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The rising tourist arrivals, increasing urban lifestyles, and high disposable income have enhanced the growth of the food service market in the UAE. In fact, the UAE food service market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 7.02% in the next five years

And did you know that 38 new restaurants are set to open in Dubai in 2023?

So, are you planning to start your own restaurant in UAE and looking for information on how to acquire permits? If so, continue reading this article to learn the entire procedure.

Things You Need To Know To Acquire Permits To Start A Restaurant In The UAE

Location And Business Plan
 
1.First, decide whether to open a restaurant on Dubai’s mainland or a free zone.

If you choose the free zone, you can own 100% of the company and don’t require a local sponsor. 

Meanwhile, by choosing the mainland, you must allocate 51% of your company to a local Emirati who will act as your sponsor.

Either way, you must seek approval from the relevant authority. Get a permit from the Department of Economic Development(DED) for the mainland and the independent authority for free trade zone.

2.Despite the location you have planned to set up your restaurant, you must create a restaurant business plan and submit it to the authorities. 

This business plan must contain your vision, air, goals, and, importantly, the budget, i.e., you must do the business costing to estimate the capital needed for the restaurant’s initial investment and its running needs.

This plan must clearly state why you want this restaurant, what your intentions and activities are, and the backup plan if you tend to face unforeseen complications in your business. This business plan will be handled and supervised by the DED

Trade License

Layout requirement for opening a restaurant in Dubai:

The trade license will be issued only after authorities review your restaurant’s construction plan.

To obtain a license, restaurant owners must meet the minimum standards set by the Food Control Department.

For instance:

The restaurant area must be at least 750 sq ft with a kitchen area of at least 300 sq ft to 380sq ft, based on the tandoor oven’s presence.

The food storage areas must have stainless steel shelves.

Besides this, the washing area must accommodate separate basins for fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables.

There must be a separate basin for handwashing. 

Next, ensure a chimney in the cooking area is fixed and at least extended 2 meters higher than the nearest building near the restaurant in the cooking area is a must.

The restaurant’s walls, floor, and roof must have three things – washable, non-absorbent, and fireproof.

Required Documents for Dubai Trade License

The documents you will need are:
  • Initial approval letter from DED
  • A finalized and detailed business plan
  • Blueprints and floor plan of the restaurant
  • Premises tenancy contract
  • If you choose to set up on the mainland, you must submit a Memorandum of Association with your local sponsor.

How to obtain a trade license?

  1. Establish your business nature, whether it is commercial, industrial, or professional.
  2. State the expected corporate behavior of your company.
  3. Next, declare your business’s legal status in the UAE.
  4. Register a trading name for your restaurant.
  5. Fill in the application form in the DED department.
  6. State your corporate office and fill out the registration forms.
  7. Finally, prepare all the necessary documents and submit every requested information to the DED for final approval.

3.You need permits to run the business and a business license to set up the restaurant in UAE from the Department of Economic Development (DED). 

So, getting a food license from the Food Safety Department is essential. 

Only when your trade license is approved can you request a food license.

Some permits you must obtain for food items are:
  • Pork license
  • Alcohol license
  • Permit for operating during Ramadan
  • Permit for food delivery

Purchasing a food license will charge you approx AED10,000 to AED12,000 in Dubai.

Note:

Getting a pork permit in Dubai for your restaurant is not required if you only want to serve customers Halal food!

4.It is important to check all the boxes in the comprehensive food code document that points out the requirements a food establishment must follow. Thus ensuring a world-class food safety system for UAE’s residents and millions of tourists.

How to obtain a food license?
  1. You must present the blueprint of your restaurant ambiance to the authorities. 
  2. As a restaurant owner, you must get approval for the food code from the Food Control Department of Dubai.
  3. You must give clear details on the area of your restaurant, food storage areas, washing areas, chimney, and a separate basin in your blueprint.
  4. With all the above-mentioned documents and information, you can visit the DED department to get your food license registered.

What Documents Do You Need to Start a Restaurant Business in Dubai/UAE?

Here’s a list of documents required to start a restaurant business in Dubai and get a restaurant license in Dubai.
  • Trading license
  • Food license
  • Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the municipality of Dubai
  • Photocopy of the issued trade license
  • Typed BR/1 form
  • Confirmation report of P.O box
  • Ejari Registration Certificate
  • Passport size photo
  • DED letter approving your restaurant name
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Tenancy agreement form
  • Proof of payment
  • UAE ID Number

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Final Words

Since Dubai/UAE has become one of the most preferred tourist destinations worldwide, starting a restaurant business is a good decision. 

It is crucial to ensure that all the steps mentioned above must be taken carefully after research and consideration to get the license without any hassle.

We hope you successfully set up your dream restaurant in UAE. As a new restaurant owner, you might find it intimidating to deal with multiple tasks. To streamline your restaurant tasks and manage them easily, get PosBytz, your all-in-one restaurant POS software. To get more details about restaurant POS software, click here.

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