Company Formation Dubai



Open a Restaurant in Dubai

Updated on Monday 17th July 2017

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Opening a restaurant in Dubai can be a very good investment opportunity for foreign businessmen. However, there are some requirements for starting a business in the food industry in Dubai.

The Food Code in Dubai

The main provisions for setting up restaurants in Dubai are encompassed in the Food Code. The Food Code was enabled in order to support restaurant owners and to provide guidelines for food safety and regulations to be respected when owning a food establishment in Dubai.

The Food Code was designed according to other food codes in countries like the United States or Australia. The Dubai Food Code also encompasses the law regulations stated by the Food Control Department. The Food Code clearly states the requirements to be met in order to obtain a safe environment and health protection of consumers going in restaurants in Dubai.

The Food Code requirements apply to the following categories of food establishments in Dubai:

  • ·         -          restaurants and cafés,
  • ·         -          canteens in hospitals and schools,
  • ·         -          bakeries,
  • ·         -          supermarkets and grocery stores,
  • ·         -          catering units,
  • ·         -          food factories.

Obtaining a license for a restaurant in Dubai

In order to establish a restaurant in Dubai, a trade license is required from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The owner of the restaurant must also select the appropriate type of business suitable for the type of food establishment he/she wants to open, as the license will clearly state the activity the restaurant will undertake.

The second step will be to receive approval for the construction plans that must be according to some specifications. These specifications are made by the Food Control Department in Dubai. The blueprints of the restaurants must comprise the following information:

  • ·         -          the space for food processing and storage,
  • ·         -          the sanitary spaces such as restrooms,
  • ·         -          the windows and ventilation system,
  • ·         -          the location of the equipment used to process the food,
  • ·         -          the entry and exit passages,
  • ·         -          the location of the washing machines.

It is also important to know that the restaurant must be placed at minimum 30 meters from waste disposal places that could lead to contamination and at least 10 meters of the space around the restaurant must be kept clean at all times.

You can also find out from the video below the main requirements to open a restaurant in Dubai:

Documents required to obtain a food license in Dubai

The Food Safety Department in Dubai requires the following documents to be submitted when opening a restaurant in the Emirate:

  • ·         -       the first approval issued by the Department of Economic Development,
  • ·         -       the premises layout,
  • ·         -       approval from the Planning Department, if the restaurant is located outside a shopping center.

Other special licenses will also be required, depending on the specific of the restaurant.

Food safety requirements in Dubai

All restaurants in Dubai are required to appoint qualified personnel when starting operating. The individual carrying out this task will be the Person in Charge of Training who needs to undergo an authorized training course. In order to ensure food safety, the restaurant must also obtain the following licenses:

  • -       a food consignment release license;
  • -       a pork permit for handling and serving pork products;
  • -       a vehicle permit for transporting food products.

The Dubai Food Code also imposes special regulations upon the import and export of food products.

Requirements for the construction of a restaurant in Dubai

The site for opening a restaurant must, first of all, be appropriate for a food establishment and provide enough and suitable space for the equipment to be used for this type of activity. The building must allow the place to be cleaned and to make possible the disposal of dirt and smoke to be evacuated easily.

The building must not provide any entries for pests. The food flow must go in one direction only. The utensils used to prepare the food must be provided with an enclosed space so they are not exposed to contamination. Toilets and storage areas must be separated from kitchens.

You can contact our company formation agents in Dubai for details about all the provisions of the Food Code and for the registration steps of a company.



  • Swarup Reddy 2015-03-06

    I am interested in opening a restaurant in Dubai.

    Hello, you can send us your request at and one of our specialists will answer you.

  • Nanjapapa 2016-01-24

    Please let me know the total cost of licence for opening a Restuarent

    You can send us your request via e-mail and one of our specialists will help you with information. 

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