Cafeteria License in Dubai

The UAE, without a doubt, is one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East. Investors around the world look for opportunities to enter the UAE market. The restaurant sector, in particular, has seen tremendous growth in last few years. According to Euromonitor International, an additional 19,000 outlets are expected to enter Dubai by 2019, providing one more reason to invest in food and beverage sector there. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have seen a diverse array of customers from every continent of the world. There is a strong backing from the government - it provides attractive incentives for starting a restaurant/cafeteria business in Dubai.

How to Get a Cafeteria License in Dubai?

An important step, if you are planning to open a restaurant or a cafeteria in Dubai is to obtain food and trade licenses. Food license will be obtained from the Food and Safety Department, and Trade license will be obtained from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai. Getting a license is a critical process; skipping necessary steps has the potential to leave your business vulnerable to legal fines and closure. Now, let us discuss the steps required to get a cafeteria license in Dubai.

Procedure to Obtain a Cafeteria License in Dubai

  1. The first step is to obtain a trade license and a food license from the respective authorities
  2. Select a local sponsor who will act as a sleeping partner in your business
  3. Get approval on construction plans that has to be done keeping in mind the specifications mentioned by the Food and Safety Department
  4. If you are renting a place for your cafeteria, select a suitable place and sign a tenancy contract with the landlord
  5. Sign an agreement with your partner at the notary public court
  6. Submit all the documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  7. Apply for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) on food product establishment trade license from the Food Safety Department
  8. After you get approval from the DED as well as Dubai Municipality, they will provide you with a license within a week
  9. Only after getting the license can you register it with the Ministry of Labor and the Immigration Department to apply for visas for workers who are required to run your cafe

Documents Required to Obtain a Cafeteria License in Dubai

  1. For blueprints of the restaurant:
  • the space for food processing and storage
  • the sanitary spaces such as restrooms
  • the windows and ventilation system
  • the location of the equipment used to process the food
  • the entry and exit passages
  • the location of the washing machines
  1. For food license approval from the Food & Safety Department:
  • the first approval issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • the layout of the premises
  • approval from the Planning Department, if the restaurant is to be located outside a shopping center
  1. For trade license approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing:
  • a license application signed by the company managers or their legal representatives
  • a Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • attested company name approval letter from the DED
  • passport copy of management partners

Food Safety Requirements to Open a Cafeteria in Dubai

To ensure food safety, the cafeteria must obtain licenses such as:

  • a food consignment release license
  • a pork permit for handling and serving pork products
  • a vehicle permit for transporting food products

The government also imposes a special regulation on import/export of food products. Also, the restaurant must be placed at a minimum of 50 meters waste disposal facilities as they could lead to contamination of food. At least 10 meters of the area around the restaurant should be kept clean at all times. The cafeteria license cost in Dubai is AED 140,000 to AED 200,000 approximately. Trade license renewal in Dubai can be done yearly from the DED.

Location Requirements to Open a Cafeteria in Dubai

  1. The location chosen to start the cafeteria must first of all be appropriate, providing space to keep all the equipment required to prepare the food
  2. There must be enough space for disposal of dirt and evacuation of smoke
  3. The building must not provide any access to pests
  4. The toilets and storage area must be separated from the kitchen
  5. The walls, floor and roof should be washable, non-absorbent and fireproof
  6. There should be a basin for washing utensils, a separate basin for cleaning vegetables, and a separate one for meat

Cafeteria is a challenging venture due to a lot of competition, but with the right amount of planning and thorough execution, opening and running a cafeteria in Dubai can be a highly lucrative business. There are many investors looking to invest in this sector, so if you are really keen on starting a cafeteria business, this might be the right time. For any help or advice on starting a cafeteria business in Dubai, do contact us – we’d be happy to assist.