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Dealing with Construction Permits in

United Arab Emirates

Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a warehouse in United Arab Emirates. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016. Read the methodology.

Compare United Arab Emirates to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Hire a Consultant to supervise construction and undertake all the necessary pre-approvals

    Agency: Private Firm

    Only consultant companies can exclusively apply for a building permit – contractor companies are not eligible to apply.

    1 day AED 149,203
    2

    Conduct a soil test at a certified laboratory

    Agency: Certified Laboratory

    Per Local Order No. 48 on 1990, the consultant must conduct a soil test and enclosed the results with the building structural plans upon submission of the building permit application.

    2 days AED 2,000
    3

    Request and obtain all No Objection Certificates (NOCs), Civil Defense approval and building permit online from the Building Department of Dubai Municipality

    Agency: Building Department of Dubai Municipality

    As of 2012, all No Objection Certificates (NOCs) can be applied for online through the Dubai Municipality portal at the same time as the building permit. NOCs are required from the following departments and are valid for 2 years:
    • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) on electrical wiring installation drawings
    • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) on water connection
    • Drainage and Irrigation Department of Dubai Municipality on drainage and sewage
    • Etisalat on phone connection

    BuildCo also submits the final drawings online at the Building Department of the Dubai Municipality for approval.

    As of May 2014, Dubai Municipality granted direct access for the Dubai Civil Defense Authority to the Building Permit Control System to review and grant approval for applicants. Therefore, it became possible to request and obtain the civil defense approval jointly with the request for the NOCs and building permit. However, it now takes a bit longer to receive the building permit, as the Civil Defense approval can take up to 1 month.

    25 days AED 13,151
    4

    Receive phased inspection during construction from the Building and Housing Department of Dubai Municipality

    Agency: Building Department of Dubai Municipality

    Each industrial area/zone has a nominated inspector who has a list of under-construction projects and their updated stage of works. The inspector conducts a periodic inspection to the construction site without the prior knowledge or request of the consultant.

    Furthermore, pursuant to the Building Law of 2013, the consultant is required to submit a systematic checklist online (throughout the project life) to document that the engineering standards, specifications and stages of work are being executed per the applicable regulations and checklists. Such a submission is usually made every 2 weeks, in addition to risk stages. Dubai Municipality has an access to the systematic report in order to track the progress of the project.

    1 day no charge
    5

    Receive unscheduled patrol inspection during construction

    Agency: Dubai Municipality

    Patrol inspections are conducted without the prior knowledge or request of the customer. They are done to check/control the environmental effect of the project on its surroundings.

    1 day no charge
    6

    Receive special risks inspections (footings) during construction

    Agency: Dubai Municipality

    For the case-study warehouse measured by Doing Business, Dubai Municipality performs 2 risk-based inspections at the stages of a) footings and b) frame erection.

    1 day no charge
    7

    Receive special risks inspections (frame erection) during construction

    Agency: Dubai Municipality

    1 day no charge
    8

    Request and receive final joint inspection from Dubai Municipality and Dubai Civil Defense and Obtain the completion certificate

    Agency: Dubai Municipality

    Dubai Municipality introduced a final joint inspection with the Civil Defense. This joint inspection takes place within 3-5 days of requesting it.

    3 days AED 100
    * 9

    Obtain inspection and approval from DEWA for final water supply

    Agency: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)

    1 day no charge
    10

    Obtain final water connection from DEWA

    Agency: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)

    14 days AED 2,250
    * 11

    Build septic tank

    Agency: Drainage and Irrigation Department

    3 days AED 4,000

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Building quality control index (0-15) 13.0
    Quality of building regulations index (0-2) 2.0
    How accessible are building laws and regulations in your economy? (0-1) Available online; Free of charge; In official gazette. 1.0
    Which requirements for obtaining a building permit are clearly specified in the building regulations or on any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? (0-1) List of required documents; Fees to be paid; Required preapprovals. 1.0
    Quality control before construction index (0-1) 1.0
    Which third-party entities are required by law to verify that the building plans are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-1) Licensed architect; Licensed engineer. 1.0
    Quality control during construction index (0-3) 3.0
    What types of inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? (0-2) Inspections by in-house engineer; Inspections by external engineer or firm; Inspections at various phases; Risk-based inspections. 2.0
    Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? (0-1) Mandatory inspections are always done in practice. 1.0
    Quality control after construction index (0-3) 3.0
    Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and regulations? (0-2) Yes, final inspection is done by government agency; Yes, in-house engineer submits report for final inspection. 2.0
    Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? (0-1) Final inspection always occurs in practice. 1.0
    Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2) 2.0
    Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability or Decennial Liability)? (0-1)  Architect or engineer; Professional in charge of the supervision; Construction company; Owner or investor. 1.0
    Which parties (if any) are required by law to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability Insurance or Decennial Insurance)? (0-1) No party is required by law to obtain insurance ; Construction company; Insurance is commonly taken in practice. 1.0
    Professional certifications index (0-4) 2.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional responsible for verifying that the architectural plans or drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-2) University degree in architecture or engineering. 0.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; University degree in engineering, construction or construction management; Being a registered architect or engineer; Passing a certification exam. 2.0