How to Get a Tour Guide License in Dubai

The popularity of Dubai as a famous tourist destination has been on the rise for several years. With its most luxurious hotels and an ultra-modern city, Dubai has become the top choice for many international visitors. Be it for solo travelers or families, Dubai offers a one-of-a-kind experience that caters to the diverse needs of different demographics.

Every year, the influx of tourists continues to grow to visit the world’s biggest skyscrapers, mesmerizing architecture, and iconic malls. As one of the most visited tourist destinations, Dubai presents a lot of opportunities to take advantage of its reputation. Being a tour guide in Dubai can help you explore various business opportunities the city offers. In this article, we’ll discuss how to obtain a tour guide license in Dubai and how to grow your career.

Why opt for a tour guide license in Dubai?

Renowned as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Dubai offers plenty of opportunities for you to explore as a guide. But to provide valuable services, you need to have a valid tour guide license. A tour guide license stands as proof of your authenticity and credibility as a tour guide and your commitment to offering quality services. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) oversee the licensing activities and check if you are eligible to provide high standards of service to visitors. To obtain a tour guide license, you’ll be required to undergo training, examination, and approval to maintain an exceptional quality of tour guide service in Dubai.

How to become a tour guide in Dubai?

To work as a tour guide in Dubai, you’ll need to possess certain qualifications. Here are some requirements you must have before applying for a tour guide license in Dubai.

Basic Requirements

Before you can begin this fulfilling career path, certain requirements must be met. DTCM, the authority responsible for issuing tour guide licenses, has established certain guidelines to guarantee the utmost level of service for the country and its visitors.

Education and Training

There are several examinations and training programs that you need to attend to be eligible to apply for a tour guide license. Some renowned institutions also offer courses that help you to understand the city’s major and notable attractions as well as how to offer the best customer service. You will be evaluated in various aspects, including your ability to conduct a tour through written exams, interviews, and practical assessments.

Interpersonal Skills

Being proficient in the language spoken by the tourists enables you to deliver the best customer service to them. With good language skills, you can efficiently communicate with different tourists. Interpersonal skills are also quite important for a tour guide and you can help them gain a memorable experience visiting Dubai. The training programs and examinations guarantee that licensed tour guides are well-prepared to share Dubai's rich cultural and historical heritage with international visitors.

Cultural and historical knowledge about Dubai

It is crucial for a tour guide to possess a deep understanding of Dubai’s culture and history. Equipped with in-depth knowledge about Dubai, you can help tourists develop an appreciation for the city. The training programs and examinations ensure licensed tour guides are well-equipped to share Dubai’s rich cultural and historical legacy with international visitors.

How to Obtain a Tour Guide License?

Getting a tour guide license is a simple and relatively easy process. With adequate qualifications, anyone can apply for a license. A tour guide is responsible for guiding and accompanying tourists to different culturally and historically relevant sites in Dubai and providing information about them. Here are the conditions you must fulfill to secure a tour guide license in Dubai.

  • The tour guide needs to have a valid badge from the DTMC to lead the tour.
  • You must have completed the Tour Guide Award Programme to apply for the badge.
  • The tour guide license badge is valid for just one year, so you'll have to renew it.
  • In order to renew the tour guide license badge, the applicant must attend the annual refresher course each year.
  • In the case that a person fails to renew their badge for two consecutive years, they can be subject to penalties.
  • The tour guide should always wear their tour guide badge.

Steps to Acquire a Tour Guide License in Dubai

To obtain a tour guide license, here are the procedures you need to follow.

Apply for tour guide evaluation: To begin the process, you should gather and submit all the necessary documents. The documents are a no objection letter, police clearance certificate, academic certificate, English proficiency certificate, first aid certificate, Emirates ID, and passport-sized photos.

Prepare for the exam: If you meet all the eligibility criteria, then the next step is to prepare for the exam. Several institutions provide training programs for tour guides. Through these programs, you can acquire a deep understanding of the history and culture of Dubai. You will also gain the practical skills required to conduct a tour.

Apply for license: You become eligible to apply for the license, if you successfully clear the exam. The DTCM scrutinizes each application to choose applicants who can deliver professional services to tourists and maintain high standards of tour guiding services. 

