How to Start a Photography Business in Dubai?

How to Start a Photography Business in Dubai?

Photography is a unique skill, requiring both experience as well as technical materials. Nonetheless, to become a successful photographer, you should be a shrewd entrepreneur besides having those skills and talent. In Dubai, it is recognized as a labor-intensive trade. Individuals and companies hire them to capture their special events and retail needs. This includes subjects like a commercial, fashion or brand, wedding ceremony, portraits, and more. Because of its huge demand in various areas, it can become a profitable business with great success with the right effort. However, before starting a  business in Dubai one has to understand the city’s distinct entrepreneurial setting. So now let’s dig into it. 

What are the formalities for starting a photography business in Dubai?

 It is not that difficult to get a business register in Dubai as a professional photographer or to start a photography studio/company in Dubai. You can select either mainland or free zones for your business. Both zones have their unique qualities and benefits. 

 Now, in case you are planning to start your photography business in one of these free zones, then the best spot you can choose would be Dubai Media City or Dubai Studio City. They propose numerous services for professional photographers. It provides you with the most incredible infrastructure and fully furnished office space. Also, here you can take advantage of the most reputable media hubs and high-tech communication facilities. Additional benefits of starting your photography business in the free zone include attaining 100% ownership of your company, zero taxation charge, excellent infrastructure, and more. 

 This is indeed the right zone you can choose for starting your photography business. Because, after receiving the photographer license from here, you will be provided with different services like 24-hour security & office space, lighting, electricity, air conditioning, office maintenance. Also, you will be able to use the meeting room, lounge area, daily housekeeping service along with collection & distribution of faxes & mails and others.

 The next available location for setting up your business is the Dubai mainland. However, there is one problem with this choice. There won’t be any exemptions similar to that you get from a free zone. Still, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get any kind of benefits. You can have an unlimited number of visas, better choices on business activities, no yearly auditing, and much more. But, as you are a foreign entrepreneur, you won’t be able to possess complete ownership of your company. That means 51% of the ownership must be under a local Emirati sponsor. This is mandatory for setting up any business in the mainland of Dubai. Besides, you have to submit all the necessary documents to relevant departments for obtaining a license. 

 Following is the procedure for setting up your photography business in Dubai:  

  • Choose a Business Activity 
  • Choose a name for your company 
  • Register the trade name
  • Apply for License and necessary Permit
  • Open an account in the Corporate Bank 

The necessary documents required for completing this entire registration procedure are:

  • An application form
  • A copy of the shareholder’s passport
  • A copy of the shareholder’s visa
  • NOC and MOC
  • Business plan
  • Board resolution
  • Articles of association 

To obtain the necessary permits for running your photography business, you must submit documents including your passport copy, CV, business plan, certifications, bank reference letter, and samples of your work to the authorities.

What are the other factors to consider before starting a photography business in Dubai?

What are the other factors to consider before starting a photography business in Dubai?

Dubai is a place of vast opportunities for almost any kind of business. If you are a passionate photographer, it won’t take much turmoil to start a photography business here. However, you have to consider a few things before stepping into launching your business in Dubai.


  • The first step is to choose the right category to work on. Find your area of specialization. There are several types of nooks in photography such as commercial photography, portraits, architectural photography, wedding photography, and much more. Some photographers even prefer to broaden their mastery and their portfolio by following multiple varieties of photography at the same time. 


  • Another important factor is to consider purchasing all the necessary professional equipment for your photography business. This will help you wield your skills and abilities faultlessly. Also,  customers are more inclined to reach out to photographers who have filters, studio lights, lenses, and more.


  • The next step involves promoting your brand. This will help you gain your potential customers in a flicker of time. You can do this without wasting a large amount by just creating a portfolio that illustrates your skills and talent. This can be easily accomplished by organizing your best photos in a folder. They will appreciate your attention to detail, consistency, exceptional aesthetics, and high-quality content.


  • Be ready to make investments for photography permits in Dubai. For any sort of set-up, you are supposed to make investments to make a profit in the long run. You have to invest money to purchase the professional tools, carry out small advertisements, and for any other unexpected costs. It all may seem so difficult, but you need to place a tough schedule for yourself. In the end, you could easily succeed in this field.

Cost of Expense and Likely Income

 After the completion of all the procedures, you will be provided with an FZ-LLC license, security deposit, desk space, and two UAE resident visas with a two-year warranty. This might cost you around AED 48,000. Also, at the beginning of every year, you have to pay an annual renewal fee of AED 35,000. However, with this photography business, you will typically earn around 16,700 AED per month. This is the average monthly income that you can expect from this field. You can expect even more based on the specialization you choose and the effort you make.


 A profession in photography is not an easy task. It’s all about inventiveness and creativity. So there will be a lot of barriers that you have to withstand. Don’t expect that you will be able to make a quick income in no time. Acquire your style and mode to stay unique in this field. In Dubai, any professional photographer would get a large potential customer base. But this requires equal effort and talent.