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Guideline On How To Start Restaurant Business In Dubai

By Fahad Arafin Last Updated -- Wednesday, 2024-04-03
how to start restaurant business in dubai

Dubai is the world's best landscape for dynamic restaurants. It is a city full of culture, restaurants, skyscrapers, flavors and many more. People are looking for the opportunity of how to start restaurant business in Dubai. So, if you are one of those people looking for a way to start a restaurant business in Dubai, then stay with us. Here, we will walk you through the crucial steps of how to start a restaurant business in Dubai. 

Is Restaurant Business Profitable In Dubai?

is restaurant business profitable in dubai

Dubai city is full of a wide range of cultures. Cultural diversity is the main reason for the establishment and development of thousands of restaurants. 

In Dubai, you will find varieties of cuisine, buffets, casual, fast food, and many other types of restaurants. Millions of tourists (estimated 7 millions) visit Dubai alone or with family or friends daily, especially on any occasion or holiday.

The restaurant business is highly profitable in Dubai. It is considered to be the best business in Dubai. There are many working people who like visiting restaurants frequently along with the tourists in Dubai. They enjoy taking their food from restaurants instead of cooking it at home. 

Because the lifestyle of Dubai is different from others, they lead hectic lives, so they want to save their time preparing their food. So, it is an excellent opportunity for restaurant business owners. It makes the restaurant business the most profitable business in Dubai.

According to data from the Dubai Statistics Center(DSC), the restaurant business produces about 20 billion dirhams, which makes the restaurant industry one of the biggest industries in Dubai. Dubai's structure and attractive beauty are considered a paradise for tourists. 

How To Start Restaurant Business In Dubai: Fast And Easy Steps

how to start restaurant business in dubai

Dubai has established itself as the world's most  thriving and diverse food market. So starting a restaurant business in Dubai is a great challenge. The food business competition is extremely high in Dubai. You need proper restaurant business guidelines and strategy when you consider starting a restaurant business in this bustling city. 

Here we have provided a comprehensive guide of how to start restaurant business in Dubai. 

01. Draft A Business Plan

Is it easy to open a restaurant in Dubai?  The answer is definitely not easy but not impossible. "A boat can not reach its goal without a rudder"  as like, a business can not be successful without a proper business plan. So before starting a restaurant business in Dubai, you have to make a unique business plan.

Your business plan should have some extra unique features that are different from others. A unique and comprehensive business plan is considered to be the backbone of a restaurant business. 

In your business plan, you have to outline every aspect of your restaurant business categories. Like restaurant management system and operation, initial concept, financial system, your vision, goals, aim, budget, etc. Moreover, you have to declare your backup plan also in your restaurant business plan.

02. Select A Suitable Region And Location

In Dubai, starting a restaurant is not a bed of roses. One of the most challenging tasks of starting a restaurant business in Dubai is selecting the region and location. So you have to find the Best location to open a restaurant in Dubai.

In Dubai, you will find two types of regions to open your restaurant.

1) Mainland Area

2) Free Trade Zone

# Mainland Area 

Dubai mainland business is a business company that allows you to start your business anywhere in the Dubai region. The Department of economic development provides the licenses and other requirements that are needed for dubai mainland business. If you are going to set up your business in the Dubai mainland, you have to allocate 51% to your local emirati business sponsor.  

# Free Trade Zone

Free trade zone companies are limited with the designated free zone across the united arab emirates. A free zone company is 100% owned by the company. They do not need any local sponsor.

So when it comes to selecting a region for a restaurant business, the best choice would be to choose the mainland. In the mainland, you can choose the location by your choice where the free trade zone isc limited to some specific region and location. On the other hand, in the mainland you can easily expand your business if you want to open up multiple branches. 

After selecting your business region, you have to select a physical location where you want to open your restaurant. Certain areas have individual rules and food safety regulations. So you have to choose your restaurant location wisely. 

03. Get The Necessary Licenses And Permission

The Dubai business market is a very busy and challenging market. It is quite difficult to start a culinary business in dubai. You have to obtain some necessary license and requirements. So before driving into the restaurant business industry, you have to understand the license process. 

For starting a restaurant business in Dubai, you have to obtain a Dubai Trade License along with Food licenses. To get the trade licenses , you have to approach the DED( Department of Economic Development) and you have to provide all the requirements needed for the trade and food licenses.

# Trade  License

Trade license is an official approval statement and documentation through which the business entrepreneur can start their business legally in the United Arab Emirate. A trade license should be requested by every business entrepreneur otherwise they will not be able to start their business in the UAE. 

