Foodstuff trading license in Dubai

Foodstuff trading license in Dubai

Dubai accommodates several commercial centers, business centers, financial institutions, and numerous industries. Therefore, it leads to an increased population in the city. The concentration of workers and migrants in the city creates opportunities for foodstuff companies. Similarly, obtaining a foodstuff trading license in Dubai is the first step.

In this article, we will make sure you understand everything regarding the foodstuff business in the UAE and its importance. Likewise, you will learn the benefits of starting a foodstuff business and how to get the most out of it. In addition, you will learn what type of documents you need to obtain the license. Let’s observe:

  1. What is a foodstuff license in the UAE?
  2. Foodstuff trading license process
  3. What are the License requirements in Dubai and the UAE?
  4. Benefits of starting a foodstuff business
  5. How can Connect Free Zone assist you to obtain a food trading license in the UAE?

1. What is a foodstuff license in the UAE?

If you want to start a business or trade foodstuff in Mainland Dubai; the first thing you must do is obtain a foodstuff trading license in Dubai. Certainly, this particular area has been thriving since the last decade. In addition, the field is known for having a massive potentiality; most food supplies are imported, exported, packaged, and distributed in the UAE.

On the other hand, Dubai is also known for being one of the fastest developing cities across the Middle East. Likewise, the city attracts investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world wishing to start a business. For instance, one of the main reasons for this is the low-tax program of the UAE, full investment and earnings repatriation, and the stability of its economy.

However, the city has a 51% share rule among businesses; for acquiring a food license with a local sponsor. That is to say, the food licenses authorize about 49% of all overseas ownership.

Here in Dubai, obtaining approval for the license is one of the most important solutions we offer to our partners. Further, to start a foodstuff business in this beautiful city requires a local UAE sponsor, whose role is to provide assistance with the obtaining of the visa, labor card, visa, etc. In addition, you do not need to have any minimum funds obligation.

If you start a business in mainland Dubai you will obtain countless business opportunities. In addition, starting a foodstuff business in Dubai’s free zones is only possible with B2B organizations, within the free zone or outside the country. But in mainland Dubai, foodstuff trading companies allow businesses to trade from anywhere and with anyone outside or within the country.

But if you want to start a foodstuff company in the UAE you must follow certain procedures.

2. Food stuff trading license process

For the trading license submission, you must follow certain conditions applicable for imports and selling businesses. In addition, it also provides for sales and distribution without any charges to prepare, display, and correspondence; process, manufacturer, distribute, and serve food. Therefore, the main policy objective for a trading license for foodstuff trading license in Dubai includes the following, but is not restricted to:

  • A mandatory DM approval is required for food services including schools and hospitals.
  • Permanent and temporary food events, mobile vending operations, and kiosks require approval.
  • Warehouses and food factories required MD approval.
  • DM approval is required for bakeries.
  • All food catering units require authorization, including cruise ships, events (desert camps), and canteens.
  • DM approval is required for cafeterias, hotels, restaurants, and cafes.
  • Suppliers and food packaging materials manufacturers need approval.
  • DM approval is required for butcheries.
  • Grocery stores, supermarkets, and departmental stores require DM approval.

A business wishing to start a foodstuff business in Mainland Dubai must go through the following process:

  1. Decide the trade name of your company for the Department of Economic Development (DED) initial approval.
  2. Sign the Memorandum of Association) from a public notary in Dubai.
  3. You must rent an office or warehouse and obtain an Ejari and tenancy contract.
  4. Submit all documents to the DED and collect the payment voucher.
  5. Submission of the tenancy contract and Ejari to the food control department in the city.
  6. Make the payment to the DED once the important documentation is submitted.
  7. Strategize how you will start your foodstuff trading license in Dubai.

Most importantly, in Connect Free Zone, we take care of this process from beginning to end; this way you can focus on your business.

3. What are the license requirements in Dubai and the UAE?

We understand that starting a new foodstuff business in a new market is a complex activity, especially if you are on your own. Further, in Connect Free Zone we will set you up in the most popular and best free zones in the UAE.

You must obtain a foodstuff trading license in Dubai to start your company. However, you must carry out this process before establishing the company from the government departments in charge. Similarly, the foodstuff trading license operator must favor the appropriate business activity when obtaining the license.

