How To Start Logistics Business In Dubai, UAE | Logistics Company in Dubai 2024

Starting a business in the UAE, more specifically in the bustling city of Dubai, is an exciting venture a plethora of business enthusiasts dream about. The city’s prime location as a global hub for logistics offers unmatched opportunities for business enthusiasts and ambitious entrepreneurs. 

This article lays out a step-by-step guide to navigate the complexities of launching your own logistics business, from licensing to location selection. Dive in to learn how to start logistics business in Dubai!

How to Start Logistics Business in Dubai, UAE: Benefits of Starting a Logistics Business in Dubai

Dubai is one such place which offers access to different important places. It sits at the crossroads of international logistics and trade routes, offering access to Asia, Europe, and Africa. This strategic location makes it a global logistics hub. In Dubai, businesses enjoy world-class infrastructure with state-of-the-art seaports and airports like Jebel Ali Free Zone and Al Maktoum International Airport. Such infrastructures are perfect for business expansion. 

These facilities support efficient supply chain management.

The city encourages entrepreneurs by not requiring trading restrictions or minimum capital for new logistics companies. Business owners benefit from tax incentives such as no personal income or corporate tax in UAE free zones in Dubai like Dubai South Free Zone and Dubai Logistics City.

Networking events are common, providing opportunities to forge partnerships with multinational companies and local suppliers in the thriving global logistic company industry.

Types of Logistics Business in UAE, Dubai

Dubai hosts many logistics companies that cater to different needs. You can find freight forwarders who help move goods across borders quickly. They handle the paperwork and get things through customs smoothly.

Sea freight specialists use ships to transport large amounts of cargo around the world. Land transport services move products by truck or train within the Middle East region.

Warehouse providers in Dubai offer safe places to store goods before they are shipped out. Third-party logistics (3PL) companies manage all parts of supply chains for other businesses, making sure products get where they need to go on time.

Each type of company plays a key role in global trade and helps grow Dubai’s economy.

Choosing which kind of logistics service to start depends on what you’re good at and who you want to serve. Moving forward, understanding how to set up a logistics company in the UAE is crucial.

Essential Steps to Start a Logistics Business in Dubai

Embarking on the journey to establishing a logistic company in Dubai involves strategic planning and adherence to several crucial steps – dive deeper into our guide for detailed insights on navigating this vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.

Choosing a Business Activity

Deciding on your logistics business activity is a key step. You can choose from different types of business activities, such as freight forwarding, warehousing, transportation, or a mix of services in Dubai. Think about what you’re good at and where you see demand in Dubai.

Check out the market to understand which logistics services are needed most.

Focus on an area that fits with local needs and your own skills. If you like dealing with customs clearance or enjoy managing warehouse storage, make that your main service. Some entrepreneurs pick specialized activities such as groupage or providing logistical support to niche markets.

Your choice shapes the tools, staff and strategies you will need for your business in UAE.

Selecting a Company Name

Choosing the right company name is a key step in building your logistics business in Dubai. Make sure it stands out and fits what you offer. It must not be taken by another company.

You want to make it easy for clients to remember and connect with your brand.

Your chosen name needs approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Check if the trademark is free, and grab a matching domain online to strengthen your presence.

Follow Dubai’s rules for naming businesses so you avoid any legal issues later on. The name for your company should fit into the local culture while also attracting international customers.

Applying for a License

To start a logistics business setup in Dubai, you need to get a trade license. This business license in Dubai is key to running your operations legally. First, gather all your legal documents and get initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Then choose between a Dubai mainland or free-zone setup for your respective type of business or company. Each comes with different benefits.

Get help from Xpert Advisory if you’re unsure about the process of how to setup a logistics company or get a license. They can guide you through each step and make sure you comply with UAE laws. Submit your application along with required documents like passports and articles of association.

Once approved, pay the fees to receive your trade license for logistics activities. Once you have acquired your license for your logistics company, you can proceed to the next steps. 

Selecting Your Business Location in Dubai

Choosing the right spot for your logistics company in UAE, specifically Dubai, is crucial. You’ll want a place that gives you quick access to shipping routes and transport facilities. Check out areas near Al Maktoum Airport or the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) if you are looking to start a logistics company.

These spots are close to major highways, ports, and airports, which make them perfect to start a logistic company.

Consider free trade zones if you’re thinking about taxes and customs rules. In these areas, like Dubai World Central, you can enjoy benefits such as no import or export duties and 100% foreign ownership.

Each zone has its own set of advantages for different types of logistics sector activities like freight brokerage or distribution centers. Make sure to pick a location that suits your business needs and goals.

Understanding the Costs Involved in the Startup Process

The overall cost of starting a logistics business in Dubai can change a lot. It depends on how big your company is, where it’s located, and the type of company setup you choose. You’ll have to pay for things like logistics licenses in Dubai, equipment, people to work in the UAE for you, and getting the word out about your business.

Starting up in either UAE Mainland, Free Zone or Offshore affects how much money you will need too. For example, in a Free Zone area you might save on taxes but might have other costs.

A basic startup could be around AED 18,000 but talking with Xpert Advisory experts can help figure out what exactly you’ll need to pay. They offer tailored advice for setting up your business right.

Necessity of Freight Forwarding in Logistics Business

Knowing startup costs is just part of the equation in logistics. Freight forwarding plays a vital role, too. It involves moving goods across borders, handling customs clearance, and ensuring timely delivery.

These tasks are complex and need experts for smooth logistics operations.

Freight forwarders act as middlemen between shippers and transportation services. They manage paperwork like bills of lading and negotiate shipping terms with carriers. For businesses in Dubai that import or export, freight forwarders are crucial partners.

