How to Open a Spa in Dubai: 7 Easy Steps 

If you’re looking to open a spa in Dubai, you’re in the right place! Dubai is a city known for its luxurious lifestyle and has a thriving spa industry. Spending a day at a Spa is no longer just an extravagant getaway relished by the rich and famous! More and more people are realizing the prominence of a reset for their body and mind that today’s contemporary Spa treatments offer. It’s like hello revenues! 

What is Spa in Dubai? 

A Spa is a place that is designed and equipped to help guests relax and release built-up stress and tension. From various relaxation therapies such as aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and massage therapy to health treatments like medicinal baths, acupuncture meditation, yoga, and Pilates, guests can enjoy a smorgasbord of remedies to feel better and healthier. Not just health-related benefits, Spas in Dubai offer a host of beauty salon services as well such as facials, manicures, foot therapy, hair treatments, pedicures and body wraps, etc. 

Why Spa Business in Dubai? 

Today people are more conscious than ever when it comes to taking care of health, both physical and mental. And Spa treatments do exactly that, they know! The majority of expats are either working professionals or business persons in the most modern Emirate of the United Arab Emirates. And we all know how life in the current times is – beating deadlines, virtual meetings, running errands at the lightning speed and information overload from various social media sites, not to mention keeping your home tidy, cooking, dropping and receiving kids to school, remembering the medication schedules, and trying to maintain a social life while social distancing. Juggling so many things at a time, the busy bees need to relax and unwind if they don’t want their body and mind to get stuck in a fight or flight response. That’s where Spa comes and works like a charm! These aromatic, zen health paradises transform the dog-tired, dull and exhausted beings into refreshed, energetic and happy ones. One Spa visit is likely to save one from visiting the gym, salon and hospital! Infamous for world-class leisure activities, the tourism-friendly Dubai is home to a wide range of businesses in myriad domains including beauty, medical and healthcare. And opening a Spa in Dubai is certainly one of the most profitable business ideas in the city. Read on to know the process of Spa business setup in Dubai. 

u003cstrongu003eHow to start a Spa in Dubaiu003c/strongu003e 

  1. u003cstrongu003eDetermine the type of Spa activitiesu003c/strongu003e 

  2. u003cstrongu003eSelect the most suitable Trade License Zone or Jurisdictionu003c/strongu003e 

  3. u003cstrongu003eName your Spa and get it registered with DEDu003c/strongu003e 

  4. u003cstrongu003eGive your business a legal shapeu003c/strongu003e 

  5. u003cstrongu003eAttain initial approval on your Spa business setup in Dubaiu003c/strongu003e 

  6. u003cstrongu003ePrepare the required documents for your Dubai Spa business license u003c/strongu003e

  7. u003cstrongu003eDuly fill in the license application, attach the necessary document, pay the application fees and wait for the final approvalu003c/strongu003e 


Like any other business formation in the UAE, setting up a Spa in Dubai also requires you to obtain a relevant trade license which is an arduous process due to the paperwork involved and the requirement of getting special approvals. For instance, you have to acquire several permits from the Dubai Health and Safety Department of Dubai Municipality, and others. Once you have all the documents in place with your name registration approval, you can apply for the Spa license. You also need to rent a decent place in the preferred jurisdiction basis your feasibility study and market research and fit it out accordingly. Without a doubt, knowing the process of Spa business setup in Dubai can smoothen the journey up to great extent. Once you have determined the business activity and type of business license for the Spa business in Dubai, you may proceed step by step to become an all-embracing entity and bask in the joy of making others happy. Here are the primary steps to get your Spa in Dubai up and running with a couple of tips from business setup advisors in Dubai at Adam Global: 

Step 1: Determine the type of Spa activities

Begin with shortlisting the economic activities to carry out under your Dubai Spa license. Ensure what kind of facility you would like to incorporate. Would it be purely a Spa or massage Centre or you would also be rendering additional beauty services such as hair procedures, makeup, waxing, manicures, machine procedures, and so on. Further, you will also need to determine the target audience for your Spa. For example, whether the Spa Centre would cater men, women or both. You may refer to the extensive list of 2,000+ commercial activities on the website of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development or engage an experienced business formation specialist. Your choice of professional or commercial activity decides the type of trade license you need to apply for. A tip from Adam Global Dubai business advisors – When it comes to selecting a business activity – the more (per license), the better! 

