How To Open A Restaurant In Dubai [2024 Guide]

Open a Restaurant in Dubai

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Dubai, famous for its luxury and diverse people, is a great place for food lovers and business-minded individuals. The city’s exciting and varied food culture offers a perfect opportunity for new business owners to open a restaurant in Dubai. By opening a restaurant, you are doing more than just opening a business, you are creating a unique dining experience in a city known for its international flavors.

Why set up a restaurant business in Dubai?

Here are five compelling reasons to start a restaurant business in Dubai.

1. Rapid Growth of Dubai Culinary Scene

Dubai stands as an important hub in the Middle East for the food and beverage industry, making it the second-largest sector in the UAE. A report highlights Dubai’s competitive edge in the global food and beverage landscape, underscoring its expansive restaurant network.

2. Rising Population and Tourist Flow in Dubai

Dubai’s dynamic lifestyle often leads residents and tourists alike to frequent restaurants. This trend greatly supports the expansion of restaurant businesses in the city. Tourists, whether exploring Dubai’s rich cultural heritage or enjoying the beaches at Jumeirah, eventually depend on local restaurants for their daily meals.

3. World-Class Infrastructure

Dubai boasts infrastructure that meets international standards, including modern facilities and architectural marvels. Key attractions like the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping center, and City Walk Mall in Jumeirah, famous for its Michelin-starred dining options, are prime examples. The city offers numerous ideal locations for establishing a restaurant.

4. Simplified Licensing Procedures

Obtaining a restaurant license in Dubai is straightforward. While acquiring an alcohol license involves a specific process and additional fees, it remains accessible.

5. Effortless Business Setup Process in Dubai

Establishing a business in the UAE, particularly in Dubai, is a streamlined and efficient process when following the correct procedures. A variety of business types are available for selection.

How to get a License for a Restaurant in Dubai?


how to get restaurant license in Dubai

Here is the simple process to get a license for a restaurant in Dubai:

Step 1 : Choose Business Activity

Clearly define your restaurant’s business activities, including the type of cuisine, dining experience (fine dining, casual, fast food), and any additional services like delivery or catering. This step is important for obtaining the right licenses and permits. Ensure your chosen activities align with Dubai regulations and market demands.

Step 2 : Select Jurisdiction

The next thing to do when starting your restaurant is to pick the jurisdiction (Mainland or Free Zone) where you want to set it up. You should choose the one that allows the activities that are best for your business.

Step 3 : Select a name for the Restaurant

Choosing a name for your restaurant is an important step as it reflects your brand identity and cuisine style. Ensure the name is unique, culturally sensitive, and aligns with Dubai naming agreements. Avoid names that could be considered offensive or that resemble existing.

Step 4 : Document Preparation and Submission

Fill out the application form for a new business with accuracy, providing all required personal and business details. Attach all necessary documents, such as your business plan if applicable and passport copies of shareholders. RFZ Corporate Service Provider will submit all the documents and await their initial approval before proceeding to the next steps.

Step 5 : Obtain License and Approval

Next, you need to get your business license issued by the authority depending on your selected jurisdiction. After that, you will need to get approval by the Dubai Municipality department to start your restaurant in Dubai.

Documents required to open a restaurant in Dubai

To obtain a Restaurant License, you need to provide the following documents:

  1. A copy of primary approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. If applicable, an interior design layout of the restaurant premises.
  3. Passport copy of the investor
  4. Visa copy of the investor
  5. 2  passport sized photographs

Cost of opening a restaurant in Dubai

To open a restaurant in Dubai can be a considerable financial undertaking, but the restaurant license cost in Dubai varies widely depending on several factors. Securing the necessary licenses and permits, particularly from the Dubai Municipality and the Food Safety Department, is another financial aspect to consider. This process involves various fees, depending on the type of license and permissions required.

One of the primary expenses is the rental cost for the space, which can differ based on the area and the size of the property. Additionally, the interior design and kitchen setup, which encompasses both the dining area and the kitchen equipment, represent a considerable portion of the initial investment.

Moreover, staffing costs, which include salaries, training, and uniforms, form a significant part of the operating budget. Marketing and advertising expenses to launch and maintain the restaurant’s presence in Dubai competitive dining scene should also be considered.

Key Considerations Before Starting a Restaurant in Dubai

Here is what you should consider when starting a food business in Dubai.

  1. Conduct Thorough Research
  2. Develop a proper Business Plan
  3. Consider the Costs
  4. Decide on the Theme and USP
  5. Hire Skilled Staff
  6. Focus on Eye-Catching Interior Design
  7. Implement Regular Audits


Q1. What is the food code in Dubai?

Ans: The food code in Dubai is a comprehensive set of standards and regulations established by the Dubai Municipality to ensure food safety and hygiene. It covers a wide range of practices, from food handling and storage to staff hygiene and facility maintenance. Compliance with this code is mandatory for all food-related businesses, including restaurants.

Q2. What Type of Certificate Is Required to Open a Restaurant in Dubai?

Ans: To open a restaurant in Dubai, you need to obtain a Food License from the Dubai Municipality, along with a Trade License from the Department of Economic Development. Additionally, all staff handling food must have valid Food Safety Training certificates, ensuring they understand the local food hygiene and safety regulations.

Q3. What are the costs to consider before opening a restaurant in Dubai?

Ans: Opening a restaurant in Dubai requires considering costs such as rental expenses, which can vary greatly depending on location, licensing and legal fees, and the cost of kitchen equipment and interior décor. Staff salaries, utility bills, and marketing expenses also form significant parts of the budget. It is essential to factor in the high cost of living and operating a business in Dubai.

Q4. What are some of Dubai’s best places to set up a restaurant?

Ans: Popular areas for setting up a restaurant in Dubai include Downtown Dubai, known for its high foot traffic and proximity to landmarks like the Burj Khalifa. Jumeirah and Dubai Marina are also desirable due to their affluent demographics and scenic views.


Starting a restaurant in Dubai is a great opportunity for food and business enthusiasts. With its cultural diversity, Dubai is perfect for introducing new eateries. To succeed, focus on getting the right licenses, designing a standout menu, and understanding the local market. It is a competitive but rewarding venture.

Apply Your Restaurant Business License in Dubai With RFZ

If you are planning to open a restaurant in Dubai or obtain a license, a trusted Corporate Service Provider, RFZ is the best choice!

Our experienced team. We will give you trustworthy advice at every step of your business journey in the UAE. Are you ready to make your business dreams a reality? Partner with RFZ, and let us do it together.

For a free consultation, contact us at +971 4 589 0815. You can also send us a WhatsApp message at +971 4 589 0815 or email your questions to We are here to assist you!

Umber Awan
Umber Awan

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