Later, the GCAA said, "The four-seat plane crashed while on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport, with all crew members, three British, and a South African, killed".
A South African and three British passengers aboard the plane died.
The four-seat, twin-engine propeller aircraft was registered in the United Kingdom and crashed around 5 kilometres south of the airport.
Flight Calibration Services Limited was hired by U.S. company Honeywell to carry out work on navigation aids, such as radars and landing systems, at the airport, according to the BBC.
Planes holding over the Gulf and close to DXB.
"Dubai Airports can confirm that operations at @DXB were suspended from 19:36 to 20:22 UAE local time due to an incident involving a small non-commercial aircraft in the vicinity of the airport", the airport said on Twitter.
Officials identified the plane as a DA42 model, manufactured by Chinese company Diamond Aircraft Industries, based in Austria.
The only other major incident in recent years was when Emirates Flight 521, from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala crashed on the runway of Dubai International Airport on August 3, 2016.
An investigation has begun and "relevant teams are on the scene", the Dubai Media Office tweeted.
Flight Calibrations Service announced in November it signed a contract to work on the airport's "navaids", the beacons around an airport that show pilots where runways are and how to land on them.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: 'We are working closely with the Emirati authorities following reports of a small aircraft crash in Dubai'.
The plane is owned by Honeywell, which provides engineering services and aerospace systems, and is registered to Flight Calibrations Service Ltd, based in Shoreham in West Sussex, the AP news agency reported. We are waiting for more details'.
Investigations are under way and the airport is operating as normal. On Friday morning, police and flight investigators continued to work at the crash site.
Dubai International is now operating at a reduced capacity because of ongoing work to one of its runways.
Following the accident, all flight operations at Dubai Airport were halted for 45 minutes, causing inbound flights to hold or divert.