🍔🍹 Starting a Food Product Business in Dubai: Step-by-Step Guide

Venturing into the food and beverage production world in Dubai is full of excitement, but it also involves a journey through legalities, licensing, and financial planning. We’re here to help you navigate all of these critical procedures, ensuring that your food dream thrives ethically, efficiently, and profitably. Launch your Food Product Business in Dubai easily.

One sector that never appears to experience a slowdown is the food and beverage sector. For individuals looking to launch a food business in the UAE, this sector offers a rich potential due to the industry’s consistent growth in sales regardless of the situation. With a market size expected to reach AED 145 billion in 2021, the UAE in particular is quite supportive of this sector. This article explains how to launch a food business in the United Arab Emirates.ons!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps of starting a food product business in Dubai, ensuring that you’re equipped with the knowledge and resources to turn your culinary dreams into a lucrative reality.

Research and Idea Validation

  • Identifying your niche: Look for market gaps and original product concepts that fit regional interests and inclinations.
  • Conducting market research: Analyze your target audience, competition, and potential demand for your food products.
  • Recipe development and testing: Fine-tune your recipes to perfection, ensuring consistent quality and taste.

Business Plan and Strategy

  • Making a brand identity definition: Create an engaging brand narrative, logo, and packaging that appeals to your target audience.
  • Business plan creation: Create a business plan that outlines your objectives, financial forecasts, and marketing plans to direct your business.

Regulations: Ensuring Food Safety and Quality

Dubai places a paramount emphasis on food safety and quality, safeguarding both consumers and the reputation of its culinary landscape. The Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department sets stringent standards and guidelines for food and beverage manufacturing businesses. Compliance with these regulations is non-negotiable.

Key Regulations Include

  • Proper handling and storage of raw materials and finished products
  • Adherence to labeling and packaging requirements
  • Ensuring hygiene and sanitation practices in production facilities
  • Conducting regular quality checks and maintaining records
  • Consistent monitoring of temperature and storage conditions

Legal Requirements and Licensing

  • Business structure selection: Choose between sole proprietorship, partnership, or company setup based on your business’s scale and aspirations.
  • Food business license: Obtain the necessary permits and licenses from relevant authorities, ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Product labeling and packaging: Ensure your packaging meets Dubai’s labeling standards, including ingredient lists, nutritional information, and allergen warnings.
  • Health and safety regulations: Familiarize yourself with Dubai’s strict food safety regulations to maintain high standards of hygiene and sanitation.

Licensing: Crafting a Legal Foundation

How can I apply for a trade license in Dubai?

Obtaining the right licenses is the cornerstone of establishing your food and beverage manufacturing business in Dubai. The main licenses you’ll need include a Food Manufacturing License, Commercial License, and Trading License. These licenses vary based on the nature of your products and services, with specific approvals required from relevant authorities.

Types of Licenses

  • Food Manufacturing License: Required for the production and processing of food products. This license ensures compliance with food safety standards and hygiene regulations.
  • Commercial License: Allows your business to operate commercially within Dubai. It’s essential for conducting business transactions, including sales and distribution.
  • Trading License: This enables your business to trade its manufactured products locally and internationally. It is typically required to distribute your products within the UAE and beyond.

Costs: Building Your Budget

The cost of setting up a food and beverage manufacturing business in Dubai varies based on factors such as business location, scale, facilities, and equipment. Establishing your business in a free zone or mainland also impacts the overall cost structure. 

Let’s break down the major cost components:

  • License Fees: Licensing fees vary depending on the type of license and business jurisdiction. Free zones offer competitive licensing packages tailored to food and beverage businesses.
  • Leasing or Renting: Your choice of location, whether it’s a free zone or mainland, influences leasing costs. Free zones often offer attractive leasing rates along with facilities catering to food manufacturing.
  • Equipment and Facilities: The investment in state-of-the-art equipment, machinery, and production facilities is a significant component of your startup costs.
  • Labor Costs: Staffing your business with skilled professionals, including chefs, production workers, and quality control experts, contributes to your operational expenses.
  • Compliance and Quality Assurance: Ensuring adherence to food safety regulations and quality standards requires investing in proper training, certification, and monitoring systems.

Here’s a table outlining the approximate costs for licenses involved in starting a food and beverage manufacturing business in Dubai. Keep in mind that these costs can vary based on factors such as the specific free zone, location, and business scale.

License TypeEstimated CostDescription
Food Manufacturing LicenseAED 10,000 – AED 15,000Required for food processing and manufacturing activities.
Commercial LicenseAED 7,000 – AED 15,000Essential for conducting commercial operations within Dubai.
Trading LicenseAED 8,000 – AED 20,000Allows trading of manufactured products locally and internationally.
Import/Export LicenseAED 10,000 – AED 15,000Needed if your business involves importing and exporting goods.
Health & Safety LicenseAED 5,000 – AED 10,000Required for maintaining health and safety standards in your facilities.
Municipality ApprovalsVariableFees for obtaining approvals from the Dubai Municipality for food production.
Dubai Customs RegistrationVariableNecessary for customs clearance when importing or exporting goods.
Chamber of Commerce MembershipAED 1,000 – AED 3,000Membership in the local Chamber of Commerce to access business services.

Please note that these costs are approximate and subject to change. It’s advisable to consult with a business setup consultant like Bizdaddy for accurate and up-to-date information specific to your business needs and chosen location.

Marketing Your Food Products: A Recipe for Success

marketing exit technology business | Food Product Business

Gaining traction in Dubai’s cutthroat food and beverage sector requires developing a strong brand identification and doing efficient product promotion. Effective marketing techniques will help you connect with your target audience and build a loyal client base through eye-catching packaging, captivating narrative, and the use of social media platforms.

Planning for Success: Professional Guidance

Navigating regulations, licensing, and costs in Dubai’s food and beverage manufacturing industry demands expertise and meticulous planning. Bizdaddy, your partner in business setup, understands the intricacies of regulatory compliance and can guide you through the process seamlessly. With our support, you’ll be empowered to establish a Food Product business that not only meets the highest standards but also thrives in Dubai’s vibrant culinary landscape.


Embarking on the journey of starting a food product business in Dubai requires careful planning, dedication, and a passion for culinary excellence. By following these comprehensive steps, including adhering to the city’s regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the challenges and seize the abundant opportunities that Dubai’s vibrant food industry has to offer. Remember, with the right blend of creativity, quality, and determination, your food product business can savor success in the dynamic Dubai market. Good luck with your gastronomic adventure!