Requirements for obtaining Trade License in Dubai 

  • Approval letter from DED( Department of economic Development).
  • A well organized business plan( It should be final and contain detailed information).
  • Property ownership contract papers.
  • A well structured floor plan for a restaurant.
  • Letter of association with your local sponsor(If you select mainland). 

# Food License

The food license is mainly issued by the department of food safety. This food license helps the business to deal with the consumable items across the United Arab Emirates. You have to submit your trade license copy while requesting for the food license. 

Requirements for obtaining Food Safety in Dubai 

  • Copy of the trade license.
  • Restaurant design layout.
  • Food storage area layout.
  • Interior design layout.
  • Food processing space layout.
  • Total ventilation and windows system layout.
  • Entry and exit layout.
  • Food preparation, dishwasher and other supportive equipment layout.

After getting the trade and food license, you have granted some others permission for starting a restaurant business in dubai. 

Here are the some essential permits that you must have to obtain

  • Alcohol license
  • Pork license
  • Food delivery permits
  • Permits for operating during ramadan

04. Finding A Partnership For Local Sponsor

Can a foreigner open a restaurant in Dubai? Definitely yes, but it is very important to find a suitable local sponsor for your restaurant business in dubai. For the foreign entrepreneurs, the crucial task is to select the location. 

If you choose the free zone then you do not have to look for finding the local sponsor, you can start your business with your full ownership. But if you choose the mainland, you have to search for the local sponsor who will hold the majority of the share for your restaurant business. 

Your local sponsor can be a silent partner or a service agent.But you have to make sure that your sponsor provides valuable understanding into the legal business framework and has a wide range of networks within the region.

05. Obtaining Visa Eligibility

In dubai, there are main two types of  business visas

1. Visit visa

2. Residence visas

# Visit Visa

Visit visas are issued to the people who come for the purpose of business trips, meetings, conferences or looking for the business investors, etc. 

# Residence Visa

Residence visas are issued to the business entrepreneur who wants to depart the country. To get the eligibility for the residential visa, the applicants have some successful business experience in different countries. 

These types of visa can valid up to 2 to 10 years or more. 

While you are planning to open a restaurant business in dubai, you have to acquire a residential visa for you or your family (If Needed). The actual number of visas depends on the size of your restaurant.

One important thing you have to remember is that the entire residence visa application process can take up to 2 months. You can also get help from Dubai business setup consultants. They will provide all the information and procedure of visa eligibility and other permits.   

Here we have discussed the residence business visa processing ways.

# Get The Entry Permits 

First, you have to apply for an employment visa or an entry permits visa. This type of visa is a temporary visa and it will be valid for 60 days.  

It will activate your entry permission or employment visa. While you got these visas then you have to fill the application form for the medical test. You need some documents for these. 

Like a copy of your passport, 3*4 cm color photo, a  certificate that claims that you are not a criminal or any police case, good conduct certificate, birth and marriage certificate,etc. 

# Pass The Medical Test

After that, you have to visit a government hospital or healthcare center for your medical test. It is called a medical fitness test. To pass the health certificate, you have to test for some dangerous diseases like hepatitis, HIV , chest x-ray, syphilis, etc. 

# Obtain An Emirates ID

When you apply for the emirates ID, you have to give your fingerprint and your iris will get scanned. Your Emirates ID is considered as your residence permits. 

# Residence Visa Stamping

When you will get your actual visa sticker on your passport, you have to wait for the stamping process. It can take up to 15 days. After getting your visa, you can apply for others also. 

06. Finding The Effective Food Supplier

Before starting your restaurant, you have to find a food supplier near your location. Without an effective food supplier it is quite difficult to streamline your restaurant operations. 

If you establish your restaurant near your suppliers, it will minimize your restaurant operating cost and it is a very essential consideration in Dubai. So be in partnership with those local suppliers who can provide fresh products. 

Without the fresh product, you can not maintain your food quality. As we know, it is very tough to survive in the Dubai restaurant business. So you have to make sure you are providing fresh food while maintaining proper hygiene and food safety rules. Only then,you can  be successful in the restaurant business in Dubai.

07. Hiring Skilled Restaurant Staff

As we know, the Dubai restaurant market is highly competitive. So it is very challenging to survive in the Dubai restaurant business market. The Dubai hospitality sector is very renowned for the wide range of job opportunities. 

The UAE hospitality sector is ranking third worldwide. It is crucial to build a strong and dedicated restaurant team because the restaurant industry has the highest staff turnover. Staff turnover is one of the biggest reasons that a restaurant falls

So while you will hire your restaurant staff, you have to clearly explain all the requirements and responsibilities. Moreover, the labor cost is also high in Dubai, so  you have to keep track of your restaurant staff hiring budget. 

