Friday, June 2, 2023

Here’s How To Open A Restaurant in Dubai

Have you ever dreamt of owning your own restaurant in Dubai? Well, now is the perfect time to make that dream come true! Dubai’s food scene is buzzing, and with a thriving expat community, it is an ideal place for culinary entrepreneurs. Starting a restaurant may seem challenging, but this guide will help you to turn your dream into reality.

Create a Business Plan

To begin the process of opening a restaurant in Dubai, it is essential to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines your vision, goals, and budget. Additionally, incorporating a contingency plan for unforeseen circumstances is crucial. By doing so, you will have a solid foundation and be better prepared for any challenges that may arise along the way.

Choose a Region

  • Decide between Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and Mainland Area.
  • FTZ allows 100% ownership without a local sponsor.
  • Mainland Area requires 51% ownership by a local Emirati sponsor.

Select a Location

  • Consider factors like cuisine popularity, commercial activity, and accessibility.
  • Obtain necessary permits in advance, such as pork, alcohol, delivery, and Ramadan operation.

Physical Requirements

It is crucial to provide a detailed map and blueprint of the restaurant, Moreover, ensure non absorbent and fire resistant flooring, counters, and walls. By meeting the physical requirements, you can create a safe and functional space for your restaurant’s operations.

Present a Map and Blueprint

  • Provide a detailed map and blueprint of your restaurant.
  • Include interior design plans, food storage locations, ventilation routes, fire hazard solutions, and entrance/exit points.

Meet Architectural Requirements

  • Ensure non absorbent, fire resistant flooring, counters, and walls.
  • Install separate wash basins for meat, vegetables, and other items.
  • Allocate 40% of the total area to the kitchen with proper ventilation.

Obtaining Dubai Trade License

Submit an Application

  • Prepare and submit an application for preliminary approval.
  • Choose a restaurant name and define business activities.

Complete the Application

  • Fill out the application form and submit it to the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  • Rent a suitable restaurant space and obtain Ejari approval.
  • Seek approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Submit Required Documents

  • Provide initial approval letter, business plan, tenancy contract, and blueprints/floor plans.
  • Include Memorandum of Association with a local sponsor for Mainland Area.

Dubai Food License Requirements

Obtain Initial Approval

  • Receive initial approval from DED.
  • Apply for a food license from the Food Safety Department.

Required Documents

  • Include trade license or primary approval from DED or relevant free zone authority.
  • Moreover, provide interior design layout blueprint, highlighting entry/exit passages, food processing areas, ventilation systems, and equipment locations.

Acquire Trade and Food Licenses

  • Receive trade and food licenses to officially open your restaurant in Dubai.

Considerations and Costs

  • Total cost varies based on location, size, approvals, and ingredient/supply costs.
  • Furthermore, consider license fees, rent, permissions, staff training, capital expenses, staff visas, interior design, furniture, kitchen appliances, and opening stock.


In conclusion, opening a restaurant in Dubai requires careful planning and fulfilling legal and physical requirements. Nevertheless, with the right guidance and determination, you can turn your culinary aspirations into a thriving reality. Furthermore by following the step by step guide and meeting the necessary criteria, you will be well on your way to owning a successful restaurant. So, take the leap, navigate the process diligently, and prepare to embark on a rewarding gastronomic journey.

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