Step 2: Select the most suitable Trade Licence Zone or Jurisdiction 

Once you are sure about the type of economic activity, you have to ascertain the territory of your business formation in Dubai. Choose between a free zone or mainland jurisdiction for your Spa business registration in Dubai and rent a perfect site in the chosen zone. If you ask us to put our two cents, Dubai mainland is a better pick for your Spa setup in the UAE. You have to consider so many other factors also while taking a location decision. To access rich crowd, you may choose posh areas of Dubai such as Dubai Marina, Downtown, Mirdif, Arabian Ranches, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Emirates Hills and Business Bay. But property rental will be high. On the other hand, relatively less expensive and over-populated regions in Bur Dubai such as Deira, Meena Bazaar, Karama, Oud Metha are also suitable for opening a Spa Centre. Fortunately, setting up a company in Dubai mainland doesn’t require you to share 51% of your business ownership with an Emirati national or company. Thanks to the amendments in the UAE Commercial Companies Law done this year (2022). If you are working with one of our business setup consultants in Dubai, you neither have to worry about finding the best location for your Spa establishment nor the lease documentation.  

Step 3: Name your Spa and get it registered with DED 

Propose at least three appropriate names for your Massage, Day Spa or Wellness Centre in line with the UAE trade name guidelines and apply for trade name registration. Once registered, you will receive the business name approval certificate which needs to be presented to the licensing authority. You may work with one of our most experienced business setup consultants in Dubai at Adam Global to get it approved right away. We are happy to help you choose the right trade name for your Spa services company in Dubai and register it with the UAE’s Registry Office. 

Step 4: Give your business a legal shape 

Make your mind whether you intend to establish your own spa from scratch; or buy a hair Spa franchise or an already functioning Spa. Decide the legal structure or legal form – whether you want to own it or become a partner in the business. Determining an appropriate legal structure is one of the significant requirements of business setup in Dubai, regardless of its type and size. Decide the legal form of your Spa services provider company in Dubai considering the jurisdiction, the activity type and various other factors such as liability, control, flexibility and complexity. Here’s a list of available legal forms in Dubai: 

  • Limited Liability Company 
  • Sole Proprietorship 
  • General Partnership 
  • Partnership in Commendam 
  • Public Shareholding 
  • Private Shareholding 
  • Joint Venture 
  • Shared Partnership 
  • SME License 
  • Representative Offices 
  • Branch Offices 
  • Limited Partnership 
Step 5: Attain initial approval on your Spa business setup in Dubai 

To complete your license application and receive other important business formation documents you must acquire an initial approval from the relevant authority. This NOC also helps you get additional approvals from external authorities related to the desired business activity. You are required to apply for the initial approval by submitting a couple of documents. Click here to understand the complete process and required documentation for obtaining initial approval in Dubai. You can apply for this online, by yourself or through one of the best business setup services providers in Dubai like us. The documents you have to provide depend on the nature of the desired business activity, but usually they are: 

  • Business registration and licensing form 
  • Copy of applicant’s passport or ID 
  • Copy of the applicant’s residence permit/ visa 
  • The company’s articles of association (AoA) 
  • Feasibility study of the project 
Step 6: Prepare the required documents for your Dubai Spa business license 

No Spa license request will be entertained in Dubai if any of the supporting documents are missing from the bunch or have errors. You have to be very mindful about each and every paper whether it is a Memorandum of Association signed by all the owners and partners or simply a tenancy contract with the commercial space owner. The best way to ensure that your licence application is approved without any delays due to documentation discrepancies is to hire the right business setup advisors in Dubai such as Adam Global. It goes without saying that we, on your behalf, also gather consent from the planning section and health & safety division of the DM which are mandatory to proceed with the Spa licence application in Dubai.  

