Photography Business in the UAE

Photography Business in the UAE


One of the crucial component of successful moving to the other country is a possibility to mind your favorite business.


Photo business is gaining an exceptional turnaround in the United Arab Emirates.

First of all it has to do with strong growth and strengthening the position of tourist sector of UAE’s economy. For example, in the first half of 2017 the number of the tourists, who stayed in the hotels of Dubai city at least for one night is about 8,06 Million people.


The desire to keep as a souvenir about Arabic fairytale a few quality snapshots against the backdrop spectacular scenery arise in more and more tourists.


Let us also not forget about advertising photo-shoots. International companies fully use the urban beauty of the cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the incredible photo and video footages. And you might say that the obtained result is quite good.


Just look at Mercedes-Benz, who asked the famous sportsmen to perform various tricks in the iconic places of Dubai. One of them – Nick Jacobsen – outdid yourself and jumped from the world’s only seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab. The quality of the footage is really fascinating.


The main question arises: how the successful photographer can comfortably, and more importantly, legally do his own business and earn good money in the UAE?


Let’s answer on the main question, which bothers minds of every self-employed entrepreneur: what to do with the visa?


For the legal, sustainable business in this country tourist or visit visa is not the optimal choice. Repetitive flights and counting of the passed from the last enter of UAE days do not contribute to quality doing of the business.


Photography Business in the UAE


For the photographer exist 4 optimal choices of the registration of their business, namely:


  1. Getting the permit for the freelance activity in the free zones of the UAE, for example in the UAQ Free Zone Authority;
  2. Getting of the service license for the photography service in any of the freezones of the UAE with the possibility of getting up to 3 visas and without the need to rent the office space;
  3. Getting of the service license for the photography services in any of the free zones of the UAE with the possibility to rent the office space in the area of the chosen free zone and getting the visas for the staff starting from 3 visas;
  4. Registration of the company in the mainland of any of the Emirates without the limitation of location of your company’s office and doing the business throughout the UAE.


Well, let’s figure out what choice is more suitable precisely for you.


Some of the free zones of the UAE, for example Umm Al Quwain Freezone Authority, allows an individual to operate as a freelance professional, and conduct business in one’s birth name as opposed to a brand name or company. The Freelance Permit is designed for individuals who operate in technology, media and film sectors, and is issued to talent roles, creative roles and selected administrative roles.


The advantages, which you are getting with the freelance permit are the following:


  1. 2 years visa;
  2. The optimal cost of the permit;
  3. The absence of the requirement for the renting the office space;
  4. The possibility of the renewal of the permit on yearly basis.


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This is the best option for those, who don’t want to open a company, rent an office space and hire the staff.
But what about the one, who needs the space for the photography service, for example studios for the document’s photos or regular photo studios with the various of the interiors? What if your business implies hiring of few employees and you need to generate employment?


Here the photographers and the owners of the photo business have remain 3 choices of the license registration for the photo services in any of the free zones at your convenient or in the mainland of chosen Emirate. The key role plays the desired location of the office and character of the provided services.


  1. If services will be provided only in the office of the registered company (photo studios) – you are free to choose one of the 2 alternative – free zone or mainland structure. The crucial role will play only your personal preference regarding the location of the office.
  2. If your services will be provided outside of the office – exterior shooting, advertising campaign – the registration of the company can be done only in the mainland.

Photography Business in the UAE


The quantity of the visas and employees will depend on the rented floor space. Each and every free zone, just like the mainland department of any Emirate, imposes its own restrictions and rules.
By taking into consideration your budget and requirements, you are free to choose the most affordable and suitable option.


Our company stands ready to assist you with your company formation. On our website you can register your interest and apply for the FREE consultation.



Related Article: Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone Company Setup Benefits


Svitlana Photo
Company Formation Specialist


Svitlana;  Company Formation Specialist

She loves meeting new people and helping clients achieve their business dreams.