Engineering activities in the Emirate of Dubai are regulated by Local Order No. (89) of 1994 (as amended) on Regulating the Practice of Engineering Consultancy Profession in the Emirate of Dubai (Local Order).

A foreign engineering firm wishing to carry on engineering activities in Dubai must obtain a professional licence from the local licensing authority in Dubai and seek the consent of the Dubai Municipality (DM), the government body which regulates the construction industry.

Ordinarily, a foreign company wishing to establish a Federal Branch in Dubai is required to appoint a UAE national, or company wholly-owned by UAE nationals, as its National Agent in compliance with the Companies Law.  However, a foreign engineering firm carrying on engineering activities under the Local Order is exempt from this requirement.

In order to obtain a professional licence and the consent of the DM, foreign engineering firms are required to demonstrate a requisite level of expertise in the field of engineering.  In addition, the firm must have been in existence for at least 15 years and its general manager, who must become a resident of the UAE, must also have a minimum of 15 years’ engineering experience.

The DM considers applications on a case by case basis. If approved, a foreign engineering branch may still only carry out activities limited to the fields of sophisticated specialization and special projects not commonly provided by local engineering firms. There is no definition of “special project” but examples include airports, shopping malls or hospitals.

For further information on the formation of a branch of a foreign engineering firm please contact us.