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A Step By Step Guide to Set Up A Cafeteria License In Dubai

With the cafe culture flourishing in the UAE market, there is no other better time to start your own cafeteria. The entry of new shopping malls, theme parks and infrastructure projects also provide greater scope for coffee shops. Also, the much-awaited Expo 2021  and the economic diversification plans are also overall benefitting the food and beverage industry in the UAE. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur who is planning to set up a cafeteria business in Dubai, here is a step by step guide for you:

The first step is to obtain a food license through the Food and Safety department and trade license from DED and Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.


If you are planning to add something extra to your menu then it is necessary to obtain special licenses for them as well, for example, liquor permit, pork permit, Ramadan permit,etc.

  2. Find a local sponsor

Choose a local sponsor who will act as a sleeping partner for your business. It is mandatory to sign an agreement with your local sponsor at a notary public court.

  3. Get approval for construction plans

 Acquire approval for construction plans after ensuring the specifications mentioned by the Food and Safety Department.

Selecting the appropriate location is one of the important factors to consider when you are setting up a cafeteria. It is better to select an accessible area for your cafeteria with ample parking space and high footfall.

 5 .Sign a tenancy contract

 After finding the ideal location, sign a tenancy contract with the landlord  as it serves as a supporting document for receiving the cafeteria license in Dubai.

 6. Submit all documents to DED

Submit all necessary documents to the Department of Economic Development Dubai. You will get your license within a week.

  7 . Apply for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC)

Get the no-objection certificate from the Food Safety Department, Dubai.

Documents Required for Obtaining a Cafeteria License in Dubai

For Blueprints of the Cafeteria

  • Food processing and storage space
  • The sanitary spaces such as restrooms
  • Windows and ventilation system
  • Location of the equipment used for processing food
  • Entry and exit passages
  • Washing machine location

For food license approval

  • The initial approval issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • The layout of premises
  • Approval from the Planning Department, if you are planning to locate the cafeteria outside a shopping center

For trade license approval

  • Signed license application (signed by the company managers or legal representatives)
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Attested company name approval letter from the DED
  • Passport copy of management partners

If you need any guidance for setting up a cafeteria in Dubai, get in touch with our business setup experts. Contact us at +971 585139299 or

  4. Select the location

1 .Obtain a Food and Trade License

 8. Register with Ministry of Labor and Immigration

After obtaining your trade license, register it with the Ministry of Labor and the Immigration Department in order to apply for employee visas.