Dubai has grown into a cosmopolitan city with a diverse set of people and expats from all around the world making it a melting pot of different cultures. With 3.2 million inhabitants the Dubai has rich gastronomy with numerous types of cuisines ranging from Arabic, Indian, European, Chinese and Central Asian. The food industry in Dubai has flourished since its beginnings as the city has been a hub for shipping, trade and commerce with a substantial floating population which was always moving in and out of the region.
Concept of Food Truck in UAE
What is a Food Truck?
Food trucks are custom designed dedicated mobile kitchen platforms offering a unique set of dishes, snacks, drinks for customers focusing on a set of target customers. The business model of the food truck restaurant is based upon on the type of customers, cuisine, variety of dishes offered in the right location.
Food Truck in Dubai
While Dubai has a diverse range of gastronomic delights in its top-end, luxury restaurants and hotels. In recent times, there is a revolution in the way people taste different cuisines. Culinary lovers in Dubai are shifting their focus towards the humble food trucks which offer a wide range of dishes, snacks and drinks in a mobile kitchen platform. The entrepreneurs, business leaders, can take the opportunity to get a step into Dubai's massive food industry by starting a food truck business, which is currently dominated by restaurants and hotels.
Food Truck from a Business Perspective
In terms of business, food truck restaurants are small-scale business ideas that make lucrative profits if managed the right way. The mobile restaurant business is more than flipping burgers, sandwiches and ice-creams as the industry has come a long way by creating and offering new food experiences for a diverse set of customers. To succeed in your food truck business in Dubai, you might need to understand the importance of choosing the right location for your truck.
- By selecting the right location and positioning yourself in a busy neighbourhood, you can attract more customers or setting you food truck in a trendy area attracts tourists as well as local crowd based upon your theme.
- Secondly, you need to attract your customers by creatively designing the truck as there are numerous trucks in Dubai as competition. Standing apart from the crowd as a food truck through creative designs, and excellent theme you can take advantage of the eye-candy look a free marketing the designs offer.
- Thirdly, selecting the right kind of cuisine along with the theme of the food truck is essential as it attracts trendy crowds while highlighting your business making it more desirable for customers. International and regional cuisines are some of the popular food truck themes in Dubai offering different cuisines from different parts of the world.
Emerging Market Trend in Dubai
The food truck revolution has come to Dubai through western influence; the truck-based mobile restaurants have seen growth in recent years in the region due to the increase in popularity. The expat crowd in Dubai are seemingly interested in food truck restaurants as the insatiable appetite for diverse tastes is growing at a fast pace. Unlike a fixed location, the food truck business has the advantage by setting up in the most in-demand popular locations in Dubai.
However, the concept of serving food to customers on wheels may look simple in Dubai you need to get a food truck license in order to operate your business without legal problems. In addition to this, your business must obtain facility permit, health permit, food safety permit, parking permits (RTA), water and electricity permit (DEWA).
