How to Set Up a Cafeteria Business in Dubai, UAE: Requirements, Procedure, and Costs

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Investors and entrepreneurs are constantly on the lookout for business opportunities in Dubai as this emirate has one of the fastest-growing economies in the middle east. One of the most sought-after business ventures in recent years is the restaurant sector. Entering this industry also means having to deal with competitors head-on. With Dubai’s hands-on support to international investors and entrepreneurs, opening a cafeteria in this emirate presents tremendous growth and a lot of attractive incentives.

Moreover, with the exponential growth that this sector has shown, more and more investors and entrepreneurs are looking for the fastest and most seamless way to obtain a cafeteria license in Dubai, UAE. If you’re planning on establishing a cafeteria business in Dubai, UAE, then there are some requirements that you should fulfill. You should obtain a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) and get relevant food and safety permits from the Dubai Municipality in order for you to legally establish your cafeteria business in Dubai, UAE.

What Are the Requirements for Opening a Cafeteria Business in Dubai?

Since the business has something to do with food, it is imperative that you obtain the required food and trade licenses, that includes having to fulfill the food and safety prerequisites as well as the location requirements.

Food Safety

These food safety requirements will ensure food safety for your cafeteria business:

  • Food consignment release license
  • Permit for all vehicles that will be used for the transportation of food products
  • Permit for handling and serving pork or pork by-products


The cafeteria must have a physical location, so the space you choose must meet the following requirements:

  • There must be sufficient space for all the equipment your cafeteria requires
  • There should be a proper process for waste disposal
  • The cafeteria should have a smoke management system
  • The place must have separate toilet and storage areas
  • The walls, floors, and roof must be non-absorbent, washable, and fireproof
  • The place should be pest-free
  • There should be separate wash basins for utensils, vegetables, and meat

What Are the Documents Required in Order to Obtain a Cafeteria Business License in Dubai?

In order to put up a cafeteria business in Dubai, UAE, there are some prerequisites that you need to fulfill. Here are the documents that need to be submitted in order to get a cafeteria license in Dubai:

Cafeteria Blueprints

The blueprints of the following aspects of the cafeteria should be submitted:

  • Location of the equipment used for food preparation
  • Food processing and storage space
  • Sanitary spaces (e.g. washrooms)
  • Washing areas
  • Entry and exit ways
  • Windows and ventilation system

Food License

The documents of the Food Safety Department-approved food license must be submitted:

  • Layout of the cafeteria’s location
  • The initial approval by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • If the cafeteria will be located outside a shopping complex, the approval from the planning department must also be submitted.

Trade License

The documents for the Trade License Approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing must be submitted:

  • Application signed by the company’s management
  • Attested company name approval letter from the DED
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Passport copies of all the business partners

Procedure for Opening a Cafeteria in Dubai

  • Choose a name for your cafeteria business and reserve it with the DED
  • Look for a local sponsor or service agent to get a business partnership
  • Follow the guidelines of the food safety department
  • Select a place based on the guidelines (if you are renting a commercial space for the cafeteria in Dubai)
  • Get the Ejari or the tenancy contract for the commercial space rented
  • Apply for a No Objection (NOC) from the Food Safety Department and get approval from the Dubai Municipality
  • Submit all of the required documents to the DED and get the cafeteria business license in Dubai

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Cafeteria in Dubai?

When you’re aiming to open a cafeteria business in Dubai, then you must keep in mind that this endeavor requires time and money. The expenses involved in this business venture may vary depending on the location, commercial space, the number of employees that the business has, and some other factors. However, here are some things that you may have to pay for:

  • Trade name reservation
  • Tasheel fees for name reservation
  • Tasheel fees for initial reservation
  • MOA notarization fees
  • Ejari fees (Tenancy Contract Attestation)
  • Issue trade license basic fees
  • Foreign trade name fees
  • Company Stamp
  • Immigration card (establishment card) fees

Additional costs:

  • Market fees
  • Labour file charges
  • P.O. Box rental
  • License update with the business’ contact details

Set Up a Cafeteria Business in Dubai, UAE

Your new cafeteria business endeavor in the restaurant industry of Dubai, UAE will require a lot of paperwork, certification, documentation, visas, permissions, etc. from the related authorities. With the help of company formation by Startup-N-Marketing, opening your cafeteria business in Dubai, UAE is made easier. Let us know how we can help. Get in touch with us.