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Starting Event Management Business in Dubai – Scope & Opportunity

Event management requires people skills, organizational skills, loads of hard work, and so on. Nonetheless, handled in the right way, it can prove to be quite a satisfying career/business and lucrative too, especially in the area of Dubai/Abu Dhabi! If you are wondering why there is a mention of these particular places, well, Dubai, with its world’s tallest building, largest mall across the globe, World Trade Fair, festivals and carnivals, etc, provides plenty of scope for event management businesses to flourish. Think about it! Do you have the qualifications, skills and confidence to go into event management or not?

Requisite Skills


Every event is different, and even unique in nature, at times. For instance, Expo 2020 is all about industry, innovation, etc. The organizers have to know and understand everything on a global scale, for launching an international fair on a humongous scale. The team is bound to be a conglomeration of experienced experts from every field.

Similarly, when you take charge of a particular event, you must be able to conceptualize and visualize what the flow of the project should be, and work accordingly. You should be able to look ahead, schedule your strategies well in advance and above all, manage time effectively. At the same time, you need to be flexible, with alternatives in hand, if original ideas fail to take off.


You may be in charge of everything, since it is your own business. Yet, it is imperative that you be a marvelous team player too. Patience and calmness should be integral parts of your personality. Have open and frank discussions with other members of the team, and let them know that you are always on standby whenever needed. Present facts concisely, logically and confidently. True, there is a solution to every problem. Yet, you must also be capable of thinking on your feet, whenever required. Communication skills are important because you will have to deal with diverse cultures and varied ethnic groups, both within the team, and outside it. Let your team know that if they manage to share different ideas and talents, and work diligently, they will be able to present the best event witnessed anywhere on earth!

Be Creative

This is an essential requisite for event management. The audience expects something innovative and different at every event. Towards this end, you must be passionate about your work. Only then, will the creative juices flow in full quantities! Then again, creativity does not stop with just making a plan for the event. It is also needed while advertising and marketing, as well as using technologies (fireworks, sound, lights, special effects, and so on) to the best effect possible. You must develop a keen eye for detail.

Thus, strive to be a charismatic leader with a calm temperament and splendid organizational skills! After all, you have to deal with sponsors, target audience, clients, celebrities, security agents, government officials, ground teams, the media, suppliers, fabricators, and so on.

Launching the Business


Where would you like your official headquarters to be? You may decide to go in for a set up in the free zone or an on-shore area. To illustrate, if you are keen to mingle with the other event management establishments that are resident near the Fujairah Creative City, Dubai World Trade Center, etc, in the free zone, you may go ahead. Alternatively, if you prefer to be a lone wolf or be with just a few others in the UAE mainland region, you may launch your business venture there.

It helps to go for a free zone if you are a foreign entrepreneur. You will not need a local sponsor, thereby allowing you to keep 100% control over your establishment. However, you do not have the freedom to decide where you wish to set up your exhibitions or hold events. You will have to apply for a separate permit for every venue.

Then again, you may not use parks or beaches for your business. In contrast, if you go for a mainland region, you need to obtain permission from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) prior to launching your business, and that is it! You may hold events anywhere and everywhere throughout the UAE.

As for your office, you may rent just a shell and order your own furnishings, or opt for a fully serviced one. Everything depends on how much space you need and what is your budget.


As with everywhere else across the globe, you need to possess official permission to begin a business, specifically in an alien land. With regard to Dubai, it helps that the license is immensely affordable. You may have to shell out anywhere between AED 17,500 and AED 40,000, without worrying about paid upfront share capital related to the hosting of events in free zones or on the mainland. Even if there are upfront costs, they are not heavy in nature at all.

Now, you may opt for a license that is separate for each event, or go in for an event management license that covers all manner of activities. Your set up may be individual, or in the form of a corporate partnership.

The latter helps you to gain access to sharing of office space, resources, etc. You may feel that it is the best way to start, especially if you have little or no experience in the arena of event management. Whatever license you choose to purchase, ensure that you have an application form filled in with relevant details, a copy of your passport, original passport and copies of your zone. You need to submit them to the right authorities in charge of a particular free zone, if your location is a free zone.

If you are lucky, the processing may come through in just one week! However, it takes around 90 days for the Department of Economic Development (DED), to scrutinize applications for setting up a business venture in the mainland area. Additionally, you have the freedom to opt for unlimited visas.

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