Top 5 reasons to invest in Food and Beverage (F&B) industry in Dubai this year

by Zaara 30, May 2017

Dubai is known for many things, the tall skyscrapers, the glittering gold jewelry industry, the buzzing local markets, and the burgeoning economy.

But in the face of growing and rapidly expanding tourism industry, Dubai is also starting to get acknowledged for its food manufacturing companies/food trading companies.

Food industries in Dubai have recently seen exponential growth in recent times. A lot of this can be owed to the changing eating out habits of the locals and also rising expatriate population in Dubai.

This emirate continues to attract a number of F&B investors coming from homegrown and international brands alike.

Food Manufacturing companies in Dubai

According to a recent report published by KPMG, the UAE is one of the world’s leading F&B market with market size by euro meter at AED  2.4 billion in 2015. Despite the changing macroeconomic conditions, the market has managed to grow over the past 12 months and continues to benefit from UAE’s position as a  global tourism hub, a retail destination and a diverse mix of cultures.

In this blog, we highlight 5 reasons for you to invest in the food companies in Dubai.

  1. Global tourism hub: Dubai has changed over the past few decades in terms of being an oil-fuelled economy to now a melting pot of global cultures in the middle east. Expatriates from all over the world visit Dubai for business and pleasure, some even settle down there for good. This has led to a multicultural mix of population. In view of such a  diverse gentry, the demand for world cuisines has gone up. There is a constant influx of tourists from Russia, India and other parts of Asia.
    Dubai is also a center for global business conferences, meetings, and conventions, due to this a large number of business travelers are in Dubai at any given point of time. The government also keeps on hosting festivals to attract more travelers, the Dubai shopping festival if one of those.  Among the locals, there have changes in eating habits. According to a KPMG report, 67% of people eat out dinner every weekend and 44% eat out or grab a takeaway lunch every day. 66% people go out for brunch once a month.
  2. World famous restaurants: From authentic Indian fare to Indonesian cuisine to straight from the Emirate kitchens, there is something for every foodie in Dubai. Street food in is especially famous for being delectable, affordable and easily available. Restaurants like Zaroob, Tom and Serg, Bu Qtair, Din Tai Fung, Ravi restaurant, Calicut Paragon are very popular among the locals and tourists.
  3. Free zones for business setup: There are multiple free zones in Dubai and other parts of UAE. The purpose of these fees zones is to provide favorable locations and economic policies for foreign investors to set up businesses in Dubai. These free zones offer benefits to foreign investors in terms of relaxed policies on customs and taxes.
    For example, in a free zone, there are minimal to no taxes, there is 0% corporate tax, 0% income tax, and no customs duties. These make business set up in the food industry of Dubai a very favorable venture. In case you want to open a new restaurant chain or set up a franchise of existing restaurants, get in touch with business consultants Commitbiz who will guide you for a successful restaurant business setup in Dubai.
  4. State of the art infrastructure: In Dubai, you need not worry about the infrastructural requirements, the emirate is at par with global standards in infrastructure, modern amenities, and architecture. To visitors, food and shopping go hand in hand and to support that are the world famous malls in Dubai. The Dubai Mall is the world's biggest mall. City walk mall in Jumeirah is known for its Michelin starred culinary concepts. The Outage Village in Jebel Ali boasts of premium food and beverage outlets to help shoppers shop through the day.  Mercato mall in Jumeirah is famous for its family-friendly experience and delicious bakery stores. Besides these, there is the Wafi mall in Dubai Creek, the famous Dubai Marina mall which offers a great dining experience to the visitors and locals.
  5. Easy licensing procedures: While business setup conditions are favorable, it goes without saying the government of UAE is looking out for foreigners who want to invest in UAE. A testament to this fact is the easy business registration and licensing procedures. Types of a company that you can form are Limited Liability Company, Free Zone Company, Branch of a foreign company, Branch of a local company. Some company types require the presence of a local sponsor. There are benefits associated with each, you must decide which suits your business plan best and go ahead with the restaurant licensing registration of your dream company. Like we stated before, Commitbiz can also guide you through this procedure, so you can focus on making your company a profitable venture. If you are looking for an alcohol license, then it should be known that there is a special process for procuring the same and additional fee is charged by the authorities.

In the retail space, the UAE is one of the top 10 markets in the world. Within the food and beverage industry, 30 % of new brands set up shop in 2015 itself.
So what is the recipe for success in the Food manufacturing business in Dubai? Here is our take on it.

Indian, Italian and Arabic are the most popular cuisines, quick service and casual setting of restaurants are preferred more. Cafes as a concept are quite popular in the region and chicken is a favorite food item of all.

Besides this, location is an important aspect. Getting the concept right and listening to what the customer wants is key to running a successful food business.
The quality of the food matters as much as the hospitality of your restaurant staff.
Since the industry is growing so fast, a number of restaurants which have not been able to keep up with the demand have been struggling. Therefore having long term business plan that factors in the economy and growing competition will be helpful in keeping your business stay afloat for years to come.

Have questions on how to get started?

Write to us at and we will be happy to help you.