How to Set Up a Retail Business in Dubai?

by Zaara 06, Aug 2019


The United Arab Emirates continues to be the most attractive market in the region for retailers with substantial growth opportunities, especially in Dubai. The country ranks 5th in global retail, and it exceeded $73 billion in 2016, thus remaining as a firm pillar underpinning economic growth. Dubai is well known as the Middle-East's shopping capital, and the same developers who built malls of astounding dimensions on the site of Silk Road souqs are now looking to innovate and expand, creating new possibilities for financing and fresh experience for shoppers.

Starting a retail business in Dubai in the retail sector could be very advantageous and growth-oriented for you. There are a few requirements for businesspeople to adhere while opening a retail shop in Dubai.

Procedure to Start a Retail Shop in Dubai

To start your retail business, there are a few steps that you have to consider. For example, assume you have a coffee shop and see how this business can be started in Dubai. The steps are as follows;

1.Business Plan

Before starting any business in Dubai or anywhere in the world, the first step that you have to prepare has a proper business plan. It has to be done after a comprehensive market analysis. A business plan is very important to assure progress in the business. Coffee retail is a high volume, low transaction business and a coffee house may require a huge amount of money in startup costs.

2.Find a Local Sponsor

If you are starting a business on the mainland, you need to have a local sponsor. A local sponsor will have 51% of shares in the company while the remaining goes to the owner of the company. Thus to open a coffee shop, this step is a must unless you sign an investor protected contract. If not, you can start a business in a free zone where you can have full foreign ownership.

3.Select a Location

Selecting a suitable jurisdiction will help you in the future. The things to consider here are market suitability for your coffee shop, the total cost required to set up the shop, the customer wants etc. You can choose an area that people can come conveniently and more often. You can also go for renting a shop. It can be quite challenging with all the rules and regulations that one has to follow, but it’s not impossible.

4.Business Registration and Licensing

The next step is obtaining a trade license for your coffee shop. You will also need to register your business before acquiring the license. Apart from this, there are other certificates and approvals from the concerned authorities like Department of Economic Development (DED), Chamber of Commerce and many others that have to be taken before starting your business in Dubai.

5.Hire Employees

In most cases, you will need to hire a manager to oversee the operations in your shop. However, if you hold the Intelaq license, you are not allowed to hire staff. You can, at the most, engage contractors for the work. You will also have to provide a visa to your employees if you want to hire them.

Key Considerations

  1. Promotion of Your Shop- Attract your customers by placing ads such as discounts, coupons, and weekly deals
  1. The staff of your shop- Hire friendly staff whose prime purpose should be going above and beyond for customers satisfaction
  1. Upkeep of Coffee Shop- Create a clean and welcoming environment for your customers so that they keep coming back. Manage products carefully, remove rotten produce immediately.

Dubai business setup process is smooth and hassle-free if you follow all the guidelines correctly. Once you start your retail shop, you can look for expansion or other such options. If you require any help in this process, you have a choice of taking consultation services as they are well-versed with the laws and regulations in Dubai, UAE.

We at Commitbiz can help you with the business setup services. Our advisors are experienced in this field and can make this process smooth and hassle-free. Contact ustoday- we’d be happy to assist you.


Which are the Top Retail companies in Dubai?

As of 2022, these are the best-performing retail companies in Dubai -

  • Chalhoub Group

  • Alshaya


  • Al Tayer Group

  • Paris Group International

Which are the top 7 Fashion Retail Companies in Dubai?

Here’s the list of Fashion retail companies in Dubai -

  • Gucci

  • Chanel

  • Dior

  • Prada

  • Cartier

  • Fendi

  • Ralph Lauren

Which are the Top 5 Luxury Retail companies in Dubai?

These are the Top 5 luxury retail businesses in Dubai -

  • Chalhoub Group

  • GGI Retail

  • Rivoli Group

  • The Luxury Closet

  • Paris Group International LLC

Which is the most Affordable location for doing retail business in Dubai?

Dubai Internet City (DIC) is the most sought-after location by retailers in Dubai. It has the top-notch infrastructure in terms of office space, warehouse, Parking location, etc. And also the right technological support for businesses to harness the internet for growth.

Start your Entrepreneurship Journey Today in UAE from AED 5,500

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