How to Start a Media Company in Dubai: Update on 2024 Business Setup

Media Company Setup in Dubai

Dubai is widely acknowledged as a thriving hub for global trade and business. From here, there is a place known as Dubai Media City, it is where creative people may showcase their abilities. The goal of Dubai Media City’s establishment was to increase the UAE’s media sustainability. This is the global and local center for all the top media unions. Dubai Media City (DMC) offers media companies a forum on which to showcase their products and services. This global hub for media offers a creative environment for collaboration and communication among media companies. If you’re interested in learning how to set up a media company in Dubai, you should start looking for top company business setup advisors, who can offer you comprehensive guidance and assistance along the way. Here, we’ve included a brief guide and  information that you should be aware of before setting up  a media company in Dubai.

Process to Set up  a Media Company in Dubai

The Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority(DTMFZA) oversees the registration and setup of all DMC companies. Here are the steps to follow when establishing a media company in Dubai:

  • Complete an online application form with all pertinent details and submit it to DTMFZ. The authorities evaluate the application within a maximum of five days.
  • Submit all necessary legal documents and their copies upon application approval.
  • Upon document evaluation, DMC issues a customer confirmation letter. Review and revert this letter along with making the required payments.
  • Sign the Memorandum of Association in the presence of company stakeholders.
  • Submit the full share capital for lease and license generation.
  • Visit the TECOM leasing department to sign a lease and individual sponsorship contract, acquiring the license.

Benefits of Setting up a Media Company in Dubai

Setting up a media company in Dubai typically takes just a few days. However, errors in applications can lead to rejections or delays. It’s crucial to review your application at least twice before submission. Additionally, seeking guidance from business setup consultants at Start Any Business can alleviate stress by assisting with all legal formalities, ensuring a smoother process.

  • Complete overseas ownership
  • Full repatriation of capital and profits
  • Optimal business environment for media enterprises
  • Streamlined access to diverse government services
  • Zero personal or corporate taxes, import duties
  • Collaborative work environment fostering media cooperation

In brief, initiating a media company in Dubai offers substantial prospects for success and profitability. Unlike other locations, Dubai provides unrestricted overseas ownership, top-tier infrastructure, profit repatriation, and exemption from corporate/personal taxes and import duties.

What are the Documents Required to Set up a Media Company in Dubai?

Initial Application:

  • Company Registration Application Form: You can obtain this form from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) or relevant free zone authority.
  • Business License Application: This specific form applies to the type of media company you are registering.
  • Business Plan: This plan should detail your business concept, target market, financial projections, and marketing strategy.
  • Color Copies of Passports: This includes passports for all directors, managers, and legal representatives of the company.
  • Original Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA): These documents define the ownership structure and operational rules of your company.
  • Board Resolution: This document confirms the appointment of directors and managers, as well as their respective roles and responsibilities.

Additional Documents:

  • Proof of Share Capital: This could be a bank statement or other document demonstrating the availability of funds to support your business operations.
  • NOC from Residency Visa Sponsor: This is required for any director or manager who is employed by another company in the UAE.
  • Manager’s Specimen Signature: This is a certified copy of the manager’s signature, which will be used on official documents.
  • Proof of License and Registration Fee: This document confirms payment of the required fees to the DED or relevant free zone authority.
  • Lease Agreement: This document confirms your legal occupancy of a physical office space for your media company.
  • Personnel Sponsorship Agreement: This agreement outlines your commitment to provide visas and sponsorships for your employees.

Specific requirements for free zones:

  • Dubai Media City (DMC): You may need additional documents like proof of experience in the media industry and a letter of no objection from the National Media Council.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): You may need to comply with specific regulations related to financial services media activities.

Important Note:

This list is not exhaustive and may vary depending on the specific type of media company you are setting up and the free zone you choose. It’s highly recommended to consult with a business setup professional in Dubai to ensure you have all the necessary documentation and comply with all regulations.

Media Business Industry in Dubai

Dubai has emerged as a major hub for the media industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Here are some key statistics and facts about the media landscape in Dubai:

Growth and Size:

  • The media and entertainment industry in Dubai is estimated to be worth USD 27 billion, contributing significantly to the emirate’s economy.
  • The industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% between 2023 and 2028, reaching a value of USD 36 billion.
  • Over 16,000 media companies operate in Dubai, employing more than 60,000 people.
  • Dubai Media City (DMC), a free zone dedicated to the media industry, houses over 20,000 professionals and 1,500 companies from over 135 countries.

Media Consumption:

  • Mobile phone penetration in Dubai is among the highest in the world, at 96%, making mobile phones a key platform for media consumption.
  • Internet penetration is also high, at 94%, with an average of 5.5 hours spent online per day.
  • Social media usage is significant, with 85% of the population having at least one social media account.
  • Television remains a popular medium, with an average viewing time of 3.5 hours per day.

Key Segments:

  • Print media: Dubai has a thriving print media market, with over 200 newspapers and magazines published in the emirate.
  • Television broadcasting: Dubai is home to several leading regional and international broadcasters, including Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), MBC Group, and OSN.
  • Radio broadcasting: Dubai has a diverse radio landscape, with over 30 radio stations broadcasting in various languages.
  • Film and TV production: Dubai has become a popular destination for filming, with a growing number of studios and production companies.
  • Digital media: The digital media sector is booming in Dubai, with a focus on online content creation, advertising, and e-commerce.

Government Support:

  • The government of Dubai has played a key role in supporting the growth of the media industry by providing incentives, infrastructure, and regulatory frameworks.
  • Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City offer media companies a number of benefits, including tax exemptions, flexible licensing options, and world-class facilities.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • The media industry in Dubai faces challenges such as rapid technological change, competition from international players, and the need for a skilled workforce.
  • However, the industry also has significant opportunities, such as the growing demand for regional content, the rise of new media platforms, and the increasing investment in the sector.

Future Outlook:

The media industry in Dubai is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by factors such as the increasing population, rising disposable incomes, and the government’s commitment to developing the sector.


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