Dubai is one of the favorite tourist spots of the tourists in the world. It has everything you can ask for; infrastructure, road network, transportation, hotels, shopping malls-you name it. Restaurants are one of the specialties of the Emirate. It is a highly lucrative business to do here. There are multiple positive reasons to open your restaurant in Dubai. The process is easy and there are not many requirements to do so.
This guide will give you a complete overview of how to open a free zone restaurant in Dubai and get the advantage of the huge food industry of the city.
Benefits of Opening a Restaurant in Dubai Free Zone
In general, the cafeteria or food business in Dubai is quite profitable. So, it surely makes sense to start your restaurant business in Dubai. Nevertheless, here are some of the many advantages to set up a restaurant in the Dubai free zone:
- In the year 2022, more than 11.40 million tourists visited Dubai. This shows how many people would have visited restaurants and hence had delicious food there.
- The economy of Dubai is ever-growing. You will only more profit when doing business here. Also, there is strong business security meaning your business will continue to earn a profit if you do everything right.
- You will have complete ownership of the business when you start a free zone restaurant in the UAE. You will have all the profits and earnings of the business.
- There are no taxes in the free zones. So, you won’t have to pay corporate or income tax to the authorities.
- The environment of Dubai is very business-friendly and supportive. You will love to conduct your business operations in the free zones as the authorities also support your operations to help you grow.
Required Documents to Start a Restaurant Business in Dubai
You may require some additional documents to submit depending on your chosen free zone Generally, you will require the following documents for the process:
- Trade license copy
- Approval from the Planning Department, if the restaurant is located outside a shopping center
- Layout or blueprint of the restaurant
- The first approval issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
- Liquor permits and other additional permits that have been issued
- Investor’s visa copy
- Investor’s passport copy
- Two colored passport-sized photographs
- Restaurant’s business plan
Required Restaurant Licenses in Dubai
Some of the licenses that you require for opening a restaurant in free zones of Dubai must be obtained from different authorities including the food safety department. These licenses are as follows:
- No objection letter from the Dubai municipality
- Trade license issued upon the registration of the company
- A Ramadan license (required in some cases)
- Food license to handle and process food
- Food truck license for delivery services (required in some cases)
- Construction license, if you are looking to operate the restaurant in a new building
- Liquor license obtained from the police department
- A pork permit for serving pork meat (required in some cases)
Cost of Opening a Restaurant Business in Dubai Free Zone
A significant financial commitment in the form of investment is needed to open a restaurant. So you should make a list of all major costs before you get started to prevent spending money on unimportant items or going overboard and spending more than the necessary amount.
It is crucial for every restaurant owner to have a rough estimate of the costs they will be spent on opening a restaurant in advance. Before operating a restaurant, there are a few expenses to take into account which are as follows:
- Working capital
- Permits and licenses
- Expense or rent of a new property
- Training programs for employees
- Initial approvals and permissions
- Software for day-to-day operations
- Cost of setting up the restaurant
Process of Opening a Restaurant in Free Zone
The complete process of opening a free zone restaurant in Dubai, UAE is a little bit complex. Follow these steps to open a free zone restaurant in Dubai, UAE:
- Select a trading name for your business. You need to follow some rules when naming your business.
- Select a business form. We recommend choosing an LLC company form.
- Choose a free zone. Three free zones of Dubai let you start a restaurant business. These free zones are Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA).
- Get the restaurant’s interior finished in accordance with the Food and Safety Department’s guidelines. If you are renting out commercial space or building, abide by the departmental rules.
- Get trade and other licenses required.
- Get the Ejari and the tenancy agreement for the rented space.
- Submit all the documents to the relevant free zone authorities.
- Get the Food Safety Department’s NOC and the Dubai Municipality’s approvals.
Blueprints of the Free Zone Restaurant
The construction plans must meet certain requirements in order to be approved. The Dubai Food Control Department provides these specifications. The following details must be included in the free zone restaurant’s blueprints:
- Location of the washing machines
- Food processing and storage areas
- Ventilation system and windows
- Restrooms and other sanitary spaces
- Entry and exit passages
- Location of the food processing equipment
Keep in mind that at least 10 meters of the area around the restaurant must always be kept clean. Also, it’s also crucial to be aware that the restaurant must be located at least 30 meters from any potential contaminating waste disposal sites.
Food Safety Requirements in Dubai
When opening free zone restaurants in Dubai, you are required to hire qualified staff. The person in charge of training will be the person responsible for carrying out this work, and they must complete an approved training program. The restaurant must additionally get the following licenses in order to guarantee food safety:
- A vehicle permit for food-related transportation
- A license for food consignment release
- A pork permit to handle and serve pork is required
The Food Code in Dubai
The import and export of food goods are subject to additional restrictions under the Dubai Food Code. The Food Code in Dubai contains the essential guidelines for opening free zone restaurants in the UAE. The Dubai Food Code is there in order to assist restaurant owners and to provide rules for food safety and requirements to be observed when owning a restaurant in Dubai.
The Food Code was drafted in accordance with other food laws in countries like Australia and the United States. The laws and restrictions outlined by the Food Control Department are also covered by the Dubai Food Code. The Food Code is very specific about what needs to be done to provide a secure atmosphere and the preservation of diners’ health in Dubai free zone restaurants.
The following types of food establishments in Dubai are subject to the Food Code requirements:
- Food factories.
- Cafes and restaurants
- Canteens in schools and hospitals
- Catering equipment
- Grocery stores and supermarkets
Creating the Menu for your Free Zone Restaurant in Dubai
You must choose the food items for the menu before you can officially establish your restaurant in Dubai. In order to pay your prime cost, which includes the cost of goods sold and the labor costs, you must also properly make your menu and choose and price the menu items.
Additionally, you must carefully plan your menu so that your customers will want to order the high-profit items. You can achieve this by creating enticing menu descriptions and by positioning the high-profit items where people would see them the most.
At first, neither your menu nor your recipes need to be fully prepared. As you learn which food items are popular and which are not, you can gradually keep upgrading the menu.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to open a Freezone company in Dubai?
The cost to open a free zone company in Dubai depends on various factors such as your company goals, requirements, location, and more.
How do I start a free zone company in Dubai?
Follow these steps to start a free zone company in Dubai:
- Consider what kind of legal entity your business would be.
- Name your business.
- Submit the application to obtain a business license.
- In Dubai’s free zones, pick an office space to launch your business.
- Obtain initial approvals, register your company, and obtain your restaurant license in Dubai.
How much will it cost to open a small restaurant in Dubai?
The cost to open a small restaurant in Dubai is varied and is dependent on different factors such as location, jurisdiction, business operations, and some other deciding factors.
Can a foreigner open a restaurant in Dubai?
Yes, a foreigner can open a restaurant in Dubai. The restaurant must comply with the same registration and licensing procedures regardless of the decision. However, Dubai free zones allow for full foreign ownership, which might be quite important for some foreign investors.
Start your Restaurant in UAE with Top Business Setup Consultants
If you want to open a free zone restaurant in Dubai and get your trade license for it, RIZ & MONA CONSULTANCY is available at your service. We will assist you to launch your restaurant and make sure everything goes according to plan.
RIZ & MONA is one of the top business setup consultants in the UAE for many years. Additionally, we assist business owners in laying a solid foundation in the dynamic economy of the UAE.
Our experienced company setup experts will walk you through every step of the procedure, including business registration, and restaurant opening costs in Dubai, and help you comprehend everything. Book a free consultation to speak with our professional business setup consultants right now and get going with your new free zone restaurant in the UAE.