Cost of Tour Guide License in Dubai

Getting a tour guide license in Dubai isn't free - there are some costs involved. You'll need to pay for the training, exam, and license application. The costs of becoming a licensed tour guide are minimal compared to the benefits. With a tour guide license, you gain access to job opportunities, networking, and the chance to showcase your love for Dubai to visitors globally.

Advantages of Having a Tour Guide License in Dubai

As the tourism industry in Dubai is continuously growing, there are a lot of opportunities created for tour guides. Based on your skills and interests, you can choose a job opportunity in the flourishing tourism sector in Dubai.

Freelancer: If you love to be your own boss and enjoy the flexibility of choosing your work, then becoming a freelance tour guide will be the best choice for you. This allows you to plan your schedules as per your convenient working hours for conducting tours.

Work for travel agencies: Many travel agencies in Dubai hire the services of a licensed tour guide to carry out their tours. Working with travel agencies provides you with an opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds, which in turn will help you improve your skills and gain more experience. Becoming a licensed tour guide in Dubai offers both professional growth and personal satisfaction.

If you are eager to explore various business opportunities in the field of tourism, you also have the option to set up a tourism company in Dubai. Let’s look at the procedure to launch a travel and tourism company in Dubai.

How to Setup a Tourism Company in Dubai

To establish a travel and tourism company in Dubai, it is necessary to obtain a travel and tourism license. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai, is responsible for approving travel and tourism licenses. To acquire a license in Dubai, individuals are required to pay a fee ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh200,000. The process of obtaining a travel company license in Dubai varies depending on the type of company you want to register.

Steps to obtain a travel agency license

  • The first step is to pay the registration fees for the approval of the license.
  • Next, register the trade name of the agency and get the approval to use the trade name.
  • An insurance policy needs to be presented to the license office. 
  • The blueprint of the office or agency must be accompanied by a lease contract or a copy of the agreement.

Different Types of Travel and Tourism Licenses in Dubai

If you are planning to start a travel and tourism company in Dubai, you need to know that there are three types of licenses.

  1. License as an operator of Inbound Tourism

With this license, you can arrange inbound tours. Inbound tours typically mean tours that are arranged within Dubai. These tours are specifically for foreigners to attend meetings, conferences, or events in Dubai.

Prerequisites to get an inbound tourism license:

  • A bank guarantee of Dh100,000 that cannot be revoked must be provided.
  • The guarantee must be in the name of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • The bank that issues the guarantee must be a bank operating within the Emirate.
  • An insurance policy should be obtained by the travel agency to mitigate future risks.
  • After the license expires, the term insurance policy must be completed within 30 days.
  1. License as an operator of Outbound Tourism

As a tour operator, with this license you can arrange outbound tours. This license enables you to arrange tours within Dubai as well as outside of Dubai. Conferences, meetings, and international events can be arranged with this license.

Prerequisites to get an inbound tourism license:

  • The company should provide an irrevocable bank guarantee of Dh200,000
  • The guarantee should be under the name of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  • The issuing bank must operate within the Emirate.
  • The company must have an insurance policy to avoid any risks.
  • The insurance policy will last for 1 month after the license expires.
  1. License to operate as a Travel Agent

This license allows the company to appoint travel agents. These agents assist tourists with their visas, accommodation, tours, and transportation needs. It is very different from the other two licenses.

Prerequisites to get an inbound tourism license:

  • The company should provide a bank security of Dh100,000.
  • The security must be issued under DTCM's name.
  • The issuing bank must be within the Emirates.
  • The agent needs to submit an NOC issued by the Department of Civil Aviation.
  • To obtain the NOC, the applicant (agent) must submit a request letter in Arabic in the name of a local sponsor.
  • The agency must provide a copy of the lease contract and a blueprint of the location for their operation.

How can Kiltons help you?

With a deep understanding of Dubai’s tourism landscape and the rules governing it, we can offer valuable guidance to get a tour guide license in Dubai. If you are unaware of the procedures to secure a tour guide license in Dubai, our experienced business set-up consultants can assist you in every step. Our team, with their vast experience in assisting multiple individuals in obtaining a tour guide license, can provide you with a smooth and effortless licensing process. If you wish to tap into the immense potential of Dubai’s tourism industry as a licensed tour guide, get in touch with us today!

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