Step 7: Duly fill in the license application, attach the necessary document, pay the application fees and wait for the final approval 

Upload all the relevant documents along with the application form, duly completed, and submit for the final license approval. Pay the license fee through various approved payment channels as per the payment voucher generated at the time of license application submission. You’ll need to submit: 

  • Initial approval receipt and all the previously-submitted documents including passport copy and passport-size photographs of the proposed manager/owners 
  • The lease contract provided by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) 
  • Duly attested service agent contract (for civil establishments and companies that are 100% owned by non-GCC nationals), the UAE involving a local service agent 
  • Approval from other government entities concerned (if applicable) 

Usually, the licensing authority issues trade licenses within a week or two at the max given all the paperwork is in order. The licence bears one-year validity which is renewable. To know the trade license renewal process, simply click here

Requirements to Open a Spa in Dubai 

  • Enquiry on opening of a Spa in Dubai is conducted by the officials of the DED and Dubai Municipality 
  • Explicit initial approval from DED upon finalizing a name for the Spa Centre 
  • Drafting and signing of the Memorandum of Association with local service agent for your spa business (if applicable) 
  • Signing a rental agreement with the owner of the spa site 
  • NOCs from the planning section and health & safety division of the DM (Dubai Municipality) 
  • Submission of all the above documents to the DED along with the copies of passport and visa of business partners for the final approval for setting up Spa in Dubai 
  • Estimate the Spa opening costs before getting started; and also arrange funding sources for your spa business in advance; and its development at a later stage. The minimum capital you might need initially to start a Spa in Dubai is AED 50,000 or so 

Government Guidelines for Spa establishment in Dubai 

The planning department of Dubai Municipality approves the Spa site if the following conditions are met. 

  • The mandatory placement of a signboard in front of the Spa 
  • All machines to be used in the Spa must be approved by Dubai Health Authority 
  • All your products must be registered Product Safety Division of Dubai Municipality 
  • Satisfactory lighting to be used for spa facility 
  • Disposal bedsheet rolls must be in place to cover the massage bed for every new customer 
  • Height of the Spa space must not less than 2.30 metres 
  • A separate area allocated for beauty treatments involving hygiene concerns comprising of area of more than 2.50m x 1.50m including acceptable partition 
  • Installation of a wash basin beside the facial treatments zone is a must 
  • Usage of fireproof materials for hair removing services is obligatory 
  • Water heater must be available at the site  
  • Interiors must feature sufficient cupboards and drawers for placing cosmetics, oils, towels, electronics, etc. 
  • The Spa license applicant must meet the protocols in the Spa industry 
  • A valid Dubai Health Authority (DHA) license for all the Spa workers should be secured 
  • Furniture should be squeaky clean and must meet the standards; the dressing chairs should be at least 3 meters (breadth)x3.5 meters (length) 
  • If you are looking to run a Spa from your home; you require permission from the DED. If not, you can come across to set up your business in a reasonable location 
  • The documentation includes location plan, design, and engineering plan, electrical, plumbing, lighting systems, ventilation system details and all the details required by the Dubai Municipality 

Who can help me in obtaining the Spa license in Dubai? 

Adam Global takes pride in transforming a swarm of expats into entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs into successful business persons. It will be a pleasure to bring your dream to fruition as well! Our business setup experts in Dubai will establish the Spa of you have envisioned on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin works flawlessly and other post-business setup tasks such as opening a corporate bank account – leaving you to experience the best-in-class Spa services in the UAE to get some inspiration for your own Spa setup in Dubai while giving yourself perfect pampering sessions. Before you embark on your entrepreneurial sprint, how about dropping by Adam Global and getting a free consultancy from one of our seasoned business formation advisors in Dubai. Click here to book one! 


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