How to Obtain Trade License for Food and Beverage Sector Dubai
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A Comprehensive Guide, to Obtaining a Trade License in the Food and Beverage Sector in Dubai


Food and Beverage Licensing in Dubai

Thanks to the city’s diverse market, starting a food and beverage business in Dubai can be an opportunity. However, before you dive into serving meals and beverages it’s crucial to acquire a trade license.

In this guide, we will take you step by step through obtaining a trade license in Dubai.  You’ll find information on license types associated costs and essential steps to follow.

1. Determine the Type of Trade License in Dubai:

Dubai offers various types of food and beverage licenses, depending on your business activities. Common types include:

  • Restaurant License: For establishments that primarily serve food.
  • Café License: For smaller establishments that serve coffee, snacks, and light meals. ∙ Catering License: For businesses providing catering services for events and parties.
  • Food Truck License: For mobile food vendors.
  • Food Import/Export License: For businesses involved in importing or exporting food

2.  Choose a Location:

Select an appropriate location for your food and beverage business in  Dubai, as the site may impact the type of license you can obtain and other requirements.

3. Business Structure:

Decide on your business structure. You can establish your business as a  sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC (Limited Liability Company), or any other suitable legal structure.

4. Register Your Firm:

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai is where you should register your firm. This involves choosing a trade name, obtaining initial approval,  and signing a Memorandum of Association (MOA) if required.

5. Obtain Necessary Approvals:

Depending on the type of business and location, you may need approvals from various government departments, such as the Dubai Municipality, Dubai Civil  Defence, and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). These approvals ensure compliance with health and safety standards.

6. Apply for the F&B License:

Submit an application for the specific food and beverage license you require to the DED. You will need to provide all necessary documents and pay relevant fees.

7. Leverage the Dubai Food Code:

Dubai has a comprehensive set of food safety regulations known as the Dubai Food Code. Ensure that your business complies with these regulations regarding food handling, storage, and preparation.

8. Health and Safety Inspections:

Your establishment may undergo inspections by government authorities to ensure compliance with health and safety standards. Be prepared for these inspections.

9. Obtain Additional Permits:

Depending on your business activities, you may need additional permits, such as a liquor license if you plan to serve alcohol.

10. Renewals and Compliance:

Food and beverage licenses typically need to be renewed annually. Ensure that your business complies with all regulations to avoid penalties or license suspension.

11. Hiring Staff:

If you plan to hire employees, ensure that they have the necessary work permits and health checks as required by Dubai labour laws.

Please note that Dubai’s business regulations can be complex, and the Cost of Trade Licenses and requirements may change. It is advisable to consult with an expert business advisor for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding food and beverage licensing in Dubai.

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