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How to Start a Coffee Shop in Dubai – Guide

How to Start Coffee Shop Business in Dubai
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The food and beverage industry is the soul of every city, and Dubai is no exception. From mouth-watering Shawarmas to tempting Samosa, the streets of Dubai are packed with people. They are looking to purchase these items and many more in abundance, which makes a person wonder, how to start a coffee shop in Dubai? It is a lucrative opportunity after all!

Why not setup a coffee shop in Dubai that offers numerous local treats as refreshments? You will get to cater to a diverse customer base who possess the same passion for food that you do. This is the exact reason which is attracting a ton of investors to Dubai to open their own coffee shop that stands out from the rest.

In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start a coffee shop in Dubai.

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Coffee Shop Business in Dubai

If you’re considering the idea of launching a coffee shop in Dubai, you’re in for a treat! Dubai’s food scene is incredibly diverse and constantly evolving, providing ample opportunities for you to make a unique mark. Moreover, there is a consistent demand for fast, high-quality bites, excellent coffee, and relaxed dining options. With a blend of locals, expatriates, and tourists flocking to Dubai, you’ll have a broad customer base to tap into. The process itself is straightforward, requiring nothing more than a well-crafted business strategy.

Cost of Starting a Small Coffee Shop in Dubai

The cost of starting a small coffee shop in Dubai can vary from high to low. It depends on where you want it, how big it is, and what kind of look you’re going for. Several factors such as the number of staff, equipment, and types of permits your business requires impact the overall cost. On average, the cost includes around AED 140,000 to AED 200,000 or more. The budget includes:

  • Expenses for rent
  • Renovation
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Staff salaries
  • Initial inventory
  • Marketing
  • Legal fees

Steps of Opening a Coffee Shop in Dubai

If you want to open a coffee shop in Dubai, there are a few steps you need to take:

  1. Firstly, you need to select a suitable trade name for your coffee shop.
  2. Gather all the important documentation. It includes your passport copies, and visa copies.
  1. Now you must get pre-approval from the Dubai Economic Development (DED).
  2. Make sure that the interior design of your coffee shop follows the guidelines set by the Food and Safety Department. If you’re renting a space, it should meet their criteria.
  3. You will also need the tenancy agreement and Ejari for the place you’re renting.
  4. Now, you’ll need to sign the MOA/LSA agreement with the DED and submit all the right paperwork.
  5. Finally, get your authorization letter from the Food Safety Department and Dubai Municipality.

Coffee Shop License in Dubai

There are two licenses you need to get in order to start a coffee shop in Dubai. The first one is the coffee shop license, issued either by the Department of Economic Development (DED) or a free zone authority. It depends on your chosen jurisdiction.

The second license is the food license, which you must apply for through the Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department. Before that, you should also make sure the food control department in Dubai approves your plans for the coffee shop.

Moreover, your business plan needs to cover several things. For instance, entrances and exits, food processing areas, storage spaces, windows, and ventilation. You also need to submit a copy of your UAE coffee shop license, and a floor plan, along with some other documents. After that, create and sign the Memorandum of Association and lease agreement.

After that, the Department of Economic Development will give you a payment voucher. You should pay the fee they ask for, and then you’re good to go. Your coffee shop license will be issued.

The process of Getting a coffee shop license in Dubai:

  • Initial Approval & Tradename from DED
  • Process the Ejari for the shop
  • MOA signing
  • Final license from DED
  • Do the interiors of the retail space
  • You need a construction plan for your coffee shop which includes:
  1. Food processing
  2. Cooking
  • Storage areas
  1. The layout of windows
  2. Ventilation system
  • Once the interior is completed; Get Approval from Food & safety dept of Dubai Municipality

Cost of a Coffee Shop License in Dubai

The first question in anyone’s mind before they start a coffee shop in Dubai is the cost. Though there are several factors that affect the cost of a coffee shop license, you can expect to pay anywhere from AED 15,000 to AED 30,000. As for the factors that can affect the cost of a coffee shop license in Dubai, you can count in:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Type of license needed
  • Company structure
  • Rent expenses
  • Bills
  • Salaries
  • Inventory cost
  • Miscellaneous expense

On top of that, there are several types of fees that you’ll have to pay in order to acquire approvals for your licenses. These fees are subject to changes depending upon the aforementioned factors.

Documents Required to Get a Coffee Shop License in Dubai

If you want to open a coffee shop in Dubai, there are a few documents you’ll need.

  • Business plan
  • Passport copy of the owner or shareholder.
  • Visa copy of the owner or shareholder
  • Few name Choices for the company name reservation.
  • Lease Agreement – Actual office or Virtual office

Benefits of Setting Up a Coffee Shop in Dubai

If you’re thinking of starting a coffee shop, Dubai could be a great spot to do it. Aside from a diverse range of customer base, you can count on plenty of visitors and expats to keep your business running. Plus, Dubai is a global hub for small businesses to emerge and interact with other brands, enabling them to develop strong business ties and creating new opportunities for expansion. The requirements are all straight forward and the process is 100% legit, leaving no room for uncertainties unlike in many other countries.

With a diverse range of audience, it is easy to appeal to their taste buds. All you need is to come up with some innovative and appealing food ideas. Moreover, Dubai is one of the best places to be if you want to expand internationally or do business in the Middle East. Finally, the tax situation is very friendly for businesses.

How Avyanco Helps You Setup a Coffee Shop in Dubai

If you want to start a coffee shop in Dubai, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the legal stuff. But don’t worry, Avyanco’s got your back!

Starting any food business in Dubai means you have to jump through some hoops to get approvals. Even if you’re just a small-time operation, you still have to follow strict food safety rules. But our team of experts knows exactly what you need to do. We can guide you every step of the way.


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.