Dubai happens to be one of the most attractive cities in the world as far as tourism is concerned. This is also one reason why it is recognized to such an extent as a tourist destination around the world. Till 2014, Dubai had attracted around 10 million tourists and it is expected that in the days ahead the number would only grow by 200 percent. It is because of the flourishing nature of the industry that so many people look to set up their travel and tourism business over here.
The legal procedure for opening a travel business in Dubai
The process to start a travel agency over here is quite simple as such. However, for that, you need to follow all the steps that are necessary for you to register your business over here. It is very important that you apply for the right kind of tourism-related license when you are trying to start your travel business over here. The four main options that you have in this regard are the travel company license, the inbound travel operator license, the travel agency license, and the outbound travel operator license. The kind of license that you want to apply for is dependent on the kind of company that you want to start over here.
The first thing that you need to do in order to get a travel license is to deposit an amount of 100,000 dirhams with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. After this, you also need to submit a few documents with said body.
They may be enumerated as below:
- a form of application
- a copy of the certificate of experience of your manager – it should be notarized
- copies of passports of the manager and the applicants
- certificates of conduct belonging to the manager and the owner of the company
- Khulasat Al Qaid – a family record, and a copy of the identification documents (applicable for nationals of the United Arab Emirates or UAE)
- a no objection letter from the Civil Aviation Authority
Apart from the documents, there are some requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to start a travel business over here in Dubai. It is very important that the manager of the company has experience of three years in case she or he has a university-level certificate or diploma in tourism and travel. In case she or he has only a high school diploma then she or he should have at least five years’ experience in the field. There are also some formalities that the owners need to complete in order to get said license. First of all, they need to pay an approval fee and after this seek the approval of the trade name of the agency. Next, they have to provide an insurance policy after which they have to furnish a blueprint of the location where said agency will operate and provide a lease contract as well. The contract should be valid for at least three months and there should be at least 30 m space in the office.
Creating the website
The next step that the owner of a travel agency in Dubai needs to do is start a website. These days, most of the people that visit various places want to work with agencies that provide online services such as booking. With a website, it will be easier for you to make a name in this industry that can be described as being highly competitive at the very least. This way, you would also be able to place your holiday packages on travel deals websites like Holidayfactors.com.
Marketing and branding
In this day and age of impression-based decisions, it is very important that you market yourself well and create a strong brand for yourself. For this, you need to make the most of all the different avenues of advertising that may be open to you. It could be as diverse as social media, flyers, and ads on the local radio for that matter. You can use business cards as well. This is always the case where more is merrier. Always make lists of clients that contain their email addresses as well as their preferences for being contacted. This way, you would also be in a better position to send promos and other offers to your clients.
Some other things to take care of
Apart from what has been said already it is also important to make sure that certain other areas and facets are taken care of. First of all, you need to decide if you are going to fly solo or not. You could have a total travel agency to yourself or you could work independently as a travel agent. In case, you decide to work solo you would get a commission from the travel agencies that you connect your clients to.
A concluding note
However, it also needs to be accepted that working as a consultant is not really that glamorous as such. On the flipside, you will be able to work from your home and at a time of your own choosing. It is a lot more economical as well. However, even if you started a travel agency as such you could always set up partnerships with others of your ilk or specialize in certain services only.