-scenes tasks that make a building functional and comfortable. These specialized jobs involve putting in the systems that bring utilities like water, gas, and electricity to a space, as well as climate control and other conveniences. 

Under this specific license, construction companies can install electrical systems, elevators, heat and air-conditioning systems, along with plumbing for water, gas, and sewage systems, and any other necessary functions the building or project requires. 

As the fastest free zone, SPC Free Zone provides businesses with instant licenses for these construction-related activities, helping entrepreneurs navigate complex paperwork with ease. 

Third-party Approval: Approval from the Sharjah Municipality/Dubai Civil Defense is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 4320.00 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 4320.00 is exempt from this requirement

4321.00 Electrical installation 

Effective electrical installation is absolutely crucial for new constructions. Faulty wiring and electrical systems can be a major fire hazard; proper installation minimizes the risk of electrical fires, protecting the building and its occupants. A well-designed electrical system also ensures your building has enough power for proper functioning. 

It’s at this stage that sustainability can come into play as well, incorporating power-saving features. Competent electrical installation will also ensure everything is up to UAE’s codes, protecting occupants and avoiding legal issues.

4321.01: Under this license falls the installation of electrical systems in all buildings and civil engineering structures. Electrical wiring and fittings, telecommunications wiring, computer network, and cable television wiring come under this category as well. Installing fiber optics such as satellite dishes, lighting systems, fire alarms, burglar alarm systems, street lighting, electrical signals, and even airport runway lighting can be carried out too.

For residential buildings, this also involves connecting electrical appliances and household equipment, including baseboard heating. 

It’s noteworthy to mention that constructing communications and power transmission lines and the monitoring/maintenance of electronic security alarm systems (such as burglar and fire alarms) are prohibited under this license.

Third-party Approval: Approval from the Sharjah Municipality/Dubai Civil Defense is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 4321.00 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 4321.00 is exempt from this requirement

4322.00 – Plumbing, heat and air-conditioning installation

Effective plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) installations are essential for comfortable and healthy living in the UAE’s hot climate. 

Remember that the UAE experiences scorching temperatures and high humidity.  Proper plumbing ensures clean water delivery and proper drainage, vital for hygiene and water conservation as well.  An efficient HVAC system provides cool air and ventilation, creating a comfortable living environment and ensuring energy efficiency. 

With all this mind, this business license that you can obtain instantly with SPC Free Zone is evidently critical for construction firms, including duct work installation. It’s important to understand the specific licenses under this subsection that allow for different installations. 

4322.01: Installation of heating systems (electric, gas, and oil), furnaces and cooling towers, and non-electric solar energy collectors fall under this subsection. Similarly, installing plumbing, sanitary equipment, gas fittings, steam piping, and sprinkler systems (fire and lawn) can be carried out, along with instaling systems required for ventilation, refrigeration, or air conditioning.  

4322.02: For clients and construction companies looking to weave in sustainable practices in their buildings, this license gives you access to the installation of solar energy systems. 

Note that the installation of electric baseboard heating is prohibited under this category; instead refer to license 4321.00 above for this installation. 

Third-party Approval: Approval from the Sharjah Municipality/Dubai Civil Defense is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 4322.00 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 4322.00 is exempt from this requirement

4330.00 – Building Completion and Finishing

In the competitive construction landscape of the UAE, effective building completion and finishing hold immense importance for companies, to ensure client satisfaction, high standards, project profitability and, of course, sustainability. 

Being the fastest free zone out there, SPC Free Zone can provide firms with instant business licenses, a guaranteed banking account within 3 working days, and unlimited visas, amongst many other benefits. 

Third-party Approval: Approval from the Sharjah Municipality/Dubai Civil Defense is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade license.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 4330.00 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 4330.00 is exempt from this requirement

It’s important to note, however, that certain building completion and finishing related activities do not, by themselves, require third-party approval. These are: 

  • 4330.03 – Installation of fitted kitchens, staircases, and shop fittings 
  • 4330.04 – Installation of furniture
  • 4330.08 – Painting of civil engineering structures
  • 4330.09 – Installation of glass, mirrors, and other similar fixtures

Apart from the above, a range of other business licenses (4330.01, 4330.02, 4330.05 – 4330.07, 4330.10 – 4330.12) all do require third-party approval as mentioned above. So, let’s take a look at what these involve. 

In terms of finishing, this includes applying plaster, stucco, or other lathing materials to the finalized construction, painting of these buildings, and a final cleaning after construction. Creative interior work includes completing ceilings, wooden wall coverings, and movable partitions (such as those available in event halls at hotels) and the installation of doors, windows, and their frames. 

Constructions that require shops, mobile homes, boats, or other internal fixtures fall under this stage, as well. Other fittings include those for floors and walls (ceramic, concrete, cut stone, tiles, marble, granite, slate, wallpapers), for stoves (ceramic stove fitting parquets) and other floor coverings (wooden, carpet, linoleum, rubber or plastic terrazzo). 

It’s important to note that while this list is extensive, a range of activities are not covered under this license, including road painting, installing automated and revolving doors, general interior cleaning, specialized cleaning (both interior and exterior), interior decoration design work, and the assembly of furniture that isn’t already built into the structure of the building. 

7110.39 – Construction Engineering Services

Construction engineering services are the glue that holds a construction project together. They bridge the gap between design and execution, ensuring a safe, functional, and successful outcome. These specialized engineers plan, design, and oversee the entire construction process. 

Utilizing construction consultancy and concept consultancy expertise, this involves project management activities related to construction, under the broad umbrella of engineering design and construction consulting services. Working hand-in-hand with engineers, construction engineering service providers act as both project managers and consultants to see a project through to its end successfully. 

Third-party Approval: Approval from the Sharjah Municipality/Dubai Civil Defense is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade license

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 7110.39 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 7110.39 is exempt from this requirement

It’s noteworthy to mention that specific engineering and construction-related activities are prohibited with this license, including test drilling in connection with mining operations, development or publishing of associated software, computer consultancy, technical testing, research and development activities, industrial design, interior decorating, and aerial photography.

This is one of numerous licenses that SPC Free Zone offers entrepreneurs instantly, coupled with a guaranteed banking account within 3 days and unlimited visas for employees, investors, and partners. The fastest free zone, SPC further offers easy payment schemes through selected banks and can fast-track your business needs with its deep experience in the UAE’s construction industry.


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.

Tayyab

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