How to start coffee shop business in Dubai

Start a Coffee Shop Business in Dubai

Are you a coffee enthusiast with dreams of running your own cafe? Imagine being part of the vibrant and booming cafe culture in Dubai, where every sip is an experience, and every conversation is infused with flavour. Opening your own cafe in this bustling city may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process step by step, from navigating the Dubai Cafe market to obtaining permits and licenses. So, grab your favourite brew, and let’s dive into the world of opening a coffee shop business in Dubai!

Exploring the Thriving Cafe Business of Dubai

So, Dubai’s cafe market thrives due to several key factors. Firstly, its strategic location as a global business and tourism hub attracts a diverse range of visitors, ensuring a constant demand for coffee shops and cafes. Secondly, the city’s strong economy and high disposable income among residents contribute to a flourishing cafe market, so people are willing to indulge in dining experiences. Additionally, Dubai’s vibrant food and beverage scene has created a culinary diversity that has refined the palates of both residents and tourists, leading to an increased demand for unique coffee experiences. The cafe market in Dubai also presents exciting entrepreneurial opportunities because it offers a range of possibilities for passionate entrepreneurs, from cosy neighbourhood cafes to grand waterfront establishments. 

Benefits of Opening a coffee shop in Dubai

The benefits of opening a coffee shop in Dubai are as follows:  

  • Thriving Coffee Culture: Dubai’s strong coffee culture creates a vibrant social scene, attracting customers who appreciate quality coffee and stylish cafe environments. 
  • Demand for Specialty Offerings: The high demand for speciality coffees and diverse food options allows cafe owners to experiment with unique menu offerings, catering to a wide range of tastes.
  • Strategic Location for Business and Networking: Dubai’s strategic location makes it an ideal hub for business meetings and casual catchups, providing opportunities to attract professionals seeking productive environments outside traditional office spaces.
  • Tapping into Tourism: The booming tourism industry in Dubai presents an opportunity to capture the attention of millions of visitors by offering memorable dining experiences in your cafe. 
  • Supportive Business Environment: Dubai offers a business-friendly environment with favourable regulations, tax incentives, and infrastructure, making it easier to set up and run a coffee shop in Dubai.  
  • Growing Expat Community: Dubai’s large expatriate population creates a diverse customer base, providing opportunities to cater to different cultural preferences and cuisines. 
  • Innovation and Technology: Dubai embraces innovation and technology, creating a conducive environment for introducing innovative cafe concepts, digital ordering systems, and loyalty programs to enhance the customer experience. 
  • Vibrant Social Media Presence: Dubai residents are active on social media platforms, providing cafe owners with the opportunity to digital marketing strategies, influencer collaborations, & user-generated content.
  • Lifestyle and Wellness Trends: Dubai’s residents have a growing focus on health and wellness. Presenting opportunities for cafes to incorporate nutritious menu options and vegan or gluten-free offerings.  
  • Events and Collaborations: Dubai is known for its events and collaborations, such as food festivals, pop-up markets, and partnerships with local businesses. Participating in such events can create buzz and attract new customers to your cafe.

Opening a Coffee Shop in Dubai: Steps and Considerations

By following these steps, aspiring coffee shop owners can navigate the process of opening a cafe in Dubai successfully.

1. Conduct Market Research

  • Assess the demand for coffee shops in Dubai 
  • Analyze existing business models and profitability 
  • Consult with experienced entrepreneurs in the industry

2. Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan

  • Incorporate market research findings into the plan 
  • Consult with other coffee shop owners for insights and advice

3. Choose an Ideal Location

  • Consider locating in a Free Zone or an area with high population and limited competition 
  • Target commercial areas for better visibility and accessibility

4. Differentiate with Unique Offerings

  • Introduce innovative elements such as new flavored coffee, appealing packaging, and inviting ambiance 
  • Expand the menu by adding new products and services like Wi-Fi and home delivery

