How to Obtain a Restaurant License in Dubai – Things to Know

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The restaurants and cafes in Dubai is a lucrative business investment for investors.

A diverse audience from around the world, the deep-rooted culture of hospitality, and the lifestyle in Dubai are driving the restaurant growth in Dubai.

Cost of Restaurant License in Dubai

A restaurant License in Dubai can be obtained from Dubai Economy. It can be registered as LLC or a single owner entity. The cost of Restaurant License in Dubai is approx. AED 25000 (The shop rent and furnishing fees separate)

The cafes and restaurants have a place in every individual’s social life and lifestyle here in Dubai.

With the growing number of tourist and business visitors, the demand to serve the potential audience is on the high side.

The Rise of Restaurant Business in Dubai

There are enormous potential and business opportunities in the niche segment of cafes and restaurants in Dubai. A variety of cuisines are available with new concept restaurants adding to the count.

Restaurant License in Dubai

Opening a restaurant business in Dubai involves a lot of steps and approvals. The food security aspect is very stringent in Dubai.

How to get a Restaurant License in Dubai?

There are certain steps to be followed to obtain a Restaurant License in Dubai and required permits from the authorities in Dubai.

To issue the restaurant operating license, the authorities will conduct strict assessments, inspections, and issue special approvals. The health and safety of consumers are of utmost importance in Dubai.

Hence, restaurants must be adhering to the policies and guidelines to avoid fines and license cancellation.

Step-1 Acquiring the Food & Trading License

For Restaurants to sell food items in Dubai, they have to apply for a trade license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and get the approval of the Department of Tourism, and Commerce Marketing.

Now the owner can apply for the Food License through Food & Safety Department.

To add extra items to the menu, and start home delivery, there are special permits to be obtained such as delivery permits, liquor permits, Ramadan permits, etc.

Step-2 Get Required Approvals on Construction Plans

 The food and safety department must approve the construction plan as well as issue required permits such as the:

  • Food Consignment release license
  • Port permit for serving pork products
  • Vehicle permit for food transportation
Restaurant in Dubai
Clearance from Food Safety Department on Architectural Installation

Also, the Food and Safety department must approve the architectural requirements such as:

  • Placement of kitchen area & minimum kitchen area size
  • Ventilation facility and chimney placement
  • Separate basin for washing utensils, cleaning vegetables, and meat products.
  • Storage facilities to preserve all types of food
  • Draining pipe placement & waste management

Once the approvals are in place and the plan is approved, the owner can apply for the trade license from DED along with the other supporting documents.

Documents required for starting a Restaurant in Dubai

For Obtaining Trade License from DED/ Free Zone

  • Passport Copy & Photo of the owner(s)
  • Application form with list of activities chosen
  • Selected Trade Name
  • Shareholder agreement (MoA),
  • Local Sponsor Agreement
  • Office/ Retail Space and Tenancy Contract

For Approval from the Food & Safety License

  • Trading License
  • No-Objection Certificate from local municipality of Dubai
  • Construction plan & tenancy Contract
  • Special Permits, Certifications (ISO 20000, HACCP), etc.
  • Approval from the Planning Department (if the restaurant is located outside of the shopping center)

Step-3 Choosing the right location for your Restaurant Business in Dubai

For restaurants, apart from the menu, the location is a crucial part of the success. The restaurant or cafe must be in an accessible area with ample parking spots, residential location, or prime commercial locations.

New or upcoming residential locations also will help the cafe in gaining popularity easily.

An LLC business setup is the right company structure for a Cafe or Restaurant as most of the residential and commercial hot spot is in the mainland of Dubai.

Street Food Truck License

The concept of food trucks is gaining popularity in Dubai among the new generation. You can obtain a license for food truck operation in Dubai from the Department of Economic Development (DED) under certain guidelines.

There are pre-approvals required from the Road Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), and Dubai Municipality to start the Food Truck Business in Dubai.

Pre-Approval for Food Truck License

Get HACCP approval to assure the safety of the food truck and the central kitchen. It will add up the credibility of your brand.

The HACCP certificates must be submitted to the government authority approvals before you get your food truck license.

Additionally, you will require to get approvals from Dubai Municipality, Road and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity, and Water Authority.

So the first step is submitting your detailed business plan to DED and the Dubai Municipality.  As your plan is approved by both the authorities, proceed to the next step of getting all other approvals.

Food Truck License in Dubai & Regulations

  • The Food Truck is allowed only to prepare ready-meals (Burgers, Sausages, French Fries) and fried items, barbeques.
  • The kitchen area of the truck must be equipped with safety standards and must be suitable for the permitted activities.
  • The interiors must be fire-proof, light-colored, smooth material, and easy to clean up.
  • The Food truck must also have appropriate ventilation and lighting.
  • The food safety standards in Dubai are very high and the food truck must maintain the hygiene and serve of food with utmost care for the safety of their customer.
  • You must make arrangements for storing, and packaging, and preparation of food in a separate kitchen. It is not allowed to prepare raw materials in the mobile truck.
  • The containers and items required for food preparation should be kept safely in the truck. Any contamination in food will draw penalties from the concerned authorities.

Similar to the Restaurants and Cafes, for Food Trucks also the location matters. There are only limited locations in Dubai, where the government allows the positioning of the Food Trucks.

Pick a favorite spot where a steady flow of tourists, travelers, and visitor flock, this will help in the profitability of the venture.

To know more about Restaurant business / Café / Food Truck Licenses / Foodstuff Trading License, talk to our experts!

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants


A Marketing Consultant working @Aurion Business Consultants specialized in writing about Business Setup in UAE tips, License Packages, Free Zones, LLC Company Formation, Startups, etc in the UAE.


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