Business Setup Dubai . Business Support Services . Business Setup in Dubai . Restaurant in Dubai .

How to Open a Restaurant in Dubai


Dubai is one of the fastest growing economies of Middle East. Among st many businesses like trade, real estate, construction and IT sector, restaurant business has also thrived in Dubai over the last few years. Euro monitor International forecasts a further addition of 19000 outlets in Food and Beverage industry of Dubai alone by 2019. Let’s look at the reasons why Dubai is an exciting place to open a restaurant business,

  • Diverse pool of customers coming to Dubai from every part of the world i.e. Asia, Europe, Africa, America, Middle East and Australia.
  • Tourism industry is booming
  • Utmost focus and commitment of Dubai government towards economy and GDP
  • Alluring incentives for new business startups for opening a restaurant or cafe in Dubai

If you are looking to launch a restaurant business in Dubai, we have summarized important things to consider as well as how to obtain business license for your restaurant in Dubai.

Restaurant Setup in Dubai

Step 1: Prepare Business Plan

Your business plan should cover the following areas,

  • Specific and clear goals for your restaurant
  • Optimize your cost wisely to ensure profit maximization
  • Always have a backup plan or contingency plan to cope up with unforeseen circumstances
  • Take measures to secure your business

Step 2: Decide Whether to Establish On Shore or Free Zone Business

Free zone businesses do appeal to business startups due to their cost effectiveness but we must keep in mind the restriction that free zone companies can operate only in their respective free zone. This feature is not suitable for restaurant business. The best option therefore is to start an onshore Limited Liability Company in Dubai.

According to Commercial law of UAE, starting a business on Dubai mainland requires a local sponsor who will own 51% of company shares and must be UAE National. Our experts at KWSME can deeply guide you about local sponsor in Dubai and how to form LLC in Dubai.

Step 3: Obtain Trade License for Opening Restaurant

In order to establish a restaurant in Dubai, you will have to secure food and trade license. Food license is obtained through Food and Safety department while trade license is received from Department of Economic Development (DED) and Department of Tourism and Commercial marketing. If you want to add anything in your business activity, additional special licenses are also available such as delivery permit, Ramadan permit, pork permit and more. Our experts at KWSME provide their services for obtaining trade license in Dubai.

The next step is to attain approval for construction plans according to specifications by Food Court department of Dubai. The blueprints of restaurant must state following information,

  • Food processing and storage space
  • Restrooms space
  • Equipment location for food processing
  • Passage for entry and exit
  • Washing machine location

Also, you must place your restaurant at minimum of 30 meters from waste disposal areas and 10 meters of space around restaurant should be kept clean at all times.

Documents Required to Obtain Food License

Following documents are to be submitted to Food Safety Department in Dubai for opening a restaurant,

  • Initial approval by Department of Economic Development
  • Premises layout
  • If restaurant is placed outside shopping center then approval from planning department

Step 4: Choose the Best Location

Location is one of the most important considerations while opening a restaurant in Dubai. Poor choice can yield poor results. Choose that location which supports the type of your restaurant and caters to your customer’s budget. E.g. students will eat at lost cost cafes. Tourists will stay at 5 star hotels and opt for more luxurious eating places. Also when deciding location, keep your competitors in mind as the area must not be saturated so much by them which resultant does not leave space for you to grow.

In order to construct restaurant site, keep in mind that site must be appropriate for business establishment and provide proper space for people and equipment. Cleanliness is of utmost importance and means for disposal of dirt and smoke should be well in place.

There should be no room for pests’ entry. Food must be prepared in enclosed space so that food utensils are not contaminated. Toilets and storage room should be away from kitchens.

Setup your restaurant in Dubai with the help of business setup specialist such as KWSME. We provide complete business formation services as well as business support services in Dubai and UAE. Our experts will guide you through compliance check and licensing procedures and ensure a successful start of your restaurant whilst saving your time and resources.

Leave A Comment

Latest Articles