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Dubai’s global culinary allure is on the rise, offering more than just luxury dining – it’s also a hub for food trucks. With the UAE’s restaurant industry poised to reach a staggering $29 billion by 2023, the demand for dining options is soaring, thanks to a constant influx of tourists. This culinary boom attracts international brands eager to set up shop in Dubai.

In recent years, the food truck business in Dubai has enjoyed immense popularity, leading to a surge in demand for food truck licenses. These licenses open the door to culinary possibilities, from diverse themes to global cuisines. While local flavours succeed, Dubai’s cosmopolitan population has created a vibrant market for international street foods, including Turkish Jacket Potatoes, Pakistani Kebabs, Indian Kadak Chai, American burgers, Japanese Sushi, Lebanese Falafel, and more.

Strategically positioned nationwide, food truck spots ensure high visibility and accessibility for customers. They even offer air-conditioned spaces during the scorching summers and operate outdoors during the pleasant Dubai winters. If you’re eager to be part of this dynamic culinary scene, follow our guide to secure your food truck license and join the food truck movement in Dubai.

Licenses and Permits Required

How to Start a Food Truck Business in Dubai

Starting a food truck business in Dubai, UAE offers distinct advantages in lower capital requirements and faster return on investment than traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Whether you lease or own your food truck, the overhead costs are considerably lower than renting a fixed location. What’s more, a food truck allows you to explore different markets throughout the city, breaking free from the constraints of a single site.

The first step to start your food truck business in Dubai is obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. You’ll need approvals from the following authorities:

Department of Economic Development (DED)

  1. Dubai Municipality
  1. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
  1. Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

By securing these permits, you’ll be well on your way to realising your dream of operating a successful food truck in the vibrant culinary landscape of Dubai.

Obtaining Approval from the Dubai Economic Department (DED)

The Dubai Economic Department plays a pivotal role in understanding and overseeing the economic aspects of businesses in Dubai, encompassing licensing, inspections, and the issuance of legal contracts. To initiate your food truck venture in Dubai, the first crucial step involves securing approvals from both the DED and the Dubai Municipality, which necessitates submitting a comprehensive business plan.

Your business plan should comprehensively address the following key elements:

  1. The Business Idea: This section elucidates your business venture’s conceptualisation, vision, and mission.
  1. The Concept: Here, you’ll delve into the consumer experience to elucidate your food truck’s aesthetic and thematic aspects.
  1. The Financial Plan: Detail your funding strategy from investors or personal capital, outlining the required capital, expenses, break-even analysis, and sales projections.
  1. The Business Model: Describe your chosen approach to conducting business, encompassing the guiding principles underpinning your operations.

Additionally, your business plan should encompass:

  • An analysis of the competitive landscape. 
  • Your strategic approach to contend with competitors. 
  • Value-added features that distinguish your business from others. 

The financial plan must further encompass the following:

  • Your funding strategy, including whether you plan to raise funds from investors or self-invest.
  • A comprehensive assessment of potential risks linked to your venture.
  • Strategies devised to mitigate these risks.
  • Ideas for scaling and expanding your business.

Your business plan aims to convincingly demonstrate to government officials that your food truck concept is thoroughly considered and that it represents a profitable and sustainable business opportunity in the bustling landscape of Dubai. 

Securing HACCP Approval

To ensure safety and hygiene, the food truck and its kitchen must receive approval from the relevant authorities. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification is required in two key areas:

  1. Kitchen Layout: This approval covers the comprehensive arrangement of your kitchen within the food truck. Elements such as the kitchen setup, serving counter, waste management system, and cooking equipment must meet HACCP standards.
  1. Truck Design Blueprint: Beyond just the kitchen, this certification encompasses the overall design of the food truck. It includes provisions for electricity, truck specifications, safety measures, and other crucial aspects. 

Obtaining HACCP certification for your food truck underscores your commitment to food safety, enhancing your brand’s credibility. It demonstrates your dedication to addressing various biological or physical hazards and ensuring adequate food safety and hygiene protocols are in place.

While Dubai’s licensing regulations are stringent, Shuraa simplifies the process for new businesses, offering tailored, customised plans to help you obtain the necessary licenses and run your food truck smoothly. 

Advantages of Starting a Food Truck Business in Dubai

The advantages of the food truck business in Dubai are as follows:

  1. Mobility and Accessibility: One of the primary advantages of undertaking a food truck venture is bringing your culinary delights directly to your customers. Through careful research, you can pinpoint high-demand areas for your cuisine and set up shop accordingly, ensuring maximum exposure.
  1. Low Startup Costs: If you aspire to enter the food industry, a food truck offers a particularly cost-effective pathway. The initial investment required is substantially lower than establishing a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs.
  1. Minimal Overheads: Operating a food truck allows you to keep overhead expenses to a minimum. Aside from expenses like rent, ingredients, and wages, there are relatively few additional costs to contend with during the early stages of your business, enabling you to allocate resources more efficiently. 

Food Truck License Dubai Cost

You can opt for a professional or commercial food truck license, depending on your specific needs. The estimated cost for these licenses is AED 13,000* for a professional license and AED 19,000* for a commercial license. These fees encompass several components, including:

  • Company name registration
  • License issuance
  • Court sign
  • Stamp fees
  • Tasheel service fees
  • RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) charges

Should you aspire to kickstart your food truck business in Dubai, our dedicated team can assist you in navigating the approval process. Once you’ve secured the necessary approvals from government authorities, you’re all set to commence trading!

Note: RTA permit is mandatory for branding your food truck for business purposes. The requisite documents for this permit include a four-sided vehicle advertising design featuring an anthropomorphic design, a copy of the Dubai-issued trade license, and a copy of the vehicle’s ownership documents. The annual advertising fee for commercial vehicles is AED 250.

Ready to Start Your Food Truck Business in Dubai

This guide shows that launching a food truck in Dubai can be straightforward with the right knowledge and a well-prepared license application. For a smooth process, partner with Shuraa Business Setup, experts in company formation, visa services, and government formalities in the UAE. We handle everything, from establishing your company and license applications to visa processing, so you can focus on running your business. Contact our business development consultant to learn more about food truck licensing in Dubai. Call +971-44081900, WhatsApp +971-507775554, or email [email protected].

 

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