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How to Start a Restaurant Business in Dubai

How to Start a Restaurant Business in Dubai


Starting a restaurant business in Dubai is a big business. Many people have tried and failed. If you want your restaurant to be a success then you have to have a plan. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to start a restaurant business, from crafting a menu to choosing the right location.

How much cost before opening a restaurant?

  • License
  • Rent or expense of buying a new property
  • Permissions
  • Staff training program
  • Software for daily operations
  • Insurance
  • Working capital
  • Cost of setting up the restaurant – equipment, tables, chairs, etc.

What are the license required for Restaurant Business in Dubai?

  1. Trade License
  2. Food License

Trade License

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is responsible for providing Trade Licenses to businesses. When applying for a license, you will be required to mention the type of restaurant you will be operating, as this needs to be clearly stated on the license.

How much is the food license in Dubai?

Obtaining a trade license for your restaurant can cost anywhere between AED 30,000 to AED 40,000, depending on the type of restaurant you’re planning to open. 

Steps to follow for Trade License Initial Approval

  • Select a name for the company
  • Choose business activities.
  • Complete the application and submit it to the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Rent out a suitable restaurant space and obtain the tenancy contract
  • Seek approval of the tenancy contract from Ejari (Dubai Land Department)
  • Get approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
  • Submit paperwork and relevant documents to DED
  • Pay the Dubai trade license fees once approved

After receiving the DED initial approval, you may then approach the Food and Safety department for your food license.

Food License

The Food Safety Department in Dubai is responsible for issuing Food Licenses. After you have your Trade License, you will need to procure a Food License in order to receive approval for the construction of your restaurant.

The following documents must be produced before the food safety department to obtain the Food License.

(i) Copy of the trade license or primary approval from the authority that issues the trade license

(ii) Interior design layout of the premises, if applicable. This is essentially a blueprint of your restaurant. 

This restaurant blueprint must contain the following –

  • The entry and exit passages
  • Space for processing food
  • Area for storing food
  • The windows and ventilation system
  • Location of food equipment that will be used to prepare the food
  • Dishwashers, and other supportive equipment

Apart from these, the restaurant is also required to obtain the following licenses:

  • Food consignment release license
  • Pork permit for handling and serving pork products
  • Vehicle permit for transporting food products
  • Liquor License (if you are planning to serve liquor at your restaurant)

What are the documents required to open a restaurant in Dubai

If you want to start a restaurant business in Dubai, you will need the following documents:

  1. Trading license.
  2. Food license.
  3. Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the municipality of Dubai.
  4. Typed BR/1 form.
  5. Ejari Registration Certificate.
  6. Photocopy of the issued trade license.
  7. Passport-size photo.
  8. Confirmation report of P.O box.
  9. Memorandum of Association (MOA).
  10. DED letter approving your restaurant name.
  11. Tenancy agreement form.
  12. UAE ID Number
  13. Proof of payment.

How to open a Restaurant in Dubai

Follow this step to open a restaurant in Dubai, UAE

Decide on a Concept

Choosing a restaurant concept is one of the most important aspects of starting a restaurant business. The concept will determine the menu, décor, and overall atmosphere of the restaurant. It is important to choose a concept that will appeal to your target market and be unique enough to stand out in the competitive restaurant industry.

Once you have chosen a concept, you will need to develop a menu. The menu should be reflective of the concept and target market. 

It is important to offer a variety of items that will appeal to a wide range of people. The décor of the restaurant should also be in line with the chosen concept. The atmosphere should be inviting and comfortable so that guests will want to return.

Starting a restaurant business can be a daunting task, but it is important to do your research and plan carefully. By choosing the right concept and creating a well-executed business plan, you can increase your chances of success in the restaurant industry.

Choose a Location

When you’re ready to start your restaurant business, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where to locate your business. The location of your restaurant can have a big impact on your success, so it’s important to choose wisely.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a location for your restaurant, including:

  • The type of restaurant you’re opening: Will it be a casual eatery or a fine dining establishment?
  • The demographics of the area: Who is your target market?
  • The competition: What other restaurants are in the area?
  • The cost: Can you afford the rent or purchase price of the property?

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you can start narrowing down your options and choose the best location for your restaurant business.

Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is one of the most important steps in starting a restaurant business. Your business plan will outline your goals and objectives, as well as provide detailed financial information about your restaurant. It’s important to take the time to create a well-rounded business plan that covers all aspects of your restaurant.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you create a comprehensive business plan. The Small Business Administration has a great guide that covers all the basics of creating a business plan. Once you have your business plan complete, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step in starting your restaurant business!

