How to Start an Event Management Company in Dubai

Dubai is undoubtedly a global hub for business, tourism, and events. Its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and welcoming business environment make it an excellent place to start an event management company. In short, the city is packed with business and entertainment events catering to expats and residents.

Whether considering a mainland business setup in Dubai or a setup company in dubai free zone,  the opportunities are vast and promising. The city’s dynamic market and continuous growth offer a solid foundation for new ventures, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs in the event management industry.

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Guide on Setting up an Event Management Company in Dubai

When starting an event management company in Dubai, you have two initial options: setting up on the mainland or in a free zone.

  • Mainland Setup: You can operate anywhere in Dubai and the UAE. You can efficiently work with local clients and government contracts. However, you’ll need a local sponsor who owns 51% of your company.
  • Free Zone Setup: This offers full ownership and tax benefits. Free zones have their regulations and provide many business perks. However, without a local distributor, you can only operate within the free zone or internationally, not directly in the UAE market.

Each option has its pros and cons. Mainland setups offer more market access, while free zones provide ownership and tax advantages. Choose based on your business needs and target market. Moreover, the license type you can choose mainly depends on your activities, such as event planning, corporate events, or entertainment services.

Additional Approvals

You may also need extra approvals based on your business type. For example, if you organise specific public events, you might need permission from Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) or Dubai Police.

Office Space and Location

Choosing the right office location is key to business success. In Dubai, mainland businesses can select from various commercial spaces around the city. Companies in Dubai free zones must set up their office within the designated free zone area.

Virtual Office Options

Startups and small businesses can opt for virtual offices. This provides a prestigious business address without the high cost of physical office space. Many free zones offer virtual office packages, including mail handling and meeting room access.

Staffing and Recruitment

Hiring the right team is crucial for your event management company. Dubai has a diverse talent pool with professionals experienced in event planning, coordination, marketing, and logistics.

Visa and Immigration

For mainland businesses in Dubai, you can sponsor employee visas based on your office size and business type. For free zone companies, the free zone authority helps with visa processing and related formalities.

Analysing the Market

Understanding the market is essential before setting up your company. Dubai hosts many events, such as corporate conferences, exhibitions, and concerts. The city’s diverse population and popularity with tourists solidify the need for event management services.

Do thorough market research to determine your target audience and competitors. Then, decide what events you want to focus on and what services you will offer. This will help you find your niche and position your company well.

Online Presence

Build a professional website that shows your services, portfolio, and client testimonials. Use social media like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to connect with your target audience and engage with potential clients.


Participate in industry events, trade shows, and business networking meetings. Dubai offers many such events, giving you plenty of chances to meet potential clients and partners and increase your visibility.


Create strategic partnerships with vendors, venues, and suppliers. Good relationships with reliable partners will improve your services and help ensure events run smoothly.   

Financial Planning

Proper financial planning is critical to your business’s success and growth.

Initial Investment

Calculate the money needed to start your business. This includes costs like licenses, office rent, marketing, and salaries. A detailed financial plan helps you manage your budget well.

Pricing Strategy

Create a competitive pricing strategy for your services. Look at what others are charging in the market and consider any extra value you can offer to justify your prices.

Funding Options

Look into different ways to get funds if needed. Dubai has several funding programs and grants for startups and small businesses. You can also seek investors or apply for business loans from local banks.

Open an Event Management Company with NH Management

Setting up an events management company in Dubai mainland or the free zone can be promising. Usually, event management startups opt to set up a company in Dubai free zones. However, seeking expert consultancy is important to choosing the right business structure and getting the necessary licenses for your venture.

So, if you’re torn between a mainland or free zone business setup, NH Management . Our team of business consultants understands the local market well and would be able to guide you towards business success. Reach out to our business consultants via email at [email protected] or 800 64628. 

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