The business activity with a trade license regarding the food license in Dubai must correlate with food. In addition, the license also mentions specifically the business precise tasks. On the other hand, no extra activity except the mentioned task within the trade license is allowed by the food license in the UAE. Let’s observe the required documents to start a foodstuff company:

  • Passport copies of the shareholders
  • Visa page of the shareholders, if the applicant has a resident or visits visa
  • If the shareholder has a resident visa, then Emirates ID
  • If the applicant has a resident visa, then a NOC
  • Sub-activities included within the trading license in Dubai

For instance, here is a list of extra activities which you can include within the foodstuff trading company:

  • Soft drinks and carbonated water trading
  • Legumes, grains, and cereals trading
  • Ghee and vegetable oil trading
  • Fruits and vegetable trading
  • Spices trading company
  • Mineral water trading
  • Potatoes trading
  • Flour trading
  • Ice trading
  • Egg trading
  • Juice trading
  • Snacks food trading
  • Sugar trading business

4. Benefits of starting a foodstuff business

4.1. You can listen to your customers

In the hospitality field, nourishing your clients is what will keep your business at a good pace. Likewise, when it comes to food, entrepreneurs and investors have a unique opportunity to listen to their clients’ needs and wants and subsequently, they can include those in the menu. Similarly, it would need to blend with the entrepreneur’s preferences and tastes.

In 2022, entrepreneurs can benefit from making use of big data in the business; this allows them to detect what the customers want and cater to them. For instance, one of the most important trends we have seen in a while has been about healthy food. Therefore, it includes options such as non-gluten food, vegan food, and cutting back processed sugars.

A smart business owner will pay close attention to the trends in the food industry when they analyze the market requirements and structure their company model to it.

4.2. You can unleash your creativity

A good dish is artwork. In addition, it feeds you, but also your soul and sense of aesthetic. Further, food businesses usually need a place to channel their creativity, and for many, that channel becomes food. It is not all about decorating the plate; however, that is crucial in some foodstuff businesses areas such as restaurants.

On the other hand, recipes are artistic too, combining flavors in a good way that the customers demand more. Moreover, it could be the most unappetizing meal, but still, be delicious.

4.3. You can follow your passion

The reason why many food entrepreneurs decide to start a foodstuff business is that they are passionate. Meanwhile, that may be real for any business, there is something about food that makes it unique. On the other hand, food is something we cannot live without; and according to Maslow’s basic needs, food is on the main level of physical survival needs as well as shelter, sleep, drink, and oxygen.

However, the satisfying, yummy food, is a source of pleasure, it ensures people still being passionate about consumption and preparation. Therefore, following your passion for the best food differs from following dreams to becoming a singer; for instance, not everyone enjoys art, but everyone needs food.

And the best part is that you do not need an academic degree to become influential in the food business world, passion, and talent.

4.4. Provide ease to customers

Most people in this decade have a chaotic and busy lifestyle. Similarly, their focus is divided between home life and work; riddled by digital distractions. Further, those that are focused on their work-life, find it hard to cook their meals; but of course, they want to eat healthily. Therefore, that is the best opportunity for foodstuff entrepreneurs, who can take advantage in several ways.

For instance, there is also the opportunity for working as a chef for hire and cooking tasty meals for those who have no time.

On the other hand, you can provide them with pre-prepared meals that do not take too much time to put together. Another option is to open a restaurant, but with this option, the customers must come to you. That is to say, it does not matter what option you choose, you must provide benefits to your clients, and you will keep your business successful.

4.5. You can give back to the community

In the hospitality and food industry, you have many ways of giving back to the community, this also brings good PR. Likewise, in the last years, people have become focused on the well-being of the planet earth and everyone in it; including animals and humans. In the same vein, people love when businesses contribute to causes focused to make a difference.

However, if you can tap into this benefit, you can donate your food surplus, to those, who need it. Similarly, another way to give back to the community is by providing cooking education. Preparing food at home saves valuable money, and people in the UAE are catching on to that. That is to say, you can teach those wishing to learn how to cook through individual courses.

5. How can Connect Free Zone assist you to obtain a food trading license in the UAE?

We want you to successfully start your foodstuff business in the UAE. That is why in Connect Free Zone we offer you outstanding discounts, packages, and pricing if you want to set up your company in any of Dubai’s Free Zones or the Mainland area. In the same vein, we also provide you with sponsoring solutions so you can easily set up in Mainland Dubai.

On the other hand, we have more than 20 years of knowledge working with all-sized companies in the UAE. In the same vein, we have vast expertise assisting companies and entrepreneurs to reach their goals; that allowed us to obtain the required experience we need to guide you in the United Arab Emirates.

With us, you will find the most outstanding destination for your foodstuff company. In other words, we will make sure you benefit from all the jurisdictions. We compare free zones’ prices, locations, and perks regarding your organization’s PRO services and objectives.

Would you like Connect Free zone to assist you to obtain a foodstuff trading license in Dubai? If you want to start a foodstuff business in the UAE right away, or if you have extra inquiries about the service. You can call us at +971 4331 6688 whenever you want. Or you can email us at

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Harneet Bhatia

Harneet-Bhatia-imgHarneet BhatiaShe is a renowned Business Sales and Golden Visa Expert, specializing in facilitating business setups in Dubai. With a comprehensive portfolio of services, she adeptly assists clients in navigating the complexities of corporate bank account creation, addressing fines issues, and managing visa services. Her expertise extends to providing VAT services and obtaining necessary DM approvals, ensuring a seamless and efficient process for her clients.

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