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Opening a cafeteria in Dubai, UAE is a great business opportunity considering it is home to professionals from all over the world. While most of them crave food from their respective countries, many are eager to try new cuisines. Also, the fast-paced city leaves many with no time to cook.

That’s why the food industry in Dubai is booming, with residents and tourists alike seeking out unique and flavourful dining experiences. Cafeterias provide a casual and affordable option for people to grab a quick bite to eat or enjoy a leisurely meal. With the city’s growing population and thriving tourism industry, there is no shortage of potential customers for a cafeteria business.

If you are planning to start a cafeteria business in Dubai, you need to obtain a relevant trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED). However, it is also crucial to get certain food and safety permits from the Dubai Municipality to legally start a cafeteria in Dubai.

Therefore, here’s everything you need to know about opening a cafeteria in Dubai, UAE including the process, cafeteria license cost in Dubai, benefits, and more.

Why Start a Cafeteria Business in Dubai?

Dubai’s booming economy and diverse population make it a prime location to launch a cafeteria business. Here’s why:

1. Thriving F&B Industry

Dubai’s economy is booming, and the food and beverage (F&B) industry is a major contributor. The city is a global destination for tourism and attracts many residents with disposable income, creating a strong customer base for eating establishments.

2. Business-Friendly Environment

The government of Dubai actively encourages foreign investment and has a streamlined process for setting up a business. This makes it easier for entrepreneurs to get started compared to other locations.

3. High Profit Potential

With a large pool of potential customers and a growing economy, Dubai offers the potential for high profits in the F&B industry. Cafeterias typically have lower operational costs compared to full-service restaurants, which can further improve your profit margins.

4. Diverse Clientele

Dubai’s multicultural population welcomes a variety of cuisines. Whether you offer local Emirati fare, international comfort food, or healthy options, there’s a market for it.

5. High Demand

The fast-paced lifestyle in Dubai means many residents rely on eating out which creates a steady demand for cafeterias that offer convenient and affordable meals.

Requirements for Opening a Cafeteria in Dubai

Food safety requirements

To ensure food safety, your cafeteria must obtain:

  • A food consignment release license
  • A permit for all the vehicles that will be used for transporting food products
  • A permit for handling and serving pork or any of its by-products

Location requirements

The space chosen to start a cafeteria should meet the following requirements:

  • Have sufficient space to keep all the required equipment
  • Have provision for disposal of waste
  • Be fitted with smoke management system
  • Have separate toilet and storage areas
  • Have non-absorbent, washable, and fireproof walls, floors, and roof
  • Be free from pests
  • Have separate wash basins for utensils, vegetables, and meat

Documents Required to Obtain a Cafeteria License in Dubai

To obtain a cafeteria license in Dubai, you’ll need to submit several documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED) and potentially other departments.

Blueprints of various aspects of the cafeteria such as:

  • Food processing and storage space
  • Windows and ventilation system
  • Entry and exit ways
  • Sanitary spaces such as washrooms
  • Location of washing areas
  • Location of equipment used to prepare the food

For food safety department-approved food license:

  • Initial approval by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • The layout of the premise
  • Approval from the planning department, if the cafeteria will be located outside a shopping complex

For trade license approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing:

  • An application signed by the management of the company
  • A Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Attested company name approval letter from the DED
  • Passport copies of all the business partners

How to Open a Cafeteria in Dubai? Step-by-step Process

Starting a cafeteria business in Dubai involves several steps to ensure compliance with local regulations and to establish a successful operation.

To open a cafeteria in Dubai, follow these steps:

1. Market Research and Business Plan

Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for cafeteria services in Dubai, including target demographics, competitors, and trends.

Decide on a business structure like a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC).

3. Company Name Registration

Select a unique company name and obtain approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

4. Registration and Obtaining a Cafeteria License

Apply for a cafeteria license through the DED. This might involve initial approvals from other departments

5. Food License & Permits

Obtain a food license from the Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department after getting your cafeteria layout plan approved. Depending on your specific food service, you might need additional health certifications or permits.

6. Location and Premises

Select a suitable location for your cafeteria, considering factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, parking availability, and proximity to other businesses or attractions.

7. Fit-Out and Equipment

Design your cafeteria space according to food safety regulations and acquire the necessary equipment for food preparation and service.

8. Apply for Business Visas

If you require visas for yourself, partners, or employees, initiate the application process through the immigration department.

9. Hiring Staff

Recruit skilled and experienced staff for various roles, including chefs, kitchen staff, waitstaff, and cleaners.

10. Grand Opening!

Once you have obtained all licenses and approvals, and your cafeteria is fully equipped, launch your business with a grand opening or promotional campaign.

(Consider seeking professional guidance from Shuraa business setup in Dubai to handle the legalities and processes involved)

What is the cost of opening a cafeteria in Dubai?

The cost of the cafeteria license itself generally starts from AED 12,900*. Additional permits or certifications might add to the cost depending on your specific food service operations.

Several factors add to the cost of opening a cafeteria in Dubai. Below is a breakdown of the various fees you can expect to incur:

  • Trade name reservation
  • Tasheel fees for name reservation – AED 620
  • Tasheel fees for initial approval – AED 115
  • MOA notarization fees
  • Ejari fees (Tenancy Contract Attestation)
  • Issue trade license basic fees – AED 6,000
  • Foreign trade name fees – AED 2,000
  • Company stamp – AED 100
  • Immigration card (establishment card) fees
  • Interior Design and Fit-out
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Staff costs

Remember, these are estimates, and the actual cost for your cafeteria might be higher or lower depending on your specific choices. Consulting with business setup specialists in Dubai can help you refine your budget.

Cafeteria License Cost in Ajman

Ajman is both a city and emirate located on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates. It’s the smallest of the seven emirates by land area, but it’s the fourth most populous.

Cafeteria license costs in Ajman fall within a similar range (approximately AED 10,000 to AED 15,000) as in Dubai. This range represents the base license fee and might not include additional costs. This license is issued by the Ajman Department of Economic Development (DED).

Cafeteria License in Sharjah

The base cost for a trade license in Sharjah can range from AED 1,000 to AED 5,000 depending on your chosen business activity. There might be additional fees for specific business activities.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on cafeteria license costs in each emirate, it’s advisable to consult with business setup specialists such as Shuraa. Our company formation expert can guide the specific requirements and associated costs for obtaining a cafeteria license.

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Partner with Shuraa Today!

Shuraa has designed special business setup packages keeping in mind all major expenses that you will incur during the initial stages of starting your cafeteria business in Dubai. Our comprehensive and affordable packages will not only cover all your trade license-related costs but will also provide additional services such as investor visa renewals.

In addition to the costs mentioned above, you will also have to invest in suitable interiors, a kitchen, equipment, inventory, etc. For more information or to start your restaurant in Dubai with Shuraa Business Setup’s exclusive packages, speak with our experts today!

Call +97144081900 or WhatsApp us at +971507775554 to book your FREE consultation. You can also drop us an email at [email protected].

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