Shuraa Business Setup

How to Open a Grocery Store in Dubai

Opening a grocery store in Dubai offers several opportunities and multiple trading avenues. These little stores selling a range of general food products and small items can be found all over Dubai and the UAE. The lucrative UAE market and large foreign investments have always made business setup in Dubai appealing and profitable. This in turn attracts small entrepreneurs to open a grocery store in Dubai.

However, every business setup is different and must follow different sets of procedures. The Dubai Government has laid out an easy process for individuals wanting to start a grocery store in Dubai. Nevertheless, as a foreign entity entering the international market, opening a grocery store business in the UAE can require guidance and assistance.

Here are some factors that need to be taken into consideration when starting a grocery store business in Dubai.

Step 1 – Decision Making

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.

Step 2 – Local Sponsor

To open a grocery store in Dubai, you will require local sponsorship or local partnership. As per the UAE commercial law, a mainland business in Dubai requires a foreign business owner to partner with a UAE national.

Step 3 – Documentation

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.

Step 4 – 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.

Step 5 – Trade Name

The trade name must be approved by the DED. It is extremely important that the trade name be the same on the licence and on the signboard of the grocery store. The trade name, which is also called the commercial name, must be in accordance with the DED’s guidelines.

Step 6 – Location

If you have already submitted the tenancy contract and finalised the location before the initial approval, you may skip this stage. However, if the location of the store is not confirmed or could possibly change, then a prior approval must be taken from the DED. Once you have the location finalised for your grocery store, draft the tenancy contract and get the Ejari.

Step 7 – License Issuance

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.

Step 8 – Visa Processing

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned factors, below are a few more points that you need to keep in mind if you want to open a grocery store in Dubai:

To know more about how to open a grocery store in Dubai in the quickest and most affordable way, contact Shuraa Business Setup. Our expert business setup consultants will help you through the entire process. Speak with us on +97144081900 or WhatsApp us on +971507775554. You can also drop us an email at

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