They help navigate trade laws set by the jurisdictions in Dubai and streamline shipment processes for all types of cargo – from containers to RoRo shipments.

Overview of the Required Licenses and Permits

Navigating the regulatory landscape is a fundamental step in launching your logistics business in Dubai. Acquiring the appropriate licenses and permits can be likened to obtaining keys that unlock various segments of this dynamic industry.

To operate legally, it’s imperative for a business to secure specific documentation depending on its intended activities; sea cargo transportation requires distinct licensure from land cargo services or third-party logistics (3PL).

The setting up process of logistics company requires close attention to detail – each permit comes with its set of rules and compliance standards dictated by local authorities.

Diverse options exist whether you choose mainland or free zone operations for your logistics company formation, in Dubai influencing which type of trade license application fits best for your enterprise.

Companies based in free zones in the UAE benefit from unique advantages like tax exemptions and customs duty benefits, although their scope may be geographically restricted within those zones. This is why chosing free zones for logistics company setup is a smart decision. 

Mainland companies enjoy broader market access but must adhere to different sets of regulations including engaging with local service agents or partners if foreign investors wish to retain 100% ownership.

It’s crucial that entrepreneurs align their business objectives with the right licensing framework while ensuring all guidelines are meticulously followed during the visa application process as well as when setting up corporate bank accounts and establishing contracts with customs brokers for smooth business operations.

Understanding the Role of UAE Government Agencies in Business Setup

UAE government agencies are key players in setting up logistics businesses. They check your plans and make sure you follow all rules. You need their okay to start your business, i.e., logistics company. They will ask for documents and details about your business.

These agencies also set the fees for licenses and permits to set up your logistics company. Their approval is a must before you can officially open your logistics business in Dubai, UAE. They ensure that each logistics company meets the standards of Dubai’s dynamic market.

Documents Required for Starting a Logistics Company in Dubai

Starting your logistics company in Dubai requires specific documents. These papers prove your business’s legal status and allow you to operate within the city.

  • Passport copies of all shareholders: You need clear copies of each shareholder’s passport. This helps to identify who owns the business.
  • Personal details of shareholders and managers: Provide full names, addresses, and contact information for all involved in the company.
  • Trade name reservation certificate: Secure a unique name for your logistics company and get proof that it’s reserved just for you.
  • Attested Articles of Association (AOA): These are official records that outline your company’s rules. They must be approved by the relevant authorities.
  • Attested Memorandum of Association (MOA): This document describes your business activities and business structure. It also needs official stamps.
  • Legal agreement for physical address: Show where your business will be located with a lease or similar document. You must have a place to work from in Dubai.

Identifying the Major Logistics Business Hubs in Dubai

Dubai Airport Free Zone stands out for its close proximity to Dubai International Airport, making it a key location for air freight businesses. Jebel Ali Free Zone is another essential hub, offering direct access to one of the world’s largest ports and catering primarily to sea freight operations.

Logistics companies flock to Dubai South Free Zone for its strategic position near Al Maktoum International Airport and the Expo 2020 site. Similarly, Dubai World Central, now known as Dubai Logistics City, integrates all transport modes, logistics, and value-added services in a single bonded and free zones’ favorable business environment.

These hubs are magnets for logistics firms because they provide tax exemptions, full foreign ownership rights, and no currency restrictions. Efficient customs clearance processes in these zones help businesses streamline their operations.

With such robust logistical support available in downtown Dubai and its major business hubs, your company can connect easily with global logistics markets. Now that we have talked about access to downtown Dubai,  let’s prepare for launching your logistics enterprise into this dynamic market space.

Launching Your Logistics Business in Dubai

Launching your logistics business in Dubai is an exciting step. Here’s how to get your company off the ground:

  • Complete all paperwork and obtain necessary approvals from UAE government agencies or government of Dubai. 
  • Find a suitable location for your office and warehouses.
  • Set up a logistics business infrastructure, including offices, warehouses, and transport vehicles like trucks or trains.
  • Hire a skilled team that understands the logistics industry and the UAE market.
  • Create a detailed business plan to guide your business growth and operations.
  • Open a corporate bank account to handle finances efficiently.
  • Purchase insurance policies for your assets and operations to promote logistics company’s safety.
  • Develop relationships with retailers, suppliers, and other businesses in your network.
  • Invest in fleet management systems to monitor vehicles and goods.
  • Build a strong online presence with a company website and social media profiles.
  • Stay informed about changes in customs brokerage, taxation policies, and other legal requirements.
  • Offer excellent customer service to build trust with clients.


Starting a logistics business in Dubai means tapping into a world of opportunity. Entrepreneurs can benefit from the city’s prime location and robust infrastructure. With helpful government agencies and expert guidance from companies like Xpert Advisory, which is one of the best business setup services in Dubai, setting up a business is made smoother.

Get ready to join the bustling trade of the Middle East. Your new venture awaits in this dynamic logistics hub!


1. What do I need to start a logistic business in Dubai?

When it comes to establishing a logistics company in Dubai you will need a licence, understand the tax system, and know about visas for any employees you might hire.

2. Can I own a logistics company by myself in Dubai?

Yes, you can run your logistics company as a sole proprietorship in The United Arab Emirates.

3. Is an entry visa required to begin my logistics business in Dubai?

You’ll need an entry visa if you’re not from the UAE to set up your logistical operations and get everything moving.

4. Do I partner with brands or work alone when starting third-party logistics in Dubai?

When beginning with third-party logistics in Dubai, partnering with established brands could help grow your business faster but working alone is also an option.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only. The content is provided “as is” and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding its accuracy, completeness, or suitability. Any reliance on the information is at your own risk. We are not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of this blog.

* – Fees and Costs Mentioned are for Reference Only.

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