Secure Financing

One of the most important steps in starting a restaurant business is securing the necessary financing. This can be a challenge, but there are a number of options available to potential restaurateurs.

The first step is to develop a business plan. This will not only help you secure financing, but it will also give you a roadmap for success. Once you have a business plan, you can start seeking out investors.

There are a number of ways to finance a restaurant, including personal savings, loans from friends or family, small business loans, and venture capital. The best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances.

Whatever route you choose, be sure to do your research and carefully consider all your options before making any commitments. With the right planning and preparation, you can make your dream of opening a restaurant a reality.

Hire Staff

One of the most important steps in starting a restaurant business is hiring staff. This can be a daunting task, but there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

  • First, it is important to find staff that is passionate about food and customer service. 
  • Second, it is important to find staff that is reliable and hardworking. 
  • Third, it is important to find staff that is flexible and willing to work different shifts. 
  • fourth, it is important to find staff that is able to work well under pressure. 
  • Finally, it is important to find staff that is excited about being a part of your new restaurant business.

Design the Space

When you’re ready to start designing your restaurant space, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to consider the flow of the space and how customers will move through it. You’ll also want to think about what kind of atmosphere you’re trying to create. Do you want it to be casual or formal? Intimate or spacious?

Once you have a general idea of the feel you’re going for, you can start thinking about specific design elements like furniture, lighting, and decor. Pay attention to detail and make sure everything comes together to create the overall look and feel you’re going for.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online and in print that can help you with the design process. Look for magazines, books, or websites that focus on restaurant design and get some inspiration for your own space.

Promote Your Restaurant

If you’re starting a restaurant, one of the best ways to promote your business is through a blog. A blog can help you connect with potential customers, build up a following, and share your passion for food.

8 Content Ideas for Restaurant

Starting a blog is easy – all you need is a topic and a willingness to write. If you’re not sure what to write about, try brainstorming a few ideas with your team. Once you have a few ideas, start writing!

Remember, a successful blog isn’t just about promoting your restaurant. It’s also about giving readers valuable content that they’ll enjoy reading. So focus on quality as well as quantity, and you’ll be sure to attract attention from potential customers.


How much does it cost to open a restaurant in Dubai?

 However, the average cost of opening a small, independent, restaurant ranges from AED500,000 to AED1.25mn depending on the size of the restaurant and lease costs. This is based on restaurant space ranging from 500sqm to 1,200sqm. Capital costs, rent, and working capital comprise 78 percent of total money outflow.

How can I open a restaurant in Dubai?

Looking to open a restaurant in Dubai? Do thorough market research and decide where you want to place your restaurant. Evaluate the location and decide if it is feasible to open a restaurant there. Figure out the kitchen’s size and choose the furniture, fixtures, and fittings. Order the necessary kitchen equipment and stock the restaurant. Now finalize your menu and make necessary changes if required. Get your kitchen professionally inspected before starting the operations.

Can a foreigner open a restaurant in Dubai?

Yes, you can. There are no restrictions for foreigners to start a business in Dubai. If you want to open a restaurant, you can.

Is a restaurant profitable in Dubai?

Purely depending on profit as the driver is not always a smart move, especially if you are just starting out. A restaurant will not be profitable if it is not managed properly. A restaurant should earn a steady flow of regular customers, and should also be a place for friends, families, and colleagues to gather for a good time. The secret to success is to find a location with a demographic that will match your offerings, and then use smart marketing techniques to get the word out about your new venture.  In order to make your restaurant profitable, you should also be able to maintain a consistent level of quality. 

How much is the food license in Dubai?

Obtaining a trade license for your restaurant can cost anywhere between AED 30,000 to AED 40,000, depending on the type of restaurant you’re planning to open. 


Starting a restaurant business can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a very rewarding experience. We hope that our tips have helped you get started on the right foot and given you some ideas on how to make your restaurant a success. Remember to always stay focused on your goals, remain flexible as things change, and above all else, enjoy the process!

Restaurant Business Setup Consultants in Dubai

We’re here to help you with the nitty-gritty details like finding the perfect location, name, and target market in Dubai as well as taking care of all the paperwork. We can also connect you with a reliable local sponsor who will help with things like getting a trade license on favorable terms and renewing it in the future. So, whether you’re just starting out or you need help taking your business to the next level, we’ve got you covered!

To Speak with our Experienced Business Consultants for further information and assistance, call us at +971 589 320 410. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query at +971 589 320 410 or email us at

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