UAE: How to get a tour guide licence; fees, process explained

There is a high demand for tour guides, which is expected to grow in 2024 and open up 23,500 vacancies

by

Laraib Anwer

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Published: Wed 29 May 2024, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 May 2024, 11:23 PM

Regardless of the season in the UAE, a group of tourists might always be spotted around, sightseeing while they capture memories on their phones. Whether on the country's magnificent dunes or under its glimmering skyscrapers, the rush of tourists is never-ending, be it during Ramadan or peak summers.

Along with this comes the high demand for tour guides, which is expected to grow in 2024 and open up 23,500 vacancies.


Different emirates offer diverse courses for individuals wishing to attain a licence and become a professional tour guide. From the required qualifications to course fees, here is a guide to becoming a tour guide in the UAE.

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Dubai

For those wishing to become tour guides in Dubai, the government offers a licencing program that is completely online, providing flexibility to those wishing to apply.

This is open to people over 18 years of age. The programme will be offered in English and Mandarin.

Documents required:

  • No objection letter from sponsor
  • Police clearance certificate from Dubai Police,
  • An attested academic certificate is required. The minimum level is a high school degree.
  • English proficiency certificate, with a level 5, upper intermediate, or above qualification.
  • First Aid certificate from a certified safety training centre in the UAE
  • Emirates ID,
  • Passport-sized photo with a white background

Cost:

  • For those interested in the English course, it costs Dh7,500.
  • The Mandarin course costs Dh9,810.
  • For Emirati nationals wishing to join the course, it is free of cost.

The entire process takes up to one business day.

Process:

  • Applicants need to first create an account on www.tourguidetraining.ae
  • After submitting all the required documents, it takes up to 48 hours to know whether they have been approved or not. Once they are approved, applicants can proceed with the course.
  • A fee of Dh750 is required to proceed with the programme.
  • Students will have to complete the 'Dubai Way' programme and do the final assessment towards the end.
  • After completing the assessment, applicants need to make a payment of Dh1,520 for the knowledge assessment (MCQ type questions) and interview.
  • After completing the interview, students have to make a payment of Dh5,250 for skills development.
  • After the payment, students need to complete the skills development assessment followed by a practical assessment.
  • After passing both the assessments, applicants need to fill up a feedback form. Once submitted, the student will attain their license in the span of two working days.

Sharjah

For those trying to pursue this career option in Sharjah, the city's Commerce and Tourism Development Authority provides a number of programs for aspiring tour guides, who must be above the age of 18. These are:

  • Tour guiding for beginners
  • Al Jawhara Women Empowerment tour guiding for beginners
  • Advanced tour guiding
  • Explore history with Rehlati with Sharjah Museums Authority
  • Explore the desert with Rehlati with Mleiha Archaeological Centre
  • Explore nature with Rehlati with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority
  • Explore Heritage with Rehlati with Sharjah Institute for Heritage

Requirements:

  • Copy of valid passport
  • For non-Emiratis applying, they need to show a copy of their residency visa
  • Emirati applicants are required to show the copy of their family book, copy of birth certificate and copy of mother’s passport
  • Copy of national ID (front and back)
  • Personal photograph with a white background
  • Updated CV
  • Educational qualifications
  • Good conduct certificate valid for 3 months

Abu Dhabi

To obtain a tour guide licence in Abu Dhabi, residents can do it through the TAMM platform. The assessments fall under the emirate's Department of Culture and Tourism.

The process is free of charge for UAE nationals and children of Emirati mothers. For expats, a fee of Dh2,700 will be charged.

Documents required:

  • Emirates ID
  • Good conduct certificate
  • First Aid certificate
  • Passport copy
  • Passport size photo
  • Copy of residency visa
  • For Emirati nationals, they must provide a copy of their mother's passport

Process:

  • Go to TAMM platform and watch the awareness session
  • After watching, applicants can log into the platform
  • Review the training calendar and join a cohort
  • Pay the fees
  • Do the assessment after completing the training
  • Applicants can then receive the tourist guide licence

Ajman

Ajman's government has also introduced a licencing system for tour guides. Those willing to apply must be at least 18 years of age.

For new tour guides, it costs Dh3,255, and for tour guides licenced from other emirates, it costs Dh2,205.

For individuals, the following documents are required:

  • High school certificate or what is equivalent to it
  • Valid residency visa and Emirates ID
  • Proof of passing an English language test
  • For guides who may have licences in other emirates, they must provide a copy of the existing tourist guide licence.

For businesses, the following documents are required:

  • High school certificate or what is equivalent to it
  • Valid residency visa and Emirates ID
  • Proof of passing an English language test
  • For guides who may have licences in other emirates, they must provide a copy of the existing tourist guide licence.

Process:

  • Those eager to attain the tour guide licence, can apply through the Government of Ajman's website by submitting the request through the e-system.
  • After filling up the requirements, they can then proceed to pay the fees.
  • Participants have to then undergo training and take a knowledge assessment.
  • After passing the assessment, the permit will be issued in one day's time.

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