Non-Permitted Business Activities in Dubai


Before you even think of business setup in Dubai, you need to be aware if your future organization’s business activity is even allowed in the country or in the Emirate in which you want it to be established.

When it comes to company formation in Dubai, it is the Department of Economic Development (DED)’s responsibility to take care of it, especially when it comes to the business activities in Dubai that are being practiced by companies.

To date, there are considered to be thousands of business activities that are approved by DED and that list is even updated annually for the purpose of paving a way for other investors to enter the country, hence boosting the business setup in Dubai as well.

Even if this is the case, the government of Dubai has still limitations to ensure that everything is in place and organized. The DED has restrictions on some business activities in Dubai. There are certain business activities that cannot be conducted anywhere in the Emirate and even in the whole country as well.

The whole country has the Islamic system or Islamic Law to abide by as it is its foundation as a nation. With this, anything that is against the Islamic Law will be considered as prohibited business activities. It is therefore important for investors to be informed with regard to this as it is essential for company formation in Dubai.

Prohibited Business Activities for Business Setup in Dubai

Prohibited Drugs:

There are certain drugs that cannot be distributed in the country at all. These are narcotic and psychotropic drugs, which are safeguarded to not be easily available to anyone anytime.

There is also a law that considers it as a criminal activity to possess, store, manufacture, buy, sell, etc. those substances. It is stated in the Federal Law No. 14 of 1995, hence it is expected to be followed by the residents of the country or anyone who plans to form a company in the UAE.

Alcoholic and Pork Products:

It is not a secret that these items are available in some markets and restaurants in the country, but there are still limitations in advertising them. You do not necessarily see or hear advertisements of these things anywhere.

Investors should ensure that they know the boundaries that must be observed in producing, selling, and promoting these products in order for them to have a successful business setup in Dubai.


Everywhere in the country, gambling is not prohibited. Investors should be aware that any related business activities to sweepstakes, casinos, and betting shops will not be allowed to be conducted in the country. It is considered to be illegal and should not be proposed in your papers in the first place.


This is a kind of business activity that is considered to be illegal almost everywhere in the world. With the Islamic Law as the country’s foundation, the UAE is strict when it comes to this. Clubs or any places that have this kind of activity will be heavily penalized and punished for staining what the country stands for.

For more details about business setup and services in UAE. Visit MAF Consulting Middle East.


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