National and Local Administration in Dubai

Contact information for the national and local administrative centres of Dubai. The place to go for residency papers, vehicle registration papers, driving licences and more...

Many government departments have relevance for foreigners moving to and living in Dubai and information is usually available in English.

Dubai Government Authorities and Organisations

When calling by telephone, most automated messages begin in Arabic; push "2" to skip forward to English or wait for the instructions in English. When using government websites, the default language is usually Arabic. There is almost always an English translation button.

Department of Economic Development (DED)

The DED oversees registration and licensing for businesses in Dubai. Reasons to contact the DED include:

  • To lodge a complaint against a business
  • To confirm a business is currently licensed to operate and what activities it may be engaged in
  • To get information about how to start a local business
  • For a list of all DED office locations: Click here
  • For consumer rights information: Click here
  • Department of Economic Development (DED)
    Main Office at
    : Baniyas Road, Deira
    Open: all offices open Sunday to Thursday 07:30-13:30
    Tel: 04 222 9922
    Fax: 04 222 5577

Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

The DHA oversees the quality of public and private healthcare facilities and services in Dubai. Reasons to contact DHA include:

  • Information on how to obtain a health card for access to government healthcare facilities
  • To arrange a medical exam as a part of the residence visa requirements
  • To lodge a complaint against a private medical facility or practitioner
  • For a list of government hospitals and health centres: Click here
  • Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
    : 800 342
    Fax: 04 311 3113

Dubai Municipality (DM)

The Dubai Municipality oversees all branches of local government, public works and the preservation of local heritage sites. Reasons to contact DM include:

  • Request for permits for commercial activities such as outdoor advertising, construction and zoning
  • Public health and hygiene complaints
  • Building permits for swimming pools and other structural changes or additions
  • To register and obtain a licence for domestic pets
  • To find the closest customer service centre: Click here
  • Dubai Municipality (DM)
    Main office at
    : Baniyas Road, Al Rigga (Deira)
    Open: Sunday to Thursday, 07:30-14:30
    Tel: 70 004 0000 (general enquiries, 24 hours)
    Tel: 04 223 2323 (health and safety complaints)
    Tel: 60 054 5555 (consumer complaints)

Dubai Municipality Rent Committee (DMRC)

The DMRC (also known as the "Rent Committee") has full legal authority to handle rental disputes between landlords and tenants. Reasons to contact DMRC:

  • For disputes over the return of security deposits or other money owed by landlord or tenant
  • To resolve issues not covered in a rental contract
  • To lodge a complaint against a landlord or tenant
  • For information on how to lodge a complaint: Click here
  • Dubai Municipality Rent Committee (DMRC)
    Opposite Dubai Municipality Building, Baniyas Road, Al Rigga (Deira)
    Tel: 04 221 5555

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (DNRD)

The DNRD administers passports, visa processing and domestic workers' labour cards. It also handles complaints against absconders (individuals who do not fulfil the terms of their labour contract) and violations of the residency and naturalisation laws. Reasons to visit DNRD:

  • To process, renew or cancel residence visas and/or labour cards for family members or household helpers
  • To report an employee who has absconded
  • To register the death of an expatriate and obtain proof of a cancelled visa

There are 6 DNRD offices in Dubai. All are open from Sunday to Thursday 08:00-20:00. Call the main number to locate the nearest one.

Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)

The KHDA oversees all public and private schools and educational institutions in Dubai. It carries out school inspections. All primary and secondary schools, day care centres and educational institutions must be licensed by the KHDA to operate in Dubai. Reasons to contact KHDA:

  • If an issue cannot be resolved directly with a child's school, contact the KHDA for support and to lodge a complaint
  • To obtain a copy of the latest school inspection reports
  • To confirm legal guidelines for enrolment fees and processes
  • Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA)
    : Block 8, Dubai International Academic City (PO Box 500008, Dubai, UAE)
    Tel: 04 364 0000
    Fax: 04 364 0001

Ministry of Education (MOE)

The Ministry of Education is a federal ministry that sets general education laws for the United Arab Emirates. Reasons to contact MOE:

  • For official information on public holidays and start dates for schools
  • Information on official documents needed to register at a private school
  • Ministry of Education (MOE) 
    : Al Rashidiya Road, Al Qusais 2 
    Tel: 800 511 15 / 04 299 4100 / 04 217 6666 
    Fax: 04 299 4535

Ministry of Health (MOH)

The MOH regulates advertisements made by the medical community, oversees licensing of medical practitioners and institutions and certifies medical documents. Reasons to contact MOH:

  • Attestation of birth certificates for expatriate children born in the United Arab Emirates
  • To register the death of someone in the UAE
  • Ministry of Health (MOH)
    PO Box 1853, Dubai, UAE 
    Tel: 800 1111 / 04 396 6000
    Fax: 04 396 5666

Ministry of Labour (MOL)

The Ministry of Labour is a federal ministry with offices in each Emirate. It is in charge of administrating labour laws including severance pay, working hours and safety in the workplace. Labour laws do not apply to household workers. Any issue regarding household workers must be taken to the DNRD. Reasons to contact MOL:

  • Employers must register employee information and labour contracts to receive mandatory labour cards for their employees
  • If there is a dispute between an employer and employee, a complaint may be lodged
  • Ministry of Labour (MOL)
    : Baghdad Road, Al Qusais 1
    Tel: 800 665
    Fax: 04 702 3333

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

RERA enforces rental laws and disputes, licensing of estate agents and deals with issues pertaining to the sale and purchase of property. Reasons to contact RERA:

  • To check the licence status of an estate agent or broker
  • To lodge a complaint against an estate agent, broker or property developer
  • To enquire about rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • To register a lease contract
  • Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)
    : Dubai Municipality Building - Dubai Land Department, Baniyas Road, Al Rigga (Deira)
    Tel: 04 222 1112 / 04 203 0555
    Fax: 04 221 5533

Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

The RTA is in charge of all public transportation and licensing services. Almost all administrative procedures, such as driver's licence renewals and vehicle registrations, can be done online through RTA's e-Services. Main reasons to visit RTA:

  • For vehicle testing and registration at customer service centres
  • To apply for a driver's licence
  • To lodge a complaint against a taxi or bus driver
  • For a list of the e-services available online: Click here
  • For a list of all customer service centres: Click here
  • Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)
    Main Office at
    : Al Marrakesh Street, Garhoud (across from Dubai Duty Free)
    Tel: 800 9090 (24 hours)