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How to start a photography business in Dubai

With Dubai’s business ecosystem experiencing substantial growth, many companies and individuals are looking for the right photographer to capture their work or lives. Yours could be the next one to partner with an event planner capturing destination beach weddings, or with an adventure tourism agency shooting a desert safari, or with a corporate client building the company’s team profiles. Read on to know more about how to setup a photography business in Dubai.


Rules to open a photography business in Dubai

  • Remember that photography business practices are regulated by certain licensing requirements.
  • You can start a photography business or work as a freelance photographer. If you are opting for freelance photography, you may check out Dubai Media City or Fujairah Creative City. They allow photographers to work as freelancers.
  • You will be required to submit your passport and visa copies, business plan and bank reference letter.
  • The National Media Council is a regulatory body through which photography businesses in Dubai must apply for permission and licenses to engage in outdoor photography, including aerial applications.
  • For the application process, the photographers must identify the duration, location, and list of photographers for the shoot.

We at Decisive Zone can help you find a suitable location. We will guide you in getting your freelance or company photography license in Dubai, UAE.



Points to note before starting a photography business in Dubai


Know the field

Photography is a specialised skill, requiring both expertise as well as technical hardware and software. It’s also a labour-intensive trade. Whilst some work can be completed in-house, such as portraits and photos for official documentation, live shoots require travel to onsite locations. Both require detail-oriented editing before your final product is ready. These factors mean you need to be experienced, whilst also budgeting for professional-grade equipment, and account for editing in your turnover timeline.


Location, location, location

Consider free zone areas in Dubai or getting a business license in Fujairah Creative City. The latter is a tailor-made free zone for everyone in the media field, from news to entertainment, to public relations, to marketing communications and publishing, and much more.

Not only will you find your startup surrounded by a wide and diverse customer base in need of photography services, but you’ll also be in the midst of lively competition, with other photography company setups in Dubai. This is where you can market your specialised services.

Use social media marketing

Use online platforms like Facebook and Instagram to showcase examples of your photography startup in Dubai. Not only are these sites where you can share important information about your studio and storefront, such as the location and timings, customers can also browse through your portfolio. As you build up a loyal client following, you can thank customers for reviews and spread the word about how you can setup a photography business in Dubai.



Also, consider video. Alongside photography services, video services are in high demand. Especially for family events such as a wedding, birthday parties, and graduation.

In addition to stills, customers want professional-grade ‘live’ memories of milestones spent with their loved ones. And as your photography business startup in Dubai grows, it’ll see success if it can offer videography services as well that meet customers’ needs.


Thinking about starting an independent photography business in Dubai? Contact Decisive Zone to learn about the field and how to fulfill free zone and mainland licensing requirements.

About the author:
Abdul Manan Shaikh | General Manager

Abdul Manan Shaikh | General Manager

Manan is bridging management and employee relations by addressing demands while developing strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall company's strategy.
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