How to obtain a grocery license in Dubai UAE?

Entrepreneurs and investors mass in a large amount to try new company ideas in Dubai. In addition, the city has allowed many ex-pats and resident businesspersons to obtain great fortune. However, you can take the first step and start a grocery store. But first, you must obtain a grocery license in Dubai UAE.

In this article, we will make sure you understand everything about the grocery business and why is becoming so popular in the UAE. In the same vein, you can start a grocery license without many complications. Further, you will learn about the best process to obtain the grocery license and start your business hassle-free. Let us observe:

  1. What is a grocery license in Dubai?
  2. How to start a grocery business in Dubai?
  3. Do I need a visa to open a grocery business?
  4. What are the requirements to open a grocery business in Dubai?
  5. What are the rules for a grocery business license in the UAE?
  6. Why should I brand my grocery business?
  7. How can Connect Free Zone assist you to obtain a grocery business license in Dubai?

1. What is a grocery license in Dubai?

Dubai offers companies located in the city the best environment; the city is among the most attractive and liberal in the Middle East. Thus, obtaining a grocery license in Dubai, UAE, and starting a small company is crucial to its future growth. In other words, businesses like retail shops and grocery stores are essential to promote the small sector in the country.

On the other hand, in order to start your small business in Dubai, you must complete a series of key factors that affect the stability and profitability of your company.

Let us observe 3 important areas for starting a small grocery business in Dubai:

1.1. Know your business

The success of every company depends on important knowledge of the local sector; research into the demand and viability for your product. In addition, you also need a business plan likely to attract investment.

1.2. Find a local partner

In the UAE, it is essential to have a local partner when you are in the setup process. In the same vein, in Connect Free Zone we can assist you in every step of the startup process; this way you will enjoy rapid and smooth incorporation into the market.

1.3. Financial Viability

If your organization is registered at the Ministry of Commerce; you must provide them with proof that shows you are financially capable to set up a business. On the other hand, if you are new to the region, you must obtain support from local sponsors or banks.

Similarly, let us know what you need in order to start your grocery company. For instance, the retail sector in Dubai is one of the most profitable industries in the country. Further, it provides entrepreneurs and investors with several opportunities and is especially growth-oriented. In addition, with the Dubai shopping festival and similar events; businesses in the area receive many advantages.

But to obtain a grocery license in Dubai, UAE, and start a business in the country; you must follow certain requirements established by the government:

2. How to start a grocery business in Dubai?

The first step to start any financial activity is to partner up with the services of a local company expert; this way you ensure all documents are accurate and as they should. When you work with us in Connect Free Zone, we will start by assisting you to choose your business name. That is to say, you must stay aware that there are some conventions and rules you must abide by when making this decision.

You must avoid any blasphemous or offensive language. Subsequently, you must avoid names of famous organizations and abbreviations if you name your organization after yourself. For example, Dave Mann Consultancy instead of D Mann Consulting.

In Connect Free Zone we also do the checking process to see if your chosen name is available and then register it on your behalf.

In this step, you must profile and outline your company activities. Further, you can list the types of goods you want to sell in your grocery store after obtaining the grocery license in Dubai, UAE. For instance, if you are licensed to sell groceries; you are forbidden from selling cosmetic articles unless it is listed on your license.

And with these early steps completed, you are able to apply for your commercial license in the UAE. But when you are setting up in the mainland, this license is issued by the DED (Department of Economic Development); or the equivalent government body in charge if you want to set up in another area.

3. Do I need a visa to open a grocery business?

Yes, you do need a visa in order to work in the country. In the same vein, you can sponsor visas for your business workers, family, domestic staff such as drivers or housekeepers. However, the maximum number of work visas you are able to apply for depends on the physical space of your company, your set up, and for dependent visas, your personal income.

In every case, the process for the visa application follows 5 basic steps:

  1. Apply for an entry permit.
  2. Status adjustment.
  3. Fitness and medical test.
  4. Registration for the Emirates ID.
  5. And visa stamping.

You also need a bank account to trade in the city too. Similarly, you can choose among various international and local banks. Certainly, opening a bank account can turn into a complex process for entrepreneurs outside the country.

On the other hand, before you start the application process; you should get familiar with the various financial institutions in order to find one suiting your business requirements and likely to provide you with corporate solutions. In Connect Free Zone we can assist you in this process.

4. What are the requirements to open a grocery business in Dubai?

In order to obtain a grocery license in Dubai, UAE, and start a grocery business; you need to complete certain requirements before taking the necessary measures. Let’s observe:

4.1. Local sponsor

As we mentioned earlier in the article, you must get in touch with a UAE national. That is to say, according to the regulations established by the government; you must find a local sponsor which will own 51% of your company’s shares; meanwhile, you will own the remaining 49%. In other words, this process is important in order to open the store unless you start your business in a free zone or sign an investor-protected contract.