5. Select Reliable Suppliers and Quality Equipment

  • Establish partnerships with trustworthy suppliers to ensure consistent product quality
  • Invest in high-quality equipment that meets the cafe’s requirements

6. Design a Menu and Cafe Theme

  • Create a visually appealing menu card that aligns with the cafe’s theme and reflects the local culture 
  • Customize the cafe’s interior design so that ambiance can enhance the overall experience

7. Develop a Marketing Plan

  • Determine the target customer base and tailor marketing efforts accordingly 
  • Utilize online and electronic media marketing for wider reach or employ local methods like banner ads and pamphlets for a smaller customer base

8. Obtain the Necessary Licenses

  • Acquire a Food License from the Food Safety Department 
  • Obtain a Trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Secure a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Food and Safety Department 
  • Complete the licensing process with the DED and Dubai Municipality, typically taking about a week

9. Apply for Worker Visas

  • Initiate the visa application process with the Ministry of Labor and Immigration Department for the cafe’s employees

What is the cost of opening a coffee shop in Dubai?

We have now reached the section where we will explore the expenses associated with opening a coffee shop business in Dubai. Typically, the estimated cost to opening a coffee shop in Dubai ranges from 20,000 AED to 30,000 AED*. This amount encompasses various essential components such as rental expenses, interior decoration, and staff recruitment. To know the cost of everything including the exact price per your need you can contact our experts for better understanding.  

Note: The cost of the space varies as per the requirements of your need.  

Coffee Shop in Dubai- Documents, Permits and Licenses

When opening a coffee shop in Dubai, it’s crucial to obtain documents, permits and a coffee shop license in Dubai.

Health and Safety Certification

Ensure that your cafe meets health and safety standards set by Dubai Municipality. This includes maintaining proper hygiene practices, food storage and handling procedures, and waste management systems.

Liquor License (if applicable)

If you plan to serve alcohol in your cafe, you will need to apply for a liquor license. This involves meeting specific criteria, such as having a designated bar area and following regulations related to alcohol service and consumption.

Municipality Approvals

Obtain approvals from Dubai Municipality for the layout and design of your cafe, including seating arrangements, ventilation systems, and compliance with building codes and regulations.

Civil Defense Approval

Ensure that your cafe complies with fire safety regulations and obtain necessary approvals from the Dubai Civil Defense. This may involve having fire extinguishers and emergency exits and adhering to fire safety protocols.

Signage Permit

If you plan to have exterior signage for your cafe, you will need to obtain a signage permit. Ensure that the signage complies with local regulations regarding size, placement, and design.

Employee Work Permits

If you are hiring staff from outside of the UAE, you will need to obtain work permits and residence visas for them. This involves following the procedures set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Municipality Inspection

Be prepared for routine inspections by Dubai Municipality to ensure ongoing compliance with health, safety, and hygiene regulations. Maintain proper documentation and records required for inspections.

By securing these documents, permits, and coffee shop licenses in Dubai, you can open a coffee shop business in Dubai legally and ensure a safe and compliant environment for both your staff and customers. It’s important to consult with relevant authorities and seek professional advice to navigate the process effectively.


Dubai’s flourishing cafe culture, robust economy, and diverse population present a prime location for aspiring cafe owners. Shuraa Business Setup can be your trusted partner, assisting you in every step of the process, from obtaining crucial licenses to finding the perfect location for your cafe. With meticulous planning, adherence to proper licensing procedures, and strategic marketing efforts, Shuraa Business Setup can help you establish a thriving and prosperous cafe business in this vibrant city. Trust in Shuraa Business Setup to guide you towards success in the competitive cafe industry of Dubai.
So why wait? Start brewing your dreams and let your company set up in Dubai today; contact us. Call Shuraa and get in touch with the best business setup consultants in the UAE. We are just a call away at +971 44081900. You can also easily WhatsApp us at +971 507775554 or email us at

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