Calling all exercise professionals – do you have the right licence to work in the UAE?

22 April 2019 Category :

With the UAE fitness services market set to be worth AED 3bn by 2022, it’s no wonder why fitness-related jobs have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Many people want to move away from traditional 9-5 jobs and become their own boss.

However, as the market has grown, the licensing requirements have changed. In order to deliver any kind of personal sports coaching, personal training, yoga instruction, nutritional guidance, or even life coaching you must obtain a DED mainland trade licence.

If you’re still trading under a free zone licence, you may be working illegally.

However, don’t worry, with VirtuFit, switching to the correct licence is easy – and you’ll get total peace of mind that you’re covered to work throughout the UAE.

In order to provide fitness services within the UAE mainland, you must hold a mainland trade licence. Therefore, whether you are running fitness classes on the beach or coaching golfers at the local driving range, a free zone licence will not legally suffice.

What to do

To ensure you’re licenced to trade as a fitness professional in the UAE, you’ll need to apply for the appropriate mainland licence. The good news is, this is more affordable than the free zone alternative.

You’ll need to submit to us your licence application along with some basic documentation and a brief outline of your business activities so that we can send it onto the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). As well as the correct licence, you’ll also need a visa to work in the UAE.

Instead of handling your licence and visa applications yourself, it is possible to obtain both by applying via VirtuFit – the only officially recognised fitness licensing solution in Dubai.

The VirtuFit package includes:

– Your DED trade licence

– A three-year partner visa – including Emirates ID and medical

– Your Establishment Card

– All required government approvals

– Assistance with opening your corporate bank account

– Access to a fully-serviced co-working space

Why apply for your DED trade licence?

If you’re already working successfully within the UAE as a fitness professional, there is an obvious temptation to keep doing so without relicensing.

While some may see this as the easy option, the potential consequences of doing so could be severe.

If you are found to be working in the UAE without the correct trade licence, you could have your licence revoked and be liable to pay a substantial fine.

Putting potential punishments aside, there are many great reasons to apply for your DED trade licence:

– Get total peace of mind: With your VirtuFit licence, you can be sure that you are working officially and legally.

– Obtain Dubai residency: Your VirtuFit licence includes a three-year residency visa.

Avoid time-consuming paperwork: All that’s required to apply for your VirtuFit licence is some basic information and a few moments of your time.

– Work your own way: With a DED mainland licence you have total control and are not beholden to a free zone authority.

– Work anywhere: You’re licenced to work anywhere throughout the UAE, giving you total freedom.

– Be fully insurable: Insurance companies will not recognise claims involving incorrect activities or jurisdictions. With a VirtuFit licence, you know you’re covered.

How to switch to a DED trade licence

If you’re already working in the fitness services industry under a free zone licence, switching to a DED trade licence is easy.

Apply with VirtuFit and we will manage the application and visa on your behalf. You can expect to receive your licence in around a week.

With your licence in hand, you’re free to ply your trade throughout the UAE – safe in the knowledge that you’re working officially, legally and not in breach of your insurance. Get total peace of mind, switch to a DED trade licence today.

Setting up your own business has never been easier. Virtuzone takes care of it all so you can focus on what matters – building your business. For more information about the VirtuFit licence, please call us on +971 4 457 8200, send an email to info@vz.ae, or click here.

About the author: George Hojeige is CEO at Virtuzone

About the author: George Hojeige is CEO at Virtuzone

George Hojeige is CEO at Virtuzone. As CEO, George ensures the company maintains its position as one of the fastest growing business setup operators in the region. Born in Beirut, his family emigrated to Canada in 1986 where he grew up in the English-speaking suburbs of Montreal. A natural communicator and networker, George held sales positions in the telecoms industry and medical field in North America before moving to Dubai to run the family business in construction. Since then, he has taken on high-profile sales roles – including as Group Commercial Director at ITP Media Group, working on prestigious titles such as Arabian Business and Esquire Magazine. George graduated from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.