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Am I eligible to set up a DIFC Innovation Licence?
Am I eligible to set up a DIFC Innovation Licence?
Updated over a week ago

The DIFC Innovation Licence is offered to a wide ecosystem of technology enablers, catering to technology/innovation firms interested in developing or testing new, novel or innovative products. To be eligible to set up a DIFC Innovation Licence, you must be able to:

  1. demonstrate the proposed entity promotes innovation, has the potential to scale and can be deployed in the UAE, and

  2. demonstrate that your activities fall within one of the 7 licence categories (shown in the table below).

While you do not require a UAE Resident or GCC National with an Emirates ID Card for the purpose of the company formation, depending on the bank you wish to use, your company may need to appoint a signatory in the UAE to open a bank account.

DIFC Innovation Licence Categories

Licence Category

Description of activities

Software House

Businesses specialising in computer systems software design, implementation, operation and maintenance based on analysing the user's problems and their need for an economical solution and the programs

necessary for realising such a solution, involving designing application software designed to run on smartphones and mobile devices.

Technology Research & Development

Businesses specialising in elaborating studies and experimental and development research related to

technology businesses for conducting innovation, introduction and improvement of its products and

procedures. It includes setting guidelines to enhance designing, evaluating, implementing techniques and a series of investigative activities to develop new and improve existing products and procedures.

Information Technology Consultants

Providing technical services and consultancies with respect to information technology and applications (e.g. internet, internet and data warehousing) to enhance the administrative and technical performance in different corporations.

Internet Consultancy

Businesses specialising in drawing up the strategies of using internet technology in commercial entities,

including laying out the techniques of the practical application.

IT Infrastructure

Businesses specialising in laying the technical foundations of the information technology, which comprises

the network, systems and databases. Businesses engaged in preparing the consultative studies and installation of network and systems. Manpower training.


Online services equipped with databases and programs that are fitted as a service with basic functions of the technology platform. Includes a junction between a content provider and a user for a broad array of resources and services.

Computer Consultancies

Businesses which provide consultancy to commercial entities, prepare studies related to the analysis of users' needs as regards computer hardware and software and provide the best solutions. Includes the choice of software that corresponds to the company's activities, the choice of operation specifications, the equipment and preparation of computer rooms, the preparation of purchase tender documents and offers, as well as other related services and consultancies.

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