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How to Get a Restaurant License in Dubai – All You Need to Know

Dubai is home to millions of expats from all around the world. The restaurant sector in the city has witnessed staggering growth in the last few years. More than thousands of restaurant outlets have been started recently. It is one of the most thriving businesses that easily capture the attention of investors abroad.

The most important requirement for the setup of a restaurant is to acquire a restaurant license. Bizvise can help businesses obtain a restaurant license in Dubai.

Before starting a restaurant business in Dubai, you have to keep in mind various factors. This includes license type, location, cost, business plan, and much more. The person must come up with a clear plan based on the business needs and gain adequate information for the successful setup.

Types of restaurant license available in Dubai, UAE

Types of licenses for opening a restaurant in Dubai are

1. Restaurant and Coffee Shops License

This is a Professional license that is required for opening restaurants and coffee shops in Dubai, UAE. Here the restaurants that are equipped with suitable installations to prepare and serve food, as well as snacks inside, are allowed. Also, beverages (liquid refreshments) for immediate consumption by the public are allowed.

2. Mini Store and Restaurant License

This is a commercial license which is required for opening mini restaurants and coffee shops. It allows restaurants to prepare and serve food and snacks inside the restaurant. Apart from that, the license can be used to sell consumer goods such as fresh preserved and canned foodstuff, beverages, dairy products, bakery products, newspapers etc.

3. Floating Restaurant License

This is a commercial license which is required for opening restaurants and coffee shops for Tourism activities. Here the ships, boats, or yachts equipped for dining onboard are considered; Serving food and beverages while the ship is anchoring or on an entertainment trip is also allowed.

How to open a restaurant in Dubai

1. Obtain food and restaurant license

The first step to open a restaurant in Dubai is to acquire your food and trading licenses from the authorities. You should approach the Department of Food and Safety for acquiring the food license. For the trade license you must approach the Department of Economic Development (Approx. AED 10,000 to AED 12,000), and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). For obtaining a food license, a copy of the trade license needs to be produced, along with the interior decoration plan. You might need to obtain other licenses like Food Consignment License, Vehicle Permit License, and Liquor License.

2. Select a suitable location

The second step includes choosing a suitable location. A business location is an important factor in business success. If your location doesn’t attract customers or is not easily accessible, your business won’t be able to grow. You must decide whether the restaurant should start in the mainland, free zone, or offshore.

You can trade in the Dubai mainland area, but the sponsor will hold 51% of your shares, and the rest shall remain with the owner. If you are planning to start a restaurant in one of Dubai free zones, the consent of the corresponding free zone authority should be acquired. The Free zone areas allow you to hold 100% of your shares and might not require a local sponsor. But in free zone your area for trade may have some restrictions. Each area has got their own criteria to start a restaurant business. The selection of location for your business should be based on various factors like, Accessibility, Customer Base, supplier availability, Affordability, Visibility etc.

3. Prepare the business plan

After selecting the location, a proper business plan needs to be outlined. You must clearly state the business plan and analyze all the aspects in a practical manner. Here the factors like SWOT analysis, target marketing, financial plan, contingency plan for uncertainties, market survey, cash flow projections, break-even analysis etc. must be considered.

4. Calculate the business cost

The final thing to be considered before starting your restaurant is to create a proper financial plan to keep track of your spending. This must include the restaurant cost, cost of staffing and pieces of equipment, license cost etc. You must prepare a rough estimate of all the investment and expenditure.

Apart from that, the below mentioned costs should be considered:

  • Local sponsor fee - approximately AED10, 000/year
  • Trade license fee for DED - approximately AED10, 000 to AED 12,000
  • Labor and immigration registration - up to AED 8,000
  • Restaurant premises rent – AED 60, 000 and above (varies by location)

Architectural requirements for opening new restaurant in Dubai

  • A kitchen with an area of at least 300 to 380 square feet (if there is a tandoor in the kitchen), or 40% of the total area of the restaurant
  • Good ventilation facility
  • The chimney should 2 meters higher than the nearest building
  • Walls, floor, and roof that is washable, non-absorbent, and fireproof
  • Storage facility for all types of food items
  • A basin for washing the utensils, a separate basin for cleaning the vegetables, and a separate one for meat
  • The drainage pipe should be at a distance of at least 2 inches from the wall

Documents needed for starting a restaurant in Dubai

  • Trading License.
  • Food and Safety License.

No-Objection Certificate from the Municipality of Dubai Permits such as:

  • Ramadan Permit
  • Liquor Permit
  • Pork Permit
  • Delivery Permit

All the above-mentioned documents should be submitted to the government authorities. The criteria remain the same for all types of business entities.

For realizing your dream of a restaurant business in Dubai, you must seriously consider all these above-mentioned steps. Setting up a new restaurant business is easy if you have clarity in all the steps and procedures. So to carry out tasks in a smooth way and in a timely manner, you need to join hands with a professional business consultant who is well versed with the business corporation procedures as well as the legal laws.

Bizvise can help you acquire a restaurant license in Dubai and all over the UAE and start a successful business. Our team is well-versed with business and legal procedures. As a business consultant in Dubai, we can contribute towards your business growth. We understand your business needs and provide customized and pragmatic solutions accordingly. Here are some of the services we do.

  • We will inform you about the necessary steps for acquiring your restaurant license in Dubai
  • Our team will provide the details of the best locations in Dubai for the restaurant business
  • We will guide you in drafting a comprehensive business plan
  • Our team will help you in getting approvals for food licenses and trade licenses.
  • These licenses are essential for starting a restaurant business in Dubai

If you want to acquire a restaurant license in Dubai and set up your dream business, contact us now.

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