The food culture in the UAE has been changing drastically in the last few years. Around 2,000 restaurants and cafeterias have come up in the UAE in the past 2 years. There are wide variety of cuisines available that cater to all nationalities in UAE. In spite of the introduction on VAT, people are ready to spent in restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks etc.

According to Marmore MENA Intelligence, the UAE food and beverage industry is expected to reach close to $13 billion (Dh47.7 billion) by 2018-end while the market size of Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) is expected to be over $4 billion (Dh14.7 billion) by 2018. This also provides a huge platform for investors looking to open their food chains in the country. Below are the steps and requirements for setting up a restaurant license in Dubai.



Before you start the process for the restaurant license, you need to select a legal type for your business. Restaurant can be either Sole Establishment/Civil or LLC. There are two departments involved in the process of obtaining the license, Dubai Economic Department (DED) and Dubai Municipality, Food Control Department. Once the legal type is selected you need to:

  1. Apply for name approval from DED
  2. Get the initial approval from DED
  3. Arranging of Space for Restaurant and doing the Fitout work
  4. Dubai Municipality Approval for Restaurant Fit-out
  5. Signing of Memorandum of Articles in Dubai Court
  6. Final Approval and issuance of Trade license



  1. When applying for a commercial license a layout should be provided to Dubai Municipality, Food Control Department with a detailed plan through an approved engineering office
  2. Area of Kitchen to be 300sqft or 40% of total whichever is bigger.
  3. Materials used in floors, walls and ceiling, shall to be washable and easy to clean, nonabsorbent, fire proof, light colored, smooth, nontoxic and with no cracks. The Floor properly sloped to facilitate draining
  4. Provide adequate ventilation and lighting
  5. Deep sink for washing large pots.
  6. Double bowl stainless steel sink supplied with hot and cold water
  7. Water and drainage connections shall be inside the wall and shall not be visible on the outside
  8. Rust proof water heater with filters
  9. Stainless steel shelves and stands to keep the food items
  10. No wooden materials are allowed in the kitchen.
  11. Adequate and separate storage must be provided for storing personal items
  12. Pest control contract must be provided with approved pest control companies approved by Dubai municipality
  13. Adequate and separate storage must be provided for storing personal items.


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