Comprehensive guide to opening a restaurant in Dubai. Discover our practical tips and essential steps.

Jan 13, 2024

Dubai, a cosmopolitan metropolis in the United Arab Emirates, attracts entrepreneurs worldwide, especially those in the restaurant industry. This flourishing city offers a diverse culinary culture, making opening a restaurant in Dubai both stimulating and rewarding. However, succeeding in this environment requires meticulous planning and a deep understanding of local regulations. Here's a detailed guide to help you realize your dream of establishing a thriving restaurant in Dubai.

Steps to Open a Restaurant in Dubai 

  1. Research and Location Selection

Start by defining the concept, your target audience, and the culinary style that will captivate Dubai. Location is critical: from bustling neighborhoods to tourist areas and shopping malls, strategically choose considering accessibility and potential clientele.

  1. Business Name and Signage

Find an available name that complies with the rules of the UAE. The exterior signage must be approved by the DED (Department of Economic Development) and match the name on the license.

  1. Company Formation and Commercial License 

Opt for a mainland company suitable for catering (LLC or Sole Establishment). Obtain the necessary licenses from the relevant authorities after submitting the required documentation.

  1. Ejari

Reserve your company name and sign the commercial lease (Ejari).

  1. Obtaining Necessary Permits 

The approval from Dubai Municipality is essential after inspecting your premises to meet the standards. 

Some types of activities require specific additional permissions: 

  • Shisha Permit: If you wish to serve shisha in your restaurant, this activity requires a specific license subject to conditions (such as premises size, location, etc.).
  • Alcohol License: Alcohol sales licenses in Dubai are issued by the Dubai Police General Headquarters and DTCM.
  • Pork-based Food Products Permit: If you decide to serve pork-based products, certain arrangements need to be met (dedicated preparation and storage space, etc.).
  • Food Truck: This activity requires obtaining a Non-Objection Certificate from the RTA (Road and Transport Authority), indicating the food truck's location. Please note that despite its mobility, a food truck needs permissions for each location it operates in.

  1. Adherence to Standards 

Your restaurant must comply with strict hygiene and professionalism standards.

  1. Post-Opening Management

Ensure compliance with tax, accounting, and labor laws after opening.


Opening a restaurant in Dubai is an exciting adventure, but it demands meticulous planning, a deep understanding of the market, and adherence to local regulations. By following these key steps and adapting to market changes, you can materialize your vision and create a successful restaurant in Dubai.

Our team is ready to guide you throughout the process of establishing your restaurant in Dubai to ensure your success.

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