tourist guide
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Love meeting people from different cultures and enjoy showing visitors to the unique sights and sounds of the UAE, especially as Expo 2020 Dubai comes closer? A side job as a tourist guide might be the perfect way to not just do what you love but also earn some extra money in the meantime.

So, if you would like to try your hand at guiding tourists from across the world to the UAE, here is how you can apply for a licence in the UAE.

How can I make extra money as a tour guide?

The tour guide licence is open to people from all nationalities. If you are interested in working as a tour guide, you would first need to apply for a licence and submit all the necessary documents. The detailed steps are provided below. Once you submit your application to the respective Emirate’s tourism department, you will also receive the necessary training before the licence is issued.

Once you do become a licensed tour guide, you can work full-time, part-time, or as a freelancer. You could either tie up with tourism agencies or individual tourist agents, or even reach out to clients through online platforms like websites that help tourists plan their trip and stay in the UAE.

However, it is important to note that you would need to submit some documents like a Police Clearance Certificate, language proficiency certificate and a First Aid Training certificate, which you can get by approaching a first aid training provider in the UAE. While you would need to cover the costs of these training certificates, reach out to the tourism department to find out if they have tied up with any service providers that give corporate discounts to applicants for tour guide licences.

Applying for a tour guide licence in Abu Dhabi

To apply for the tour guide licence, you would first need to visit the Abu Dhabi Government Services website –

In the services list, select the service for ‘Enroll in the Tourist Guide Training’ or visit this web link directly:

Log in using your UAE Pass.

Upload the following documents:

• Copy of your CV

• Emirates ID

• A Good Conduct Certificate

• First Aid Certificate

• Passport copy

• Photograph

• UAE residence visa copy

Licence validity

The tour guide licence is valid for two years.

Licence cost

The licence costs Dh5,500.

Any interested Abu Dhabi tour guide applicants must register their information and submit their application on the TAMM website. Upon approval, the applicant will undergo training from Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi - including knowledge assessments and tour sessions - in order to become a licensed tourist guide.

Applying for a tour guide licence in Dubai

tourist guide
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Anyone wishing to become a tour guide in Dubai can get training and a licence from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), also known as Dubai Tourism. You can become an English or Mandarin speaking guide. To receive a licence you must first pass an assessment.

Documents needed

You would need to keep copies of the following documents:

• No Objection letter from your sponsor

Police Clearance Certificate from Dubai Police.

• High School Completion Certificate (12th grade or higher)

• English Proficiency Certificate

• First Aid Certificate

• Emirates ID

• Passport-sized photo

To apply, follow these steps:

1. Visit the Dubai Tourism website -

2. Click on ‘Apply Now’. You will be directed to the tour guide training website, where you will first need to create an account. Then, submit your application by uploading the required documents.

Your application will be verified by the Dubai College of Tourism team. Successful applicants will be invited for an interview.

3. Attend interview - Applicants undertake an interview and numeracy and English language assessment. Both will happen on the same day. Successful applicants will be notified that they have been offered a place at Dubai College of Tourism.

4. Make initial payment – you will then be asked to make an initial payment of Dh750.

5. Initial assessment - Tour guides undergo an initial assessment. If successful, they then proceed to the next stage. A further payment of Dh1,500 will be required to proceed with this stage. Tour guides will undergo a knowledge assessment and interview at Dubai College of Tourism. If successful, they then proceed to the third and final stage.

A final payment of Dh5,270 is required to proceed with this stage. Tour guides will undergo guiding skills training and assessment.

6. Practical assessment - After completion of all the training stages, tour guides select an appointment for a final practical assessment at Dubai College of Tourism. Tour guides have two attempts to pass this assessment.

7. Receive tour guide licence - Successful completion of the course will be rewarded with a tour guide licence issued by DTCM and valid for two years.

Licence cost

English – Dh7,500

Mandarin – Dh10,000

Dh20 – Knowledge and innovation fee