Food and Beverage Industry in the UAE – Part II

by Zaara 28, Sep 2020

In the first half, we mentioned everything about the Food and Beverage market, growth and opportunities for the entrepreneurs in the UAE. The second half is all about the process, requirements and advantages of investing and establish a business in the F&B sector.

As you all know already, the UAE’s food and beverage sector is enormous and is only expected to get bigger. It is estimated that the size of this market is currently AED 142 billion and is projected to grow up to AED 145 billion by the year 2021. So, why not take advantage of this opportunity and invest in the F&B sector.

How to Start a Business in Food and Beverage Sector?

Underpinned by the worldwide “foodie” movement, it’s easy to see why the UAE is an exciting place for hopeful restauranteurs. If you are not aware, here’s the reason why –

  • A thriving and varied array of customers from every continent of the world: Asia, Europe, The Australia, the Americas, and the Middle East
  • Fast-growing tourism industry
  • Strong government commitment to growing the economy and GDP
  • Attractive incentives for starting a restaurant or cafeteria in the food & beverage industry

These benefits are enough for anyone to set up a food business in the UAE. So, let’s dive into the different options you have for investing in the F&B sector.

Some of the highly availed business options are highlighted below:

  • Restaurants, Hotels and Café
  • Canteen in schools and hospitals
  • Bakeries
  • Butcheries
  • Food Truck
  • Food Catering Units
  • Food Factories and Warehouses
  • Food Packing Material Manufacturers and Suppliers

The procedure for opening a business in the F&B sector for any business in this sector is almost the same, but there are some changes in getting approvals or extra documentation. Overall, the steps are as under –

1.Secure your Food and Trade License

The first important step of launching your business is securing food and trade license. The food license can be obtained from the Food and Safety Department, and the trade license can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. If you’d like to offer something extra in your business, there are several individual licenses you can apply for comprising a delivery permit, pork permit, liquor permit, Ramadan permit and more.

To obtain the food license, here are the documents needed –

  • Copy of the trade license or initial approval from the authority that issues trade license
  • Interior design layout of the premises, if applicable. This is fundamentally a blueprint of your restaurant that must contain the following in the restaurant
    • The entry and exit passages
    • Space for processing food
    • Space for storing food
    • The windows and ventilation system
    • Location of food equipment that will be used to process the food
    • Washing machines, dishwashers and other supportive equipment’s
  • Additionally, approval from the planning department is required if the restaurant is located outside the shopping centre.

2.Select the Location

Location is significant while setting up your business. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the prime locations in the UAE, where tourists flock throughout the year. There are also tourist zones, such as Jumeirah Beach Walk, or high-quality residential zones such as Arabian Ranches and the Palm. It is essential to choose a location which will support your restaurant type and your consumer’s budget. For instance, students tend to prefer lower cost cafeterias as they are not in full-time work. Areas visited by tourists staying in the 5-star hotels can accommodate more luxurious and exotic restaurants. You can research as to which place is the best to open your restaurant/café in the UAE.

3.Decide on the Business Plan

A business plan is the heart and soul of your business. Without having a business plan, you will not have an investment or a proper future for your business. Here are the four areas you must cover in your business plan –

  • Set clear goals for your food business in the UAE
  • Guarantee every dollar of your capital spend is used wisely to maximizing your food business profits
  • Have an emergency plan to deal with the inevitability of the unforeseen
  • Protect your business and brand as you advance in the market

Once you cover these essential things, you are right to move forward. If you want to learn more about different processes of starting a business in the F&B sector, click here.

It can be challenging to complete these procedures on your own, especially if you are new in the country. That is where we come into the picture. We at Commitbiz have years of experience in this field and are well-versed with the legal proceedings.

Contact us today for more information.