Have you ever envisioned owning a restaurant business in a thriving, developed, and advanced nation like Dubai, UAE? With a steady surge in tourist footfalls, Dubai is the place for tourists and explorers. Dubai is a unique and vibrant city with a great influx of tourists. This brings in the diverse needs of the culinary scene.
Perhaps, this brings enticing opportunities to share the unique food vision with the restaurant industry. Before you delve into the restaurant industry it is significant to obtain the much-needed licensing. Let us explore in detail the ways to obtain the license and set up the restaurant in Dubai.
In Dubai, you can harbor aspirations of introducing your unique gastronomic vision or creating an unparalleled dining experience. All this is available in none other than Dubai. Dubai is a renowned city in the Middle East. It is well known for its opulence, dynamism, and diversity. It beckons with an enticing opportunity for everyone, especially in the restaurant industry.
Yes before delving into this venture, it’s crucial to understand the restaurant business and the industry of the region. In Dubai, the restaurants operate under the Food Code. This stipulates peculiar requisites attached to it. The foremost task is selecting the appropriate company. You need to decide concerning the type of company.
This is important to oversee your restaurant enterprise in the city. The journey to obtain the Obtain a Restaurant License in Dubai is a crucial step to accomplish. Here in this article, we will have a closer look into the way to obtain a license of opening a culinary venture.
In Dubai, you have the choice of establishing your company on the mainland or within a free zone. This decision hinges on multiple factors including ownership. The ownership can be partial or full. The location of the business plays a critical role in its success or failure.
The free zones like Dubai Airport Free Zone and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre offer licenses to the restaurants opening in the city. In Dubai, anyone can opt for a Limited Liability Company on the mainland.
This often proves to be a favorable option. All this is because of its transparency in specifications. Alongside, it is also an ideal location due to its speedy incorporation and flexibility it provides to the business location. The Restaurant and Multi Restaurant Center trade license activities both fall under the same category.
This enables foreign nationals to hold 100% ownership of the mainland in Dubai. Still, there is a need for a local or national sponsor to open the restaurant in the city. This is a vital requirement while serving as a Legal Service Agent.
To launch a restaurant in Dubai there is a need for two licenses. Both of them are equally imperative. The names of two licenses are the Trade License and the Food License. Additionally, there is a specification of a ‘No-Objection Certificate’ in this regard. It is obtained from the Dubai Municipality of the city. The certificate nature is dependent upon the business model.
Additionally, you might need a Liquor License along with a no-objection certificate. Alongside this, there is a need for a Delivery Permit and Ramadan Permits. Besides, Pork Permit that includes the Non-Halal Food Activity also requires a special permit. Let us proceed further by delving into the details of each license mentioned and described above in the article.
There is a need to initiate the application process to begin with the process. Trade license requires the application to be submitted to the relevant authorities.
It is to be initiated by submitting the form to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Also, there is a need for Approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). It is equally necessary. If you are considering establishing a restaurant in a free zone, a similar process applies. Still, there are some potential variations on the basis of the specific free zone regulations.
The cost of the Trade License is calculated by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). They will take into account some of the crucial factors when calculating the amount. This includes factors like the legal structure of the restaurant, selected activities, and 5% of the rental amount. It’s worth noting that rental expenses in popular locations like Downtown to Jumeirah are much higher. The range starts from AED 258 and can go up to AED 1,010 per square foot.
For instance, if your restaurant occupies 750 square feet. This results in a yearly rent of AED 200,000. Besides, the trade license fee is also charged. The Trade License fee is likely to start from AED 20,000. The fee is subject to renewal on an annual basis. Precision is the next step. Precision is defined as the activities associated with the Trade License. Here are some current activity options available to choose from:
The Restaurant depends upon the Professional License type. This includes factors such as restaurants equipped to prepare and serve food, drinks, snacks, and beverages. The commodities offered are available for immediate consumption by the public. Limited sales of related materials are allowed in non-commercial quantities.
