Cafeteria License in Dubai

Undoubtedly, Dubai is one of the booming economies in the Middle East.

There are various business opportunities present in Dubai. The cafeteria business is one of those. 

The dominance of cafes and restaurants in Dubai is prominent, with the cumulative number of cafes and restaurants being 4250. 

Read the blog if you are willing to open one cafe in the emirate and learn everything about cafeteria licenses in Dubai. 

What is a Cafeteria License?

The Cafeteria License authorizes your business to set up and operate a cafeteria in Dubai catering to the UAE market or in a free zone. A cafeteria license is a mandatory food license for setting up a cafe, small restaurants, food trucks, or restaurant chains in Dubai. Obtaining a Professional license from the DED is a pre-requisite for applying for a Cafeteria license in Dubai.

Category of Dubai Cafeteria License

Dubai offers different types of cafeteria licenses based on the activities. Look at it: 

  • Name of the License: Cafeteria License
  • Activity Code: 552003
  • Activity Group: Restaurants and Coffee Shops
  • License Type: Professional

Allowed Activities under the Cafeteria License in Dubai

  • Selling coffee, tea, snacks, fruit juices
  • Freshly prepared foods like pastries, brownies, cakes, pasta, noodles, hotdog, sandwich, and other items are prepared on-site or prepared for consumption within a few days.
  • Pre-packed foodstuffs like chocolates, candy, biscuits, chips, beverages like soda and soft drinks

Even though the license allows you to sell most of the general stuff in the cafeteria, it is prudent to first check with the rules and regulations before adding items to the menu.

Steps to Obtain Cafeteria License in Dubai

The steps below must be followed to obtain a cafeteria license in Dubai. Learn more about how to set up a cafeteria business in Dubai.

1. Documents Submission

Prepare all the documents and submit them to the DED.

2. Apply for the License

Acquire the Professional License by applying from the DED. Then, apply for the cafeteria license, generally known as the food license, from the Dubai Municipality Food and Safety Department.

3. Get a Local Sponsor

Choose a local sponsor to satisfy the Dubai local sponsor statutory requirements. Sign agreements with your local sponsor in a Notary Public Court presence. However, this step is not mandatory as per the new regulations.

4. Obtain Approvals from the Respective Departments

Get approvals from the respective agencies such as Dubai Municipality, Food and Safety Department, and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

5. Finalize the Location

Select the location for setting up your cafeteria, and sign a tenancy contract if you rent it.

6. Register the Business

Register your business with the Ministry of Labour and Immigration Department.

Required Documents for Cafeteria License in Dubai

Various paperwork needs to collect to get a cafeteria license in Dubai, which are divided as follows: 

Food License Requirements

  • The blueprint of the café
  • Preliminary approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Planning department consent is required if the restaurant is situated away from a mall.

Location Requirements

  • The area used for preparing and storing food
  • The clean areas, such as washrooms
  • The position of the food-processing equipment, the windows
  • The ventilation system
  • The access and exit routes where the washing machines are located.

Trade License Approval

  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • A license application signed by the business managers or their legal representatives
  • A letter from the DED approving the company name
  • Passport photo of the managing partners.

Additional Requirements to Open a Cafeteria in Dubai

Food Safety Requirements

  • The cafeteria must get permits like the following to guarantee food safety:
  • A pork license for handling and serving pork products, also known as a food consignment release license.
  • An access for vehicles used to convey food.

Additionally, the government places additional restrictions on importing and exporting food goods. The restaurant's location must be at least 50 meters from any waste disposal facilities since they may contaminate food. 

The restaurant area should always be maintained clean for at least 10 meters. In Dubai, cafeteria licenses range in price from about 140,000 to 200,000 AED. In addition, the DED in Dubai offers annual trade license renewals.

Location Requirements

  • First and foremost, the location selected for the cafeteria must be adequate and provide room for all the equipment needed to cook the meals.
  • There must be sufficient room for the removal of debris and smoke.
  • Pests must not have access to the structure.
  • Separating the storage space and restrooms from the kitchen is necessary.
  • The ceiling, floor, and walls must be fireproof, non-absorbent, and washable.
  • A basin for washing utensils, one for cleaning vegetables, and one for cleaning meat should all be present.

Cafeteria License Cost in Dubai

The cafe business in Dubai will cost you, starting from AED 16000. 

Our Role

Furthermore, starting a business in Dubai is usually considered an efficient process. However, as a new business owner, you might understand that starting a business in Dubai is a streamlined and elaborate process that requires you to get licenses, various permits, and approvals from governmental agencies before starting your business operations.

Business Setup Worldwide is here for your assistance. Contact us to obtain business licenses, and acquire approvals and permits from various government ministries and agencies without hassle. Our expert business setup team in Dubai can help you in getting all the prerequisites for starting a cafeteria in Dubai while you can focus on developing your business.


What is the basic fee of a trade license in Dubai?

AED 6000.

What is the foreign trade name fee?

AED 2000.

How much does it cost for a company stamp?

AED 200.

What is the annual office rent in Dubai?