Dubai is the land of opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs. It is the only city in the Middle East that has an operating environment that is easily the most liberal as well as attractive. With thousands of grocery stores across Dubai, it’s no wonder that many entrepreneurs think that opening a grocery store is a good idea. We all know that food is essential to our existence. Grocery stores face a unique set of challenges: products spoil, and there is substantial competition from huge, well-established chains with decades of experience in the UAE. However, independent grocery stores can and do thrive in many neighborhoods across Dubai.
Opening a Grocery Store in Dubai
There are few things that can affect the stability and profit of your startup if you are going to establish a grocery store in Dubai. Here are the key components to starting a small business in Dubai such as a retail shop or a grocery store
Decision Making and Planning
Before you start a grocery store in Dubai, you need to decide your initial investments, reserve funds, business location, company structure, the type of license for your business, and study market trends.
Finding a Suitable Location for the Shop
Success in every business is highly dependent on in-depth knowledge about the area and the customer in that area. So, for a small business or a startup, it is critical to identify the best place to start a grocery store. It is better if you understand the locality and have an idea of the customer needs you can provide the best products and sustain for the long run.
Finding a Local Partner for Grocery Shop Registration
When opening and registering a company in the mainland in Dubai, it is essential to have a local partner in a mainland company in Dubai. This local partner also knows as a local sponsor of the company having a 51% share in your business. Our company formation experts can assist you to find a trusted local sponsor in Dubai.
Documentation is a mandatory requirement. The passport and visa of the owner(s) must be submitted along with the trade license application. It is followed by the tenancy contract, Ejari approvals from the Municipality, trademark registration from the Ministry of Economy, and other submissions as required.
Obtaining the Initial Approval
To start a grocery in Dubai, the documentation must be submitted as per the guidelines laid out by the Dubai government and the Department of Economic Development (DED)in Dubai. After all the documents are thoroughly vetted, the initial approval is granted by the DED. Getting Initial Approval means that the UAE government has allowed your business to be established in the UAE. If you do not receive this approval, you cannot go ahead with the next steps in the application process.
Deciding the Trade Name
The trade name must be approved by the DED. It is extremely important that the tradename be the same on the license and on the signboard of the grocery store. The tradename, which is also called the commercial name, must be in accordance with the DED’s guidelines.
Issuance of License
Every business activity is grouped under a certain license type in Dubai. There are four categories of licenses: commercial license, professional license, tourism license, and industrial license. To open a grocery store in Dubai, a commercial license is a must. Under a grocery license, only things listed as grocery items can be sold. It does not allow the sale of any products related to medical, herbal, pharmaceutical, or even cosmetics.
Processing of Visa
Visa processing takes place simultaneously along with getting a trade license. At this stage, you will get your investor visa and may also apply for subsequent family and employee visas under the company.
Rules for Opening a Grocery Store in Dubai
To run a smooth operation of a grocery store in UAE, there some set of rules described by the Department of Economic Development (Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection Sector). It is better to have a clear knowledge of the rules and regulations in order to run your grocery store business smoothly. The rules and regulations mentioned below are stated by the Dubai Municipality Guidelines:
- Sale policy shall be declared to the consumer through an appropriate means of declaration including the goods return, replacement, or reparation.
- Pots, electric devices, vegetables, fruits, clothing, and kids’ toys shall not be over-displayed.
- This business license is subject to Dubai Municipality rules and regulation, DM holds a right to regulate it.
- The consumer shall obtain an invoice for the purchased goods.
- Groceries shall not sell tobacco products other than cigarettes. Products whose sale is not permissible to include model, instruments, and equipment of hookah and pipes, in addition to the gas refilling boxes.
- If the grocery has a warehouse in a separate location, a signboard shall be installed carrying the name of the warehouse and grocery.
- No counterfeit goods shall be promoted, sold, or displayed.
- The commercial name mentioned in the license shall be similar to the name on the signboard.
- No fireworks, explosives, or any toys containing gunpowder or flammables shall be sold or stored.
- The store shall not participate in any promotional campaigns unless the relevant permits are obtained by the mother company where the grocery’s participation is permitted. No store may carry out private promotional offers unless it obtains the relevant permit
- Prices shall appear on goods and commodities.
- No activity shall be practiced after 12 am unless the relevant permit is obtained.
- No grocery shall practice wholesale, meaning the selling of large quantities of goods to other stores.
- Laws that regulate the consumer’s rights shall be taken into account, i.e. the phrase “The sold goods are neither returnable nor exchangeable” shall not appear on the invoice. No additional fees shall be imposed against the use of credit cards.
- The grocery shall not sell any medical, pharmaceutical, herbal, or cosmetic products.
Riz and Mona Consultancy for Obtaining Grocery License in Dubai
Dubai is known for its retail sector worldwide and these new standards will reinforce its position as the world’s leading destination for shopping. Obtaining a grocery license and setting up the store is a tedious process. Hiring a consultant will make it easier and cost-efficient. Our consultants at Riz and Mona Consultancy will guide you in every process for obtaining a license and the necessary documentation that needs to be done. We can assist you with all the necessities that should be fulfilled, like getting the license to approval from the Municipalities to renting a location for you.