There are floating Restaurants which are also called commercial License types. This covers the dining options on ships, boats, or yachts. The food and beverages are served there during anchoring or entertainment cruises. Sales of related materials are allowed in limited quantities.
The Restaurant & Mini Store falls under the category of Commercial License type. Restaurants with food and beverage services can also sell consumer goods. This may include fresh and preserved foodstuff, beverages, drinks, dairy, bakery products, newspapers, magazines, and so forth. The sales of such products must not overshadow the primary role of the restaurant.
The Multi Restaurant Center falls under the category of Professional License type. This involves a shared area housing various food vendors and coffee shops in the city. Customers can enjoy their meals within the premises or in a common seating area like in shopping malls.
To initiate the Trade License application, there is a requirement for the following documents. It includes Passport copies, photos of the owner/owners, a complete application form with a selected activity list, and an appeal with a trading name. You need to consider a few options that might already be in use. Moreover, you need to submit the documents Local Service Agent or Corporate Agent Agreement with a UAE national.
Alongside, with the agreement that entails yearly service agent fees negotiated between you and the Agent. There is a need for office or retail space along with a Tenancy Contract attested by EJARI.
The application along with the necessary documents will be submitted for initial approval by the concerned authorities. In the future, additional documents might be requested if needed. Furthermore, any additional specifications can be submitted via a reference. The reference is in the form obtained from the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Next, the letter is forwarded to the DTCM for the final Trade License approval.
The Food License is officially issued by the Food Safety Department of Dubai. It is one of the critical components of setting up a restaurant in Dubai. You already possess a Trade License before applying for the Food License. During this stage, there is a requirement of submitting a Blueprint of your restaurant. It will carry the details of its interior design, structure, and layout.
The Blueprint clearly identifies the entry and exit points. It should also highlight the dedicated spaces for food processing, storage areas for processes, and much more. It also showcases the raw food, ventilation systems, kitchen areas, equipment storage facilities, and restrooms. According to regulations, the restaurant must have an area of a minimum of 750 square feet.
The Blueprint should be prepared by a professional consultant. The planned and structured layout is approved by the Dubai Food Safety Department. The professional consultant will scale the layout based on the “Equipment Requirements and Specifications” as per the requirements. The approved layout will be submitted online via the Building Department’s system. It is evaluated by the Safety Department. Once approval is given the documents will be transferred forward. Following this, it is transferred to the Food Inspection System of the city.
There are certain requirements for Liquor License that should be accounted for. It is mandatory if you intend to sell alcohol in a restaurant in Dubai. The applicant should be a Non-Muslim to apply for a liquor license. Nonetheless, he must be at least 21 years of age and should have a residency in Dubai. Besides, he must earn a minimum of AED 3,000 per month. The license will remain valid for 1 year. The liquor license can easily be renewed in the coming years.
The Dubai Police General Headquarters (DPGH) will determine a special quota for alcohol purchases. It will be based on the size and estimated guest count of a restaurant. Once the licensing process is done, you need to move to the next level. You must have guidance and legal support from a reputable and well-established business consultancy company in Dubai.
When considering opening a restaurant in Dubai, you need to register with the Ministry of Labour and the General Authority for Social Security. Furthermore, they also need to manage visas, labor cards, and legal documents, and establish a bank account. Therefore, Collaboration is essential. This will assist you in understanding the dynamics of the UAE market. This paves the way toward a much smoother and swift business incorporation.
In a city that celebrates grandeur, creativity, and innovation, venturing into the restaurant industry offers spellbound opportunities for investors.
Undoubtedly, Dubai is the gateway to realizing your culinary dreams come true. By navigating the licensing intricacies and enlisting expert assistance, you can embark on a most rewarding journey. The culinary journey of flavors, taste, success, and entrepreneurship in the heart of Asia.
NOTE: Please check with UAE National Lawyers before taking a practical decision.