Accounting Firm in Dubai

How to Open a Restaurant in Dubai

Dubai is fast emerging as one of the top global food destinations and opening a restaurant in Dubai can prove to be extremely lucrative, if done correctly. It turns out, each year, Dubai sprawls with millions of tourists from all over the world. With one of the fastest-growing economies, flourishing infrastructure, and beautiful ambiance, Dubai stands to be one of the top tourist destinations in the UAE. To have a taste of Dubai’s world-class cuisine and to savor its delicacies, travelers from around the world gather here. Such potential attracts business people who wish to open a restaurant in Dubai.

Benefits of Opening a Restaurant in Dubai.

The restaurant business is not as easy as it seems. Many aspiring restaurateurs overlook important factors in the process of setting up, which eventually results in failing companies. But, once you get the hang of it, there are many advantages that can be incurred from this business.

1. Location

The right location is the key pillar of setting up a restaurant. Dubai, being the hub for tourist and business destination, pulls in many foodies into the city. Hence Dubai as a whole is a perfect location to set up your restaurant business. Before you freeze a location make sure to do some research on that place and its demographics also see whether that place has enough footfall to sustain your restaurant business.


Setting up your restaurant in a visible location is very vital. Ensure the footfall is high and your restaurant sign is visible.


It makes a huge difference if your restaurant is situated in an accessible area. If people can reach your restaurant easily, they are more likely to revisit your restaurant due to the easy accessibility factor.

Customer Base

It is essential to identify your target audience and then you can go about deciding the location apt for the desired audience base


If the rent is high, you might find it difficult to make profits on certain food items. Do your research see if there are chances of the lease skyrocketing based on the previous pattern.

Proximity to Suppliers

The shipping costs can sometimes be more than the original amount of the raw materials. You need to figure out from where you will be getting all the raw materials required for cooking and how far away is your restaurant from the supplier.


2. Infrastructure and Amenities

In Dubai, there is no need for you to worry about the infrastructural requirements as it is at par with the global standards in infrastructure, modern amenities, and architecture. There are various malls famous for food and shopping across Dubai. e.g. The Dubai Mall is the world’s biggest shopping center and City Walk.

3. Tax Exemptions

One of the major difficulties of opening a restaurant company in a foreign land is developing the knowledge of their tax legalities and maneuvering your business in such a way that you have minimum taxes to manage. Dubai offers various tax incentives, one among them stands out to be the free zone with the feature of 100% tax exemptions, zero corporate and income tax, and many more. Hence, a restaurant startup can save money through these tax incentives.

4. Ease of Acquiring Food and Trading Licenses

The government of the UAE is always on the lookout for new investors. Due to this reason, it is very easy to register your business in Dubai. Moreover, the same applies to procure a food and trading license in Dubai. Alcohol license also is available though it should be known that there exists a special process for obtaining the same, with additional fees being charged by the authorities.

5. Ease in setting up a Business

Starting a business in the UAE is hassle-free and quick if the right procedures are followed. The same goes for Dubai, especially in the food industry. It is very easy to start a restaurant business in Dubai. There are various types of companies to choose from, however, unless you are setting up a restaurant business in a free zone in Dubai, you would require the presence of a local sponsor.

Different Type of Licenses

1. Food Code License

To get a restaurant license in Dubai, you have to follow the ‘Food Code’ rules supervised by the Food Control Department of Dubai. From food production to its consumption, the food code ensures food safety and hygiene at every step. Restaurants, hotels, Bakeries, food catering services, and food factories need to follow the food code established by Dubai Municipality

2. Trade License

The Department of Tourism and Commerce administers the trading license for all business activities in Dubai. You can receive a Restaurant license in Dubai by registering your restaurant business under the legal boundaries stated by DED.

3. Food License

You can get your food license by signing an agreement with the Food Safety Department in Dubai. Purchasing a food license will charge you approx. AED10,000 to AED12,000 in Dubai.

4. Liquor License

If you are planning to provide alcohol and liquor services in your restaurant then you will require a liquor license.

Steps to Obtain a Trade License

  1. Establish the nature of your business (commercial, professional, or industrial).
  2. State the expected corporate behavior of your company.
  3. Declare the legal status of your business in the UAE.
  4. Register a trading name for your company.
  5. Fill in the application form in the DED department.
  6. State your corporate office and fill the registration forms.
  7. Prepare all the necessary documents.
  8. Submit every requested information to the DED for final approval.

Steps to Obtain a Food License

  1. You need to have your trade license approved before requesting a food license.
  2. The blueprint of your ambiance needs to be represented to the authorities.
  3. You, being the owner of your restaurant, need to get the approval of the Food Code from the Food Control Department of Dubai.
  4. It is necessary for you to accommodate the area of your restaurant, Food storage areas, washing areas, chimney, and separate basin in your blueprint.
  5. Visit the DED department with all the above-mentioned information to get registered for your food license.

Documents Required for Starting a Restaurant business

  • Trading license.
  • Food license.
  • Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the municipality of Dubai.
  • Typed BR/1 form.
  • Ejari Registration Certificate.
  • Photocopy of the issued trade license.
  • Passport size photo.
  • Confirmation report of P.O box.
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA).
  • DED letter approving your restaurant name.
  • Tenancy agreement form.
  • UAE ID Number
  • Proof of payment.

Steps to Open a Restaurant in Dubai Free Zone

How to Open a Restaurant in Dubai


Can I open a restaurant in Dubai as a foreigner?

Yes, foreign nationals can open a restaurant in Dubai. However, they must comply with local regulations and obtain necessary visas and permits.

How much does it cost to start a restaurant in Dubai?

The cost of starting a restaurant in Dubai depends on various factors such as location, concept, size, and equipment.

Do I need to provide health insurance to my staff?

Yes, it is mandatory to provide health insurance to your staff in Dubai.

Can I serve alcohol in my restaurant in Dubai?

Yes, you can serve alcohol in your restaurant in Dubai, but you need to obtain a liquor license from the authorities.

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