The Food and Beverage Sector in the UAE

Did you know that the UAE has one of the leading beverage markets in the Middle East? In fact, recent analysis shows that this region’s food and beverage market is expected to increase by 6.9% each year. And with steadily growing numbers of investors and tourists traveling to the area, the food and beverage forecast is looking brighter than ever.

In recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic has stifled many industries, including restaurants and service-based sectors. Between travel restrictions and voluntary quarantines, the economic outlook for the food and beverage industry fell flat. However, increased vaccination rates and high travel numbers now bring tourists and potential investors back to the region.

Additionally, the pandemic has dramatically increased the need for online food platforms. Combining this necessity for convenience and contactless service will only grow as the general public shifts to more modern systems.

Health awareness is also a critical factor in the bourgeoning online foodservice market. Many customers are now concentrating on better nutrition, shifting to healthier items that feature organic, whole-wheat, or gluten-free ingredients.

Make no mistake, if you’re contemplating forming a food business in Dubai, the renewed vigor surrounding the market makes it the perfect time to act!

What is Driving the Food and Beverage Sector?

With the food and beverage sector being a quickly expanding market, you’re probably wondering exactly what is driving this economic surge. Below, we’ve put together some of the most impactful reasons the UAE is seeing such a service boom:

• High Degrees of Youth Presence

Younger audiences make up a significant portion of UAE patrons. However, this presence only compounds the need to lean into online-based businesses as teens and younger citizens use their smartphones to plan and purchase meals and dinner kits.

• Elevated Growth in GDP

The effects of the pandemic have been far-reaching. Still, with lowering positive case numbers and increased vaccinations, potential customers are returning to their daily routines of eating out, socializing, frequenting nightclubs, and spending money.

• A Multicultural Background

The UAE is home to a large, multicultural population, with over 200 different nationalities present. As a result, there is an enormous market for a wide variety of food options.

• A Dedicated Tourist Destination

The UAE has long been a tourist draw, with a fantastic selection of attractions, locations, and accommodations that bring in many visitors to the area yearly.

• High Demand for Luxury

The UAE is a nation with a significant amount of high-earning citizens, therefore there exists a great demand for luxury items and services such as gourmet eateries.

• A Positive Business Environment

The UAE has made extensive strides in developing regulations that favor business owners. This, along with numerous tax incentives, has made operating a business in the region an easy and fruitful experience.

• Shows and Activities

No matter where you go in Dubai, you’re never too far away from various interesting shows, exhibits, and events. These fantastic attractions bring visitors to the region daily.

• Dubai Expo 2020

The Dubai Expo 2020 is an enormous, multi-month event that showcases some of the world’s most exciting and innovative business ideas. Tourists, investors, and businesses from around the globe will travel to the region to network, trade ideas, and form their new entrepreneurial endeavors.

How to Set up a Restaurant or Eatery in Dubai

Deciding to form a food business in Dubai is a big step! And to do it properly, you’ll want to take special care to research the application process and the documents you’ll be required to submit. The application process is designed to be straightforward. However, many investors and business owners choose to hire business setup consultants in UAE like MSZ Consultancy. These consultants can help make sense of rules and regulations surrounding business operations in the UAE. But if you decide to complete the process on your own, we’ve put together a small list to help you along the way:

1. Obtain Licenses for Food and Business

The first step in the application process will be to secure trade licenses. These two certifications are food and business licenses. For a food license, you’ll want to consult with the Department of Food and Safety. To secure your business license, you will need to contact the Department of Economic Development.

2. Choose Your Market and Location

An essential part of opening a successful restaurant or eatery is the location. You’ll need to perform thorough due diligence to figure out the market around your business. Are there other similar restaurants in the area? Is there enough demand for a successful business of that type? Having a thorough understanding of these statistics can help you enter the field prepared.

3. Draft a Business Plan

Your dream restaurant may be popular, but you’ll never find true financial success without a proper business plan. Analyzing assets, profits, and losses is an integral aspect of doing good business.

4. Have a Clear Understanding of Operational Costs

This is a no-brainer! For your new business to work well, you’ll need a good understanding of the fees and costs involved. Having a thorough knowledge of what’s required will save your business time and money in the long run.

Food Trucks

Although similar, a food truck business in Dubai is very different than traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. To properly set up your food truck business in Dubai, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

1. Submit Your Company Plan

You’ll want to submit a clear company plan to the DED for your initial approval. You’ll also need licenses from the Dubai Municipality, The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Additionally, for you to open your new business, each of these parties will be required to accept your company plan.

2. Find Suitable Contractors

If it’s not yet apparent, it’s challenging to run a successful food truck without the actual truck. According to regulations set forth by Dubai’s Municipality, you will need to have a contractor build the vehicle and submit a copy of its layout to the authorities for approval.

3. Obtain HACCP Approval

For any restaurant, it’s vital to take care of your food preparation area. Both your kitchen and vehicle will need permission from the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point authorities. This group will supply certification after assuring that all food is prepared correctly and safely stored.

4. Obtain Final License

To operate legally, you’ll need to secure your food truck license from the respective authorities. This will need to be completed after performing the previous steps.

5. Picking the Right Location

As we’ve mentioned, choosing a suitable location makes all the difference in the world for your new business. For food trucks and mobile operations, you’ll constantly be on the move. Therefore, you’ll need to develop business strategies and optimal routes to draw in the most business. Having a clear understanding of your location and clients will maximize sales and minimize losses.

The Dubai Expo 2020 is Making an Enormous Impact on the Beverage Industry

With an event as enormous as Dubai Expo 2020, travelers, investors, and business owners alike will be traveling to the region this season to network and see the newest in business innovations. This expo is set to last for several months and is expected to draw millions of tourists to the area. And what better way to take advantage of such a massive pool of potential customers than with a new restaurant or food truck business? Everyone needs to eat, and your company can be the one to get it done.

Subtle shifts in social behavior since the pandemic have changed the way people live their lives. Statistics show that more and more customers are choosing to frequent restaurants and eateries over traditional retail shopping experiences. As a result, there has never been a better time to dive into Dubai’s restaurant market!

MSZ is Your Prime Choice in Business Setup Consultants

Starting a food business in Dubai might seem a bit complicated to the uninitiated. Even with streamlined application processes and some of the most relaxed immigration policies on Earth, running a business as a foreign investor can still be an enormous task. And that’s where we come in!

MSZ Consultancy dedicates itself to be your all-in-one solution for anything UAE business-related. From business setup in UAE to securing PRO services, our experts have the experience to help you maximize your businesses’ potential.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new investor or a seasoned corporate shareholder; MSZ Consultancy has the resources to minimize the red tape of conducting business in the UAE. With our help, you can easily apply for licenses, renew current ones, product registrations, visa applications, and more!

We have proudly served businesses in construction, healthcare, and the media industries, just to name a few. So, what are you waiting for? Give our talented team of consultants a call today at +971 52 544 1248 and let us assist you in supercharging your new business!

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