How To Set Up An Engineering Firm In The UAE

engineering firm in dubai

With its unmatched skyline, landscape, and infrastructure, the UAE is on an ambitious path towards swift development. The country is investing heavily in mega-projects, and it’s safe to say that the demand for engineering services and consultancy is booming, with specific demands for civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and architectural services. The growth of the industry is also being driven by the UAE’s focus on renewable energy projects such as solar and wind power and green buildings. This has created a demand for sustainable design and construction expertise.

There are several business activities you can choose from to set up your engineering firm in the UAE. The fastest free zone, SPC Free Zone, offers instant business licenses for all of these activities. Here are the most popular business licenses within this category:

7110.00 – Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy

Under the broad categories of architectural, engineering, drafting, building inspection, and surveying and mapping services, this covers numerous essential activities for engineering firms. 

Note that 7110.02 and 7110.03 under this license enable subsections of these activities below, which are specified underneath.

Under architecture, engineering firms can embark upon business design and drafting, along with town and city planning and landscape architecture. This gives firms the ability to flex their creative muscles and ensure their contribution towards the developing UAE landscape is a unique one. 

When it comes to safety, skimping out on surveying is never an option. From informed designed decisions to construction safety and legal compliance, this license is essential for firms conducting geophysical, geologic, and seismic surveying. Geodetic surveying (including land and boundary, hydrologic, subsurface, and both cartographic and spatial informational activities) falls under this as well.

A vast majority of engineering design activities fall under one umbrella of this license. Remember that engineering design here specifically refers to the process of applying the physical laws and principles of engineering in the design of machines, materials, instruments, structures, processes and systems. 

7110.21: Under this specific license, the following design activities, along with consultation for these activities are enabled: 

  • Machinery, industrial processes, and industrial plant activities 
  • Civil, hydraulic, and traffic engineering work 
  • Water management 
  • Involvement of electrical, electronic, mining, chemical, mechanical, industrial and systems, and safety engineering
  • Any project management for construction-related projects

But engineering and architecture isn’t limited to these just activities. 

7110.3: Going a step further, consultants with this specific license can be involved in air conditioning, refrigeration, sanitary and pollution control engineering, and acoustical engineering, amongst others. This process is necessary for most indoor spaces, creating appropriate ventilation, temperature control, appropriate disposal systems, and sound quality. 

Third-party Approval: Municipality approval – Technical Department is required for this business activity, post obtaining your trade 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

It’s important to note 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.

7110.11 – Engineering consultancy (of which, 7110.13, 7110.17, 7110.18, 7110.20, 7110.2, 7110.22, 7110.24, 7110.25, 7110.26, 7110.27, 7110.28, 7110.31, 7110.32, 7110.33, 7110.34, 7110.38 , 7110.39)

Every project has its specific needs, making access to reliable and innovative engineering consultancy solutions imperative. To make sure every project under your belt is completed with efficiency, safety, and according to the UAE’s stringent regulations, an engineering firm must have access to top-notch consultancy. 

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

Third-party Approval: Municipality approval – Technical Department is required for this business activityFiling of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 7110.11 is exempt from this requirementAnti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 7110.11 is exempt from this requirement

It’s important to note, however, that certain business activities require special third-party approvals based on the nature of the business activity. All of these approvals must be obtained after securing your trade license, and not before.  

So, here’s a breakdown of the various types of engineering consultancy this license empowers you to conduct.


Unique Third-party Approvals: No unique third-party approvals are required for the business activities below. 

  • 7110.17 – Mass Media Engineering 
  • 7110.20 – Electronic Devices 
  • 7110.18 – Engineering in Management information systems
  • 7110.22 – Manufacturing and Materials 
  • 7110.24 – Raw Material Installation 
  • 7110.26 – Illumination and external lighting for buildings
  • 7110.27 – Safety And Evacuation 
  • 7110.28 – Engineering with 3D printing technology
  • 7110.31 – Communications Engineering 

Unique Third-party Approvals: Third-party approval from the Ports & Customs Department (Sharjah) is required for this business activity

  • 7110.13 – Engineering for Ship building

Unique Third-party Approvals: Third-party approval from the Sharjah Municipality is required for these business activities

  • 7110.25 – Interior Design Engineering 
  • 7110.32 – Civil Engineering 
  • 7110.33 – Coastal Engineering 
  • 7110.34 – Mechanical Engineering 
  • 7110.38 – Electrical Network & Distribution 
  • 7110.39 – Construction Engineering
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.

8110.09 – General facilities and services engineering consultancy

With consultancy in general facilities and services engineering, a firm can provide expertise in planning, designing, and managing facilities and the systems that keep them operational. These consultancies can be involved in all stages of a building’s life cycle, from planning and construction to ongoing operation and maintenance.

General facilities and services engineering consultancies can be a valuable resource for businesses and organizations of all sizes. They can help ensure that facilities are planned, designed, constructed, and operated in a way that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective. 

Operations and maintenance are the core of this activity. This includes developing plans and procedures for the ongoing care and maintenance of the facility—general interior cleaning, maintenance, trash disposal, guard and security, mail routing, reception, laundry, and related services.

It’s important to note that this is distinctly separate from the core business activities and primary operations. Those providing services under this business activity must be involved in a significant number of services, not just one (for example, only providing laundry services). They also cannot completely carry out the entirety of business operations or provide and manage the company’s computer systems and/or data processing facilities. The operation of correctional facilities is prohibited as well. 


With SPC Free Zone’s instant business licenses, obtaining this license can be a breeze, along with guaranteed banking accounts within 3 days and unlimited visas. Here are the other approvals you need to keep in mind.

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

Filing of Economic Substance Return: Business activity 8110.09 is exempt from this requirement

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Business activity 8110.09 is exempt from this requirement

Tayyab

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