How to Set Up an Engineering Business in the UAE

June 6, 2024

Starting an engineering business in the UAE offers a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs due to the country’s dynamic and specialised engineering sector. Companies are increasingly differentiating themselves through niche expertise, creating a competitive landscape that rewards specialised knowledge and innovative solutions. The UAE’s strong focus on sustainable development, exemplified by its “Net Zero by 2050” initiative, highlights the government’s commitment to sustainability. This initiative involves substantial investments in renewable energy projects, energy-efficient buildings, and green infrastructure, presenting abundant opportunities for engineering firms specialising in these areas.

Moreover, the adoption of advanced technologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM) is becoming crucial in the UAE’s engineering sector. Firms that incorporate these technologies can offer more efficient, accurate, and sustainable solutions, enhancing their competitive edge. 

If you are planning on setting up an engineering business in the UAE, these are some of the business activities you can choose:

7110.00 Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy

Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy in the UAE cover a wide range of essential services for construction and infrastructure projects. This includes architectural services such as building design and drafting, along with town and city planning and landscape architecture. Engineering design and consulting involve applying engineering principles to create machines, materials, structures, and systems. This encompasses projects in civil, hydraulic, traffic, water management, electrical, electronic, mining, chemical, mechanical, industrial, systems, and safety engineering. Additionally, firms manage construction projects and work on specialised areas like air conditioning, refrigeration, sanitation, pollution control, and acoustics. Surveying and mapping services are also part of this, including geophysical, geologic, seismic, geodetic, land and boundary, hydrologic, subsurface surveying, and cartographic and spatial information activities. Note that you will need an Engineering Certificate for this business activity.

However, this activity does not cover test drilling for mining, software development, computer consulting, technical testing, engineering R&D, industrial design, interior decorating, or aerial photography.

Under business activity 7110.00, you will also find:

7110.01- Architectural Consulting Activities

  • Building Design and Drafting
    This involves creating detailed plans and drawings for buildings. These plans cover everything from the layout and structure to the materials and aesthetics, ensuring that the buildings are both functional and visually appealing.
  • Town and City Planning and Landscape Architecture
    This encompasses designing the layout and development of towns and cities. It includes planning the placement of buildings, roads, parks, and other infrastructure to create well-organised, efficient, and attractive urban environments. Landscape architecture focuses on designing outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, and public areas to enhance the natural beauty and functionality of the environment.

7110.02 – Engineering Design and Consulting Activities

This involves using scientific and mathematical principles to design and create machines, materials, instruments, structures, processes, and systems.

Specific Areas:

  • Machinery, Industrial Processes, and Industrial Plant: Designing and optimising machines and industrial processes, and planning industrial facilities.
  • Civil Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Traffic Engineering: Working on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, dams, water systems, and traffic systems.
  • Water Management Projects: Designing systems for water supply, wastewater treatment, and flood control.
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mining Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Safety Engineering: Developing projects related to electrical and electronic systems, mining operations, chemical processes, mechanical systems, industrial setups, and ensuring safety standards.
  • Project Management Related to Construction: Overseeing the planning, execution, and completion of construction projects, ensuring they are finished on time, within budget, and to the required standards.

7110.03 – Specialized Engineering Projects

  • Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Sanitary and Pollution Control Engineering, Acoustical Engineering

This involves designing systems for air conditioning and refrigeration to ensure proper climate control in buildings and industrial setups. It also includes developing sanitary systems for clean water supply and waste management, pollution control systems to reduce environmental impact, and acoustical engineering to manage sound and noise levels in various environments.

7110.11 Engineering Consultancy

This involves providing expert advice and services in the field of engineering. Engineering consultants apply their specialised knowledge to help clients design, develop, and manage various engineering projects. This can include offering guidance on technical aspects, improving processes, ensuring compliance with regulations, and optimising project outcomes. Consultants work across different engineering disciplines, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering, to assist in the successful planning and execution of projects.

7110.13 Engineering Consultancy of Ship Building

This specialised area focuses on providing consultancy services specifically for the design, construction, and maintenance of ships and marine structures. Consultants in this field offer expertise in naval architecture, marine engineering, and related disciplines. They help clients with the technical design of vessels, ensuring structural integrity, optimising performance, and complying with maritime regulations. This consultancy also covers various aspects of shipbuilding, including materials selection, propulsion systems, safety features, and environmental considerations.

  • Third-party Approval: Business activities 7110.00, 7110.01, 7110.02, 7110.03, and 7110.11 require Municipality approval from the Technical Department, post issuance of the license. Activity 7110.13 needs approval from Ports & Customs Department (Sharjah), 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.

8110.09 General facilities and services engineering consultancy

General facilities and services engineering consultancy encompasses providing a broad range of support services within a client’s facility to ensure its seamless functioning. This includes tasks like general interior cleaning, maintenance, trash disposal, security, mail routing, reception, laundry, and related services. While these activities are vital for the facility’s upkeep, the consultancy units supplying these services are not directly involved in the client’s core business activities. They provide operating staff to handle these support functions, offering essential assistance without assuming responsibility for the client’s primary operations. 

This category excludes offering single support services, managing entire client establishments, overseeing on-site computer systems, and operating correctional facilities under contract or fee arrangements.

  • Third-party Approval: Business activity 8110.09 requires third party approval from Sharjah Municipality post-issuance of the license. 
  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This business activity 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.

A call away from a new future.

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