How to start a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai? – Things to Know

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Foodstuff Trading is a key business sector in Dubai and an active contributor to the UAE economy. Even during the pandemic, the Foodstuff Trading business in Dubai seemed to be active due to the steady demand from a large population including customers and commercial centers.

UAE is a global trade hub and economic center in the Middle East facilitating large quantity imports and exports to various countries.

Dubai – A Centre Stage for Foodstuff Trading

Dubai is a major destination for the availability of international cuisines and food varieties of around 200 countries. It is home to a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and cafes serving the multi-national population of the region.

Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai

There is an immense demand from these commercial establishments on quality food supplies to prepare the dishes and offer customers.

Also, to add to demand is the large population of expatriates working in the region and their families depending on foodstuffs from various brands to fulfill their daily meal requirements.

Business Licenses for Foodstuff Trading in Dubai

Foodstuff Trading License is a popular business license type in the Free Zones and the Mainland of Dubai and the whole of UAE.

Various Free Zones offer Foodstuff Trading License for global investors at attractive Fees. Depending on the nature of the business activity, the entrepreneur can choose the right business license category – Commercial or Trading License.

Foodstuff Manufacturing License in Dubai

For investors aiming at Foodstuff Manufacturing and Trading, it is advisable to take two business licenses one for the manufacturing and the other for the trading of the manufactured goods.

As the business activities, permission required, office space & warehouse requirements, all vary significantly keeping both entities separate work better

Under the broad umbrella of Foodstuff Trading, there are a variety of business activities. Here are the sub-activities that are included in the trading license in UAE

Sub-activities under Foodstuff Trading

  • Mineral Water Trading
  • Juice Trading
  • Vegetable & Fruit Trading
  • Ice Trading
  • Sugar Trading
  • Cereals, Grains Trading
  • Vegetable Oil and Ghee Trading
  • Snack Food Trading
  • Flour Trading
  • Egg Trading
  • Carbonated Water and Soft Drinks
  • And many more…

Additional Foodstuff Trading & Manufacturing Activities

  • Food and Beverages Trading
  • Food Supplements Manufacturing
  • Cereal Food Manufacturing
  • Natural (Organic) Food Manufacturing
  • Baby food Manufacturing
  • And more…

Benefits of Setting Up a Foodstuff Trading License in UAE

Following are the business benefits of setting up a Foodstuff Trading Business in UAE. There will be a steady flow of demand for foodstuff trading companies in UAE.

1. Global Events

Dubai is at the center stage for world-events, exhibitions, meetings, etc. UAE with all safety protocols conducts real-time events at various locations around the city with attendees.

Hence, the importance of Foodstuff Trading in the region’s economic growth is undeniable.

The Gulf Food Exhibition is one of the major industry events in UAE driving up the demand for Foodstuff Trading significantly.

There is a huge market for essential foodstuff and agriculture produce in UAE as the increasing population and the vast export business opportunities.

2. Skilled Staff

There is a wide labor market availability in UAE with low-cost. Foodstuff manufacturing and trading is a labor-intensive sector and UAE is a perfect place for starting the Food Trading business.

UAE has the required infrastructure for large-scale manufacturing, storage, transportation of specialized food essentials and agricultural produce.

A large number of Warehouses and manufacturing centers in the UAE can be leveraged to hike up production volumes to meet the increasing demand from the world for food supplies.

3. Easy Setup Process

Setting up a Foodstuff Trading Business in UAE is a relatively easy process with minimal documentation and clearance required.

For the mainland business setup in the food trading sector, there needs to be special approval from the Food and Safety Department of the Dubai Municipality.

4. Growing Demand from Consumers and Commercial Establishments

The Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai is a lucrative business sector in UAE. With digital applications, reaching out to new customers has become easier.

Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai

The home delivery model is adding more demand spike for essential food items as more consumers are now ordering online from supermarkets, hotels, cafeterias, etc.,

Foodstuff Trading in Dubai Mainland

The Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai Mainland is issued by the Dubai Economy post the approval from the Dubai Municipality.

For business activities including bakeries, cafes, restaurants, hotels, canteens, food trucks, Food kiosks, etc.; and the manufacturing of food and beverages must be applied for a special permit and approval from the Dubai Municipality.

Foodstuff Trading Business Setup Procedures in Mainland

  • Get the tradename reservation (3 tradenames for authorities to select) and apply for the Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai from Economy Department
  • Prepare the Memorandum of Association, shareholding certificate, and Local Sponsor Agreement for the LLC Company Structure
  • Choose the required office space/Warehouse Location / Office +Warehouse, according to the business requirements, and process the Ejari and tenancy contract.
  • Submit the investor’s passport copy, photograph, visa copy (if any) to the Dubai Economy.
  • Get the preapprovals from the Dubai Municipality by submitting the Ejari and Tenancy Contract
  • After all, clearances are obtained submit the required documents along with Foodstuff Trading License Fee to the Dubai Economy.
  • Obtain the Foodstuff Trading License and proceed to the opening of a Corporate Bank Account, other business support services (sponsoring employees, customs registration, etc.)

So, in a nutshell, Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai enables Investors to distribute Food and beverages in UAE and export them to other countries.

Add on: Here is what you need for Opening a Cafeteria in UAE.

The large quantity manufacturing and selling of Foodstuffs to meet the rising demand for essential food items in the region is the major driving force for the Food Sector to show steady signs of growth.

To know more about the steps and procedures for opening a Foodstuff Trading business in UAE or Restaurant License in Dubai, Connect with our expert Consultants right away!

 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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