4.2. License and registration

Obtaining your grocery store license in the UAE and other certifications from the government is also an essential step. On the other hand, the Department of Economic Development is the government body in charge of providing approvals to open a grocery business in Dubai; this is under the mainland jurisdiction.

4.3. Business jurisdiction

You are able to open your grocer business in Meena Bazar or in Dubai mall, among other places, but understanding the destination where you are sure your store will be successful is also important. In other words, like any other business in the country, a grocery business is also investigated regarding jurisdiction.

In addition, you also must follow the right shareholding structure.

4.4. Paperwork and PRO services

Obtaining the license and opening the grocery business requires additional certifications, visa permissions, certifications, obtaining approval from certain departments and entities regarding the jurisdiction and the shareholding structure.

For instance, your grocery business will always require certain rules to follow and paperwork. Further, the government authorities mandate a set of regulations you must take care of properly before obtaining the license. However, in Connect Free Zone we can act as your PRO so you can focus on your grocery business.

5. What are the rules for a grocery business license in the UAE?

  • The sales policy is to acknowledge to the customer the best means of declarations with commodities return, reparation, or replacement.
  • You must obtain prior approval if you will change the store location.
  • The DED must be aware of the existence of any bogus supplies or products in the market.
  • It is the customer’s duty to obtain a bill for the purchased products.
  • You must install the coin operations machine only after obtaining the permit.
  • Sales of any products with a fake trademark are forbidden.
  • You cannot carry out amendments without the authority’s approval.
  • The commercial name must be the same on the signboard and the license-
  • Selling and promoting counterfeit products is not allowed.
  • You must not display advertising signboards on the store’s front wall unless and until the permit is not obtained.
  • All products must have a production and expiration date.
  • Electric devices, fruits, clothing, pots, kids’ toys, clothing, and fruits must not be over the display.
  • Without proper approval; groceries in the store must not have special offers, sales, or discounts.
  • All products must have their prices clearly visible.
  • Until and unless you obtain the applicable permit; you cannot open after 12 pm.
  • You must register all groceries trademark to the Ministry of Economy.
  • Businesses are not allowed to sell any products related to cosmetic, herbal, pharmaceutical, or medical under the grocery license in Dubai, UAE.
  • Grocery businesses cannot involve themselves in promotional campaigns unless and until the parent company obtains the permit.

The DED is introducing new standards as part of the focus to improve the quality of services available for everyone in Dubai; especially in the retail sector. In other words, this reinforces the city’s position as an outstanding shopping destination internationally and nationally.

6. Why should I brand my grocery business?

Branding a grocery business is all about spreading positive news about your store. But, how can you do that? For instance, the easy part of this process is from time to time you can offer discounts, and when you announce it; obtain some pamphlets and give those to your customers when they visit the store.

That is to say, this will lead to more people having positive opinions about your shop; this way more customers will come every day.

On the other hand, many times business owners waste a lot of space trying to make their grocery store look fancy. However, this may lead to no space in the grocery shop. Therefore, you can make the design inside the shop in a way that you save as much space as you can.

7. How can Connect Free Zone assist you to obtain a grocery business license in Dubai?

We want you to open the best grocery business in Dubai and the UAE. That is why in Connect Free Zone, we offer you:

  • Discounts
  • The best pricing
  • Packages

This way you can set up your grocery business in any of Dubai’s Free Zones or Mainland. In the same vein, we also provide you with sponsor solutions so you can set up your business in Mainland Dubai.

In Connect Free Zone we are aware that setting up your business in a new market can be complex. Therefore, we allow you to relocate or establish your grocery business in the most popular and the best free zones in the UAE.

On the other hand, we have more than 2 decades of expertise working with businesses in all industries. Similarly, we have that same time assisting organizations and companies reach their objectives and obtain the grocery license; that led us to obtain the necessary knowledge we need in order to set you up in Dubai.

With us, you will count on the best team of experts for your company at any time. In addition, we will ensure you take advantage of the different jurisdictions. Further, we compare all free zones’ rules, prices, and benefits regarding your company’s goals.

Would you like Connect Free zone to assist you to obtain a grocery license in Dubai, UAE? If you would like to obtain your license and start your grocery business in the UAE; or if you have additional questions about the process. You can call us at +971 4331 6688. Or you can send us an email via

Further, if you would like to submit your resume to us; please go to There you can easily follow the process. However, we do not store resumes you sent us to


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