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How to open a restaurant in Dubai or A Cafeteria in Dubai

how to open a restaurant in dubai
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An exciting blend of distinct cuisine cultures, as well as a diversified population of over 200 nationalities, are among the top factors that inspire entrepreneurs from all over the world to open a restaurant in Dubai or a cafeteria in Dubai. Setting up a food and beverage businessx can be quite a profitable venture. You can make a pretty decent profit catering to foodies from different sections such as locals, residents, and tourists. Having a successful restaurant business in Dubai which is a vibrant tourism hotspot it is also a stepping stone to long-term success and growth in the food industry as a whole. That said, there are quite a few processes that you’ll need to complete before you can open a cafeteria our any eatery business in the city.

Why it’s a great idea to open a restaurant in Dubai or a Cafeteria?

Bolstered by the global ‘foodie’ movement, it’s easy to see why Dubai and the UAE as a whole are fascinating new destinations for aspiring restaurateurs. Dubai, a city that attracts around 4.7 million tourists each year, is a fantastic place to establish a restaurant business. Dubai is quickly becoming one of the top worldwide cuisine destinations, and opening a restaurant in Dubai may be incredibly profitable if done correctly.

  • A thriving and diverse consumer base from every continent on the planet: Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East are all represented.
  • Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry.
  • A strong government commitment to increasing the economy’s and GDP’s growth.
  • Incentives for opening a restaurant in Dubai or a cafeteria in the food and beverage business.

However, before you officially open a restaurant in Dubai or the UAE and claim your slice of the pie, there are quite a few hurdles you must clear. These include getting a restaurant license in Dubai, or if you’re starting a cafeteria, you need to get your cafeteria license. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of cafeteria business setup, or the cost of a restaurant business license, whichever is applicable. 

Cafeteria License in Dubai – Opening a Cafeteria in Dubai

Obtaining a cafeteria license in Dubai is the most important thing you need to do before you open a cafeteria. The Food and Safety Department can issue a food Permit, and the Department of Economic Development ( DED) of Dubai can issue a cafeteria trade license. Obtaining an eatery license is a time-consuming process.

Let us examine the procedures for obtaining a cafeteria business license first.

  • Reserve The Trade name of the Company
  • Get Initial Approval from DED
  • Get Lease agreement of the cafeteria
  • Sign the MOA/LSA agreement in DED
  • Get Approval from Dubai Municipality – Food Control department and Drainage Department
  • Get EHS certificate from Civil Defense of Dubai
  • Get the license from DED
  • Hire an interior decoration company to do fit out
  • Get visas under the company
  • Operate your business right after approval from DM.

Restaurant License in Dubai – Important facts

To open a restaurant in Dubai, you must first obtain these two types of licenses:

  • A trade license and
  • A food license.

Trade License is issued by Dubai’s Department of Economic Development. You must specify the type of restaurant you intend to operate because it must be clearly stated in the license. Depending on factors such as the sort of restaurant you own and operate, a Trade License could cost as follows:

Sr. No.ParticularsFee TenureAmount in AED
1Initial Approval FeesOne Time120.00
2Name Approval FeesOne Time620.00
3Tasheel FeesOne Time345.00
4Notary Verification FeesOne Time250.00
5MOA/LSA-Notary FeesOne Time825.00
6License Fees ApproximatelyPart- Annually10,000.00
7Immigration Card FeesAnnual750.00
8Stamp of the CompanyOne Time100.00
9Labour Card FeesOne Time1,000.00
10DM Approval FeesPart- AnnuallyNA
11Investor Residence visa FeesPart-3 Years4,250.00
12Office or Shop RentAnnualAs Per Tenancy Contract
 Total 18,260.00

Additional Fees:

  • Premises rent
  • Local UAE national Sponsorship Fees
  • 5% of the Annual premises rent
  • All visa Expenses
  • Interior, furniture, and kitchen equipment Cost
  • Professional Fees for Service Provider

Food license in Dubai is issued by the Food Safety Department which is in charge of issuing the Food License for restaurants. After you have obtained your Trade License, you must obtain this license in order to secure approval for your restaurant’s development plan. To secure a Food License, certain documents must be submitted to the food safety department.

Restaurant license cost in Dubai

DED (Dubai Economic Development) can help you secure a restaurant license in Dubai. It can be registered as a sole proprietorship where a foreign national can become 100% owner of the restaurant. The cost of a restaurant license in Dubai is approximately AED 18, 260 as mention in the above table. This is excluding rental and furnishing costs. Don’t let the cost factor discourage you, though. Cafeterias and restaurants in Dubai play an important role in everyone’s social life and way of life in Dubai. With an increasing number of tourist and business visitors, there is a significant demand for restaurants and cafeterias in Dubai and the UAE.

Steps to open a Restaurant in Dubai or A Cafeteria

To open a restaurant in Dubai mainland, entrepreneurs must first get a trade license from the Dubai Economic Development (DED). The establishment of a restaurant can be accomplished in the following basic steps:

  • Choose a trade name.
  • Select a local sponsor (if applicable).
  • Get the Pre approval from DED
  • Get the restaurant’s interior designed in accordance with the Food and Safety Department’s guidelines. When renting business premises, adhere to the department’s criteria.
  • Obtain the tenancy agreement and the Ejari for the rented space.
  • Sign MOA/LSA agreement in DED
  • Submit all necessary documentation to the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Obtain a letter of authorization from the Food Safety Department and permission from Dubai Municipality

Read Also: How to start a coffee shop business in Dubai

How Avyanco can help you Setup an Eatery Business in Dubai

The above mentioned processes may make the process of operating a restaurant in Dubai appear simple, but it is not. Setting up a restaurant in Dubai necessitates a number of permits and approvals. Every restaurant or cafeteria must follow a strict food code, irrespective of whether it is a fine dining restaurant, cafe, or bakery. This food code is intended to assist the person in charge of running the restaurant is operating in accordance with the regulations. It would be best if aspiring restaurateurs were to use the services of the top business setup consultants like Avyanco to guide them through the process smoothly and in accordance with rules and regulations.

Final Thoughts

Restaurant businesses in Dubai are among the most profitable businesses to setup due to a high number of tourists and busy residents who don’t have time to cook for themselves or who want to taste multiple cuisines from different countries. Moreover, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city where everyone wants to try new cuisine which helps restaurateurs businesses to retain and get new customers every day.

For a visionary entrepreneur passionate about hospitality business sector, I would encourage you to setup a restaurant or a cafeteria in Dubai as both businesses are among the top industry due to the daily lifestyle of Dubai residents and visitors who are always busy for frequently cooking or going in their own kitchen regularly.


About the Author


Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.