Ways to Setup a Successful E-Commerce Business in Dubai UAE


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UAE is the country with 91% internet penetration in the world. The digital environment and infrastructure here support e-Commerce growth in various sectors. There is so much room for new entrants in the UAE potential market. Now the first most important question that comes to mind: “How to establish a successful e-Commerce business in Dubai?”

Let’s get you into it. There are six points you must keep in mind before starting an e-Commerce business in Dubai. 

Choosing a Right License

Choosing the right license between the mainland and free zone entirely depends on the nature of selling an online business. Every region has its own rules and regulations and price criteria as well. For instance, If you want to take a mainland e-commerce business license then you must get a TRA (telecommunication regulatory authority) approval plus the license has to be issued by the DED (department of economic development). 

User-friendly Business Application or Website

Once you choose the right license the second step comes to making your website or developing your application. Your website should be income-generating because your overall business has to be done through a website or application. 

Payment Method

The third point is the payment gateways. You can provide many options to your consumers such as credit card, prepaid card, and cash on the delivery systems when creating your e-commerce website or application. These are the most popular payment gateways.

Warehouse and Logistics

The fourth point is warehousing and logistics. If you are selling your products you must have a warehouse or any place to store your goods. Either you can build your own or you can take a rental or a third-party logistics service as well.


The fifth one is the marketing of your products. Doing the right marketing for your e-commerce business means targeting the right audience and the right market who wants to purchase your goods.

Customer Retention and Acquisition

The last one is customer retention and acquisition. This is very important because when you establish an e-commerce business providing 24/7 customer service plus an easy checkout process and user-friendly website these are key factors to generate more business for an e-commerce license.

According to MasterCard, 73% of UAE consumers surpassed shopping online since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Considering all these points the next question comes: what products are permitted and prohibited under an e-commerce business license?

Well e-commerce license is of broader range and almost all products are covered under e-commerce license like:

● Garments.

● Cosmetics.

● Beauty care products.

● Furniture.

● Toys for kids.

● Electronic items.

But there are certain products that are not allowed to sell online like 

● Alcohol.

● Cars.

● Medical equipment.

● Chemical trading. 

For these certain products, you must have to take a Dubai municipality approval or the concerned department approval.

The next question comes: 

What is the process or steps for getting an E-commerce business license?

To obtain an e-commerce license mainly depends on the nature of products, goods, and services. If you want to get a license in a Free Zone, you must approach the free Zone authority and this process is generally done by a business consultant.

To gain an e-commerce business license, there are certain steps to follow:

Step 1

Apply for the name reservation


Initial approval


TRA approval for LLC(Limited Liability Company)

Step 2

Registration process

Step 3

Obtain a license and incorporate documents

Step 4 

Apply for establishments card

Step 5

Apply for a residency visa 

Once you choose the office and get the legal documents like a trade license, applying for a residency visa is a must if you want to open a bank account for your company.

Bottom line

The UAE government plays a significant role in reinforcing smart understandings between businesses and consumers today by improving cashless payment alternatives for various types of purchases and government services in the country. This favorable growth foretells the e-Commerce economy, that it’s highly likely to start your online business now better than ever. But to operate legally, you must get a trade license from a Free Zone or Mainland authority before moving forward.