How to start a UAE interior design company

How to start a UAE interior design company

August 28, 2022

How to start a UAE interior design company

Interior design is a global phenomenon. Each year redefines the boundaries of popular design, and ultra-modern and retro now sit side by side, with all manner of niche tastes in between. There is demand for interior design services across the globe, and the UAE is certainly no exception. The sector is busy and competitive, and there are high rewards for successful companies.

This article offers an up-to-date guide to starting your own interior design company in the UAE, covering the following topics:

Benefits of starting an interior design company in the UAE

In 2021, the global interior design market was worth around USD 121bn, and the UAE is expected to have an approximately USD 973 million bite of the cake in 2022. Businesses of all sizes, and individual households of all nationalities, are clamouring for the services of interior design experts, and the market can only get bigger.

The UAE has the largest market for interior design in the Middle East, with constant and growing demand for the best solutions the industry can offer. The spotlight shone by Dubai’s Expo 2020 – which ended in March 2022 – boosted the industry, and the Qatar World Cup in 2022 is expected to create a similar upward urge across all industries on account of the large number of companies and people these events draw to the region.

Some interior designers concentrate on business premises, while others focus on individuals’ homes. Before launching your business, it is essential to have a clear business plan that maps out the work you intend to do and the area in which your skills will be deployed.

For example, whichever area you choose to concentrate on, you need to picture your ideal clients and target them. Your marketing strategy should then focus on reaching that target demographic, rather than presenting your business as a jack of all trades. This is a busy market, and you need to know your niche. Your company’s tailored marketing strategy will be central to any business plan you create.

Steps to get a UAE interior design licence

To get started, you will need a professional services licence, UAQFTZ can help you sort out exactly what you need. Either way, the process is very straightforward. There are five basic steps involved:

Step 1 : To request a professional licence, you will need a name for your company, along with two alternatives listed in order of preference. You need to state that your intended area of business is interior design. The company names should avoid referencing other companies and should not include anything that might be thought blasphemous. The application can be sent directly to UAQFTZ.

Step 2 : Submit the required documents, including the application form and a scanned colour copy of your passport, and those of any other named shareholders.

Step 3 : Sign the original company incorporation documents and submit them to the FTZA.

Step 4 : Once the documentation has been approved, send the required payment.

Step 5 : Wait for your commercial licence to be delivered. The process can take as little as one day, so you won’t have to wait long. Cost of renting a warehouse in UAQFTZ 

Documents needed to get an interior design licence from UAQFTZ

Obtaining an interior design licence in the UAE is a simple process with a minimum of red tape and paperwork. To apply, you will need the following:

  • Three proposed names for your consultancy business, listed in order of preference
  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your passport, plus two passport-sized photographs, all in colour. Any other stakeholders involved in the company will need to supply these items, too
  • Proof of residence – this should be a recent utility bill with your name and address

Why choose UAQFTZ?

Business setup in the UAE is simple, and in Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone, it’s the simplest of all. When you set up your interior design business here, you enjoy all the benefits of the UAE’s business-friendly approach matched with the zone’s super-modern infrastructure and low-cost living. There’s a seaport here, and Dubai International and Sharjah International Airports are close at hand.

As a UAE interior design business, you will benefit from UAQFTZ’s zero taxes, 100% company ownership, repatriation of all capital and profits, and no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions. You won’t need a bank letter, capital proof documents, NOC or audit reports when you set up a UAQ Free Trade Zone company.

You don’t even have to be physically present when applying for your trading licence or setting up your interior design business in UAQFTZ. What’s more, there’s no charge for your establishment card.

As the company owner and licence holder, you can use your existing visa, with no requirement for a specific UAQ Free Trade Zone visa. Moreover, as a visa holder in UAQFTZ, you can sponsor your family, as can your company’s shareholders and employees.

Great time for doing business in the UAE

There’s never been a better time to begin an interior design business in the UAE. The region is still buzzing in the aftermath of Dubai’s Expo 2020, during which the UAE and its entrepreneurs were showcased. In many ways, the Expo highlighted what the Free Trade Zones are all about – business, in all its wonderful variety. And whenever there’s a business, there’s an urgent need for interior design services.

Licences in the UAQ Free Trade Zone begin at just AED 8000, and red tape is kept to an absolute minimum. As the company manager, you can also use your existing visa – i.e. there is no requirement for a specific UAQFTZ visa. All visa holders involved in the business can sponsor their families.

So, when making the decision to take your interior design business to the UAE, your first move should be to contact UAQFTZ for a personalized low-cost quote. The launch of your new venture is just around the corner.

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