Setup a Restaurant Business in Dubai with these Simple Procedures

by Zaara 20, Oct 2017

Restaurant Startup in UAE

It is a fact that UAE is the destination for commerce and talent. The country is rich with human resource in numerous areas and has been chosen by many expatriates for a definite place for career opportunities. At present, ex-pats comprise 88% of the population of the UAE. Food plays an essential part in bonding when different cultures co-exist. Cultural diversity has been the primary reason for the growth of restaurants in the UAE and tourism.

For a successful restaurant business in UAE, some parameters need to be checked. Even though the steps to start a restaurant are easy, there are few rules, regulations and the hygiene conduct code that must be strictly followed. Some of the critical aspects have been mentioned earlier in one of our previous blogs. This article will include all the key points that a business owner needs to go through before opening a food service establishment. Here is the Fiver or the 5 critical points to keep in mind:

First and Foremost- Food Code

There is a food code that guides all the restaurants in Dubai and UAE. A food code enables and informs a restaurant owner about the food safety regulation devised by the food control department of the United Arab Emirates. Meeting the requirements necessary to initiate a food business and getting a license. Consequently, clean food and a clean environment are the primary demands of the UAE food code and the food law regulations implemented on restaurants, cafes, bakeries, canteens, and grocery shops containing food items or linked with serving food.

Food License

This type of trade license allows the business owner to establish a food business in Dubai. The food safety department in UAE demands the following documents for granting a restaurant license in Dubai:

  • NOC from the Department of Economic Development.
  • Premises layout detail.
  • Permission from the Planning Department if you want to open a restaurant in a shopping mall.
  • The liquor license for opening a bar or beverage centre.
  • Essential Food Safety Criteria.

Since the UAE food code imposes some restrictions on the import and export of food items, an initial check is imposed to ensure all this. The restaurant in-charge passes a test and learns about the food processing system. The food department approves the food vehicles, and for pork products, a special certificate is issued. The food safety entities, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality oversee the food safety requirements and ensure the public health and consumers' protection.

Restaurant Construction Requirements

Once all the food-related checks and licenses are in place, the premises or the layout becomes a concern for the entrepreneur. It is necessary to strike a chord with the target audience, along with the following critical requirements:

  • Clean and pest free building.
  • Easy to clean place and one direction food flow.
  • Hygienic utensils.
  • Separate toilets and storage areas away from the kitchen.


The site of the Restaurant is an essential criterion for success. The location also has its upside; if it is an important area, for example, the heart of Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, the cost will vary accordingly. It also depends on the target audience that you wish to cater to. Malls are an equally lucrative area. The footfalls are higher in malls; however, the lease rates could be prohibitive to independent restaurants.

Cost Consideration for Opening a Restaurant and Operating in UAE

Following are some of the costs which become a part of daily operation cost:

  • License
  • Rent
  • Permissions and Occupational Health Cards
  • Staff Training and Recruitment Costs
  • Capital Costs
  • Visas, Insurance and Firefighting test certificate
  • Stock, Equipment and Restaurant Management systems.
  • Collaterals

Detailed pricing for the individual elements outlined can vary depending on licensing authority, lease value, and suppliers utilized. However, the average cost of opening a small, independent restaurant ranges from AED 0.5 Million to AED1.25mn, depending on the restaurant's size and lease costs. The values are based on restaurant space ranging from 500sqm to 1,200sqm. 80% of total money outflow comprises capital costs, rent, and working capital

Planning to start a restaurant business in Dubai and running a successful business requires careful planning, experiment and abiding by the law as food habits are an integral part of the country. For optimum utilization of your time and begin your restaurant business, restaurant business consultant, Dubai, like Commitbiz, provide solutions and information which can save you time and capital. To know more about our services, kindly reach out to us at [email protected].

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