How to start a grocery business in Dubai?

Grocery business in Dubai
November 30, 2023

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The UAE is the land of opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs and newbie business owners. Especially, Dubai is among the cities in the Middle East that have an operating environment that is the most attractive. Similarly, it provides endless possibilities to small investors to start a grocery business in Dubai during 2024.

The United Arab Emirates has a great liking for small businesses here can quickly grow and flourish. Opening a grocery business in Dubai is one such example of low cost, high-profit potential business. A grocery store or a retail store offers several perks and multiple trading avenues.

To setup a business in Dubai, whether small/big, you must know the process to follow to achieve your goal. The government of the UAE has made the procedure to start a grocery business in Dubai as easy as possible. Nevertheless, entering a foreign marketplace anywhere is always tricky, therefore one should always tread carefully.

Considerations before launching a grocery business in Dubai

What are the things to consider before launching a grocery business in Dubai?

Here are the factors that people need to think upon while they launch a business for grocery/food in Dubai.

Now we take a look at these factors.

Know your business

First-of-all, you must have complete awareness about your business. So, checking the viability of your business idea is very important. The success of every business depends on thorough research, and amassing comprehensive knowledge about that region.

Accordingly, you should devise a business plan that can assist you in attracting investors and customers alike. Once, you have gone through all this thought process and are confident of your chances on making it big. Only then you are ready to start a grocery business in Dubai.

Read more: Begin trading business in Dubai

Find local business partners

Yes, the UAE government has done away the requirement of a local partner for foreign investors. But you can’t manage all stages of your supply chain. Therefore, you need to join hands with different partners like manufacturers, distributors, and investors.

Further reading: Places for foreign entrepreneurs to do business in UAE

Assess your financial viability

Your business should be financially sound for it to be registered at the Ministry of Commerce. For this purpose, you need to submit a proof that clearly states your stability. Besides, newcomers to the UAE have to get support from local banks, financial companies, and fin-tech solution providers.

Dubai’s retail vertical including the grocery segment is one of the most lucrative and high-yield business sectors in the UAE. The grocery business in Dubai offers entrepreneurs with massive investment and business opportunities. Dubai Shopping Festival, the World Dubai Expo 2020, and other such events have led to a boom to the grocery business.

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Rules for getting a grocery license in Dubai

Which are the rules for getting a grocery license in Dubai?

There are some rules that grocery businesses must follow strictly to a T. So that you have a pleasant experience while doing business in Dubai. The set of rules that one must follow to get a grocery license in Dubai is as follows.

  • The trade name on the grocery store’s signboard must be same as on the license.
  • If the store’s location is supposed to change then the owner must have approval from the DED beforehand.
  • The DED must know about all the products being sold at the store.
  • Also, the owner must tell DED about the existence of any bogus products being sold in the store.
  • The sale of any item should be acknowledged via some proper means – such as an invoice – that will clearly declare the policies regarding replacement, return and refund of the purchased commodities.
  • Any amendment/alteration must not be carried out without the approval of the concerned authority.
  • The customer’s duty is to make sure that they acquire the invoice for the goods purchased.
  • Pots, vegetables, dry fruits, electric appliances, fruits, clothing, and toys must not be displayed overtly.
  • Products must have a date of production and expiry labeled prominently.
  • To sell as well as promote the fake and counterfeit goods is not allowed.
  • The groceries in the store must not have any sort of flash sales, sales discount, and special offers without proper and prior permission.
  • Prices must be clearly visible on all the products.
  • No business activity will be entertained after midnight until and unless the permission for it has been obtained already.
  • The trademark and name of the groceries and the store must be registered with the Ministry of Economy.
  • Under the grocery license, one is not allowed to sell under any circumstances products categorized as medical, herbal, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic.
  • No grocery store must involve themselves in any promotional activities or campaigns until and unless the principal company gets the permit.

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Steps to open a grocery store in Dubai

What steps you need to follow to open a grocery store in Dubai?

To start a grocery business in Dubai, entrepreneurs need to follow this step-by-step procedure.

Next, we briefly discuss these steps.

Step 1: Choose the business jurisdiction

You must open your grocery store in Dubai in a business jurisdiction that fits your company’s needs the best. The Dubai government offers additional perks for suitable business locations like the Dubai Mall or the Meena Bazaar, etc. Keep in mind that your company must have a proper shareholding structure for it to function properly.

Step 2: Obtain a grocery license

Every business activity in Dubai comes under certain license and other mandatory certifications from an authority. Mostly, this authority is the Department of Economic Development (DED) if you’re considering mainland Dubai as your base of operations. A grocery license in Dubai allows you to sell all consumer goods except medical, pharmaceutical, herbal and cosmetics products.

Starting a grocery business in Dubai also demands meticulous paperwork that should include certifications. You have to take approvals from various departments. In addition, you have to acquire valid visas and permissions from different entities.

Remember that getting your Grocery license in Dubai is not a child’s play. As it requires lengthy documentation and adherence to many rules that the authorities keep as necessary requirement. However, a grocery store can prove a good investment for you.

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Dubai is known for its retail market and shopping experience internationally. Presently, the DED is introducing new stricter standards to improve the quality of services available to the people of Dubai. The new standards are reinforcing its position as the world’s leading destination for shopping.

In case, you want to open a grocery store in Dubai, you can take help from business consultants. They can assist you with all the necessities that you have to fulfill. For example, getting the license, approval from the municipalities, renting a store location, etc.

Contact us at KWS Middle East today to let us aid you to start your grocery store with little fuss.

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