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How to start an online educational business in Dubai

start online education business

There has never been more demand for online education in the UAE. According to one recent survey, 83% of employees would leave their current employer so they could get better training opportunities elsewhere. What is more, the market for online training in the country is growing at an annual rate of 9%. This suggests that online educational businesses have a very bright future in Dubai.

If you have experience with training or have knowledge of an in-demand subject, starting an online educational business could be a great move. With little more than an internet connection and some ready prepared lessons, you can begin teaching valuable skills to students from all over the world.

Generally speaking, it is fairly straightforward to start an online education business in Dubai. That said, it’s important to have an understanding of the rules and regulations so you can be sure you won’t run into any difficulties during the application process.

In this article we will cover the follow points:

  • Start an online educational business in Dubai: rules and costs
  • 6 steps to start an online education business in Dubai
  • Documents required to start an online education business in Dubai
  • Advantages of an online education business in Dubai
  • Cost of starting an online educational business in Dubai

Start an online educational business in Dubai: rules and costs

The rules for starting any kind of educational business in the emirate of Dubai – whether it is online or offline – are governed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). This is a government body in Dubai that is responsible for monitoring educational institutes, colleges, professional training centres, private schools and online education providers.

You must comply with the KHDA’s regulations and be approved by the body before starting a business in this sector. The KHDA is also responsible for ensuring quality standards in the education sector.

Some of the most important KHDA rules to be aware of include:

  • You must choose an appropriate name in both English and Arabic which reflect the cultural and religious sensitivities of the UAE
  • You cannot advertise your online education business without KHDA approval
  • You must develop a number of policies such as student grievance policies and processes
  • If you plan to provide qualifications, you must have your courses accredited by an appropriate body
  • Depending on the kind of education you provide, you may need to submit to inspections
  • You will need to complete certain kinds of mandatory training, especially if you are teaching children

Each online education provider in Dubai is unique. It is therefore challenging to estimate precisely how much it will cost to start an online educational business in Dubai. But, as a ballpark figure, you can expect to pay between AED 15,000 and AED 50,000 to go through the initial process of setting the business itself up. See the end of the article for more information on costs and how to get the latest pricing from Dtec.

6 steps to start an online education business in Dubai

If you have decided to start an online education business in Dubai, the good news is that the process is relatively straightforward. Assuming you fill in all the forms correctly, you can normally expect to be up and running within just a few weeks.

The steps to starting an online education business in Dubai are as follows:

1. Find a company set up partner

It is normally much easier to set up a business in Dubai if you use the services of a company set up partner who can walk you through the entire process and ensure you fill in all forms correctly. A company set up partner will have helped many other businesses through this process before and that means you are likely to get your licence approved much faster.

2. Decide on the type of business

You will want to decide on the legal form of business you are going for – be that a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, a branch of a foreign company (such as a foreign university opening a branch in Dubai) or something else.

3. Choose a company name

Your company name must conform to KHDA rules as well as the rules of the Dubai government. It must describe what your business is, while avoiding any offensive terms and certain types of abbreviation.

4. Register the company

Next up, you need to register the company with the authorities – in this case it is the KHDA.

5. Choose between mainland or free zone

Deciding to set your business up on either the mainland or in a free zone is a serious consideration. Each approach has its own specific benefits and limitations and so you need to choose the right approach for your company and the kind of education you plan to provide.

6. Apply for an online education licence

Now you must complete all the paperwork required to become an online education provider in Dubai. You will need to:

  • Submit application forms to the KHDA
  • Provide copies of your passport
  • Complete an application form for a free zone or mainland business company
  • Complete tenancy contracts and get office plan approvals
  • Receive your approval letter from the KHDA
  • Produce shareholder certificates as well as a memorandum of association
  • Pay any fees to get your Dubai educational training licence

Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to start an online education business in Dubai. Assuming all paperwork is submitted correctly, you can usually expect to be approved in just a couple of weeks.

Documents required to start an online education business in Dubai

If you would like to start an online educational business in Dubai, you will need to collect the following documents as part of your application. Speak with a company formation advisor if you have any doubts about the specifics:

  • A KHDA letter of approval
  • Tenancy contracts for your office space
  • Free zone or mainland company application form
  • Shareholder certificates
  • Memorandum of association
  • An appropriate visa
  • Passport copies

Advantages of an online education business in Dubai

There are so many advantages to starting an online educational business in the UAE. Providing your training over the internet means you benefit from:

1. Extremely low overheads

You won’t have to rent out expensive classrooms for students to attend physically – all you and your students need is an internet connection.

2. 100% foreign ownership

You don’t need a local partner to set up your online education business in Dubai.

3. No income tax

Education business owners in the UAE do not pay income tax. That leaves more money for you to reinvest in the business and see it grow.

4. Government supportive of education

Dubai’s government is highly supportive of education and the UAE is one of the region’s biggest markets for online training.

5. Teach people anywhere in the world

Online training courses allow you to teach students anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. The UAE’s time zone means you’re able to easily teach students across Asia, Africa and Europe in live classes.

Cost of starting an online educational business in Dubai

The costs of starting an online education business in Dubai are difficult to estimate precisely since they vary so much according to the kind of instruction offered, the materials you need and the types of students you’ll be teaching. However, as a rule of thumb you can expect to pay somewhere between AED 15,000 and AED 50,000 for all license fees and initial contracts.

Besides fees and initial contract costs, you should also set money aside for things like:

  • Spend on advertising
  • Content creation
  • Purchasing of educational material
  • Internet connection
  • Software licences
  • Employing other instructors
  • Branding and marketing

To get a clearer idea of the exact costs of starting an online education business in Dubai , contact DTEC for a customised quote.

With interest in online training booming in the aftermath of the pandemic, there is little doubt that now is a fantastic time to begin your online education company. Good luck!