You can use different recruitment channels, jobs portal, social media, hospitality companies,etc for recruiting restaurant staff. You have to select your employees according to your restaurant types and direction. A dedicated staff can maintain restaurant workflow in a great way.

08. Setup Your Restaurant

Restaurant business setup in Dubai is very important for attracting customers. Especially in Dubai, you will find amazing restaurants that will blow your mind. Dubai is famous for its rooftop, beach and many other types of beautiful restaurants. Those restaurants will allow you to enjoy the outstanding view of Dubai city.  

So when you are done with all the requirements of your restaurant, then you

have to set up your restaurant. You can get engaged with the business setup consultancy. 

They will provide you all the guidelines of your restaurant business setup including the location, paperwork,etc. Starting a restaurant business in Dubai is very exciting. With the proper business planning, rules, adherence and hard work you can turn your restaurant business dream into reality

09. Using Different Types Of Marketing Strategies

While you are starting your restaurant business in Dubai, you have to select some marketing strategy. Without proper marketing and promotion, it is likely impossible to gain popularity in the restaurant business. 

Nowadays most of the restaurants are providing online table reservation and food ordering services. It will increase your restaurant sales and profit. So it has become a mandatory thing to be present on different food apps. 

You can use a cloud based POS software to optimize your restaurant management operation, it will increase your restaurant productivity and enhance customers satisfaction. As a part of restaurant marketing strategy, you can introduce unique offers and coupons

Social media restaurant marketing is now on trend. You may engage in different types of social media platforms like facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest for your restaurant marketing. So, you must have to use these marketing strategies for starting a restaurant in Dubai. 

10. Fixed A Short Term And Long Term Goals

Running a restaurant is much harder than opening a restaurant. You need to establish a clear business concept, short term and long term goals for your restaurant. These goals will help you to analyze your restaurant growth. 

You can set your short term goals with a time span of about 1years. Short term goals include launching the restaurants, building a strong customer base, efficient restaurant operation, etc. 

On the other hand, you can set long term goals within the time span of several years. Long term goals may include business expansion, menu complexity, opening multiple locations,etc. 

But one most important thing you have to remember is that your goal must have to be specific, smart, unique, relevant and time related. Moreover, you have to keep updating your goals according to the changes of the Dubai restaurant business industry.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Restaurant In Dubai?

how much does it cost to open a restaurant in dubai

People from  different countries are looking for business opportunities in Dubai. Especially the restaurant and the real estate business are highly demanding in dubai. But compared to other businesses, the restaurant business is considered to be the best business to start in dubai. 

Starting a restaurant business in Dubai is very costly. The cost of starting a restaurant business in Dubai is approximately AED 750,000 to AED 800,000. But you have to remember that the cost can vary a lot according to the locations, sizes, designs, menus,etc. 

The cost of opening a restaurant in Dubai varies greatly according to several factors. In this article we will discuss in detail about the factors that vary the estimated cost of opening a restaurant business in Dubai.

# Location

In Dubai, location has a great impact on opening a restaurant. You will find some specific locations in Dubai, where the rent and other operating costs are very high. So if you choose that location then your actual cost of opening a restaurant will definitely be very high. On the other hand,if you choose a comparatively lower expensive location, then your restaurant opening cost will be minimized.

# License and Others Permits

Before starting your restaurant business in Dubai, you need some specific license and permission. These licenses and permission vary according to the types of business. So it is one of the major reasons for cost diversity.

# Interior Design

Restaurant interior design plays an important role in restaurant startup cost.An outstanding interior design is a killer concept of attracting more customers. If you want to give a cozy touch in your restaurant decoration to attract guests, it will cost more money.

# Equipment and Technology

Equipment and technology is considered to be the backbone of any restaurant business. From cooking utensils to stoves, ovens, refrigerators,etc falls under the equipment in the restaurant. So how costly equipment you will use,it depends on your budget. It has a great impact on restaurant starting costs. 

# Marketing and Advertising

In Dubai, marketing and paid  advertising is very expensive. The marketing  strategies and the amount of paid advertisement can dramatically change your restaurant opening cost. 

Final Thought

Dubai is a beautiful land with advanced technology. The restaurant business is the trending business in Dubai. It would be an excellent opportunity for you to start a restaurant business in Dubai. This article will provide an effortless, simple and advanced strategy of how to start restaurant business in Dubai. So why wait? Get the ideas and start your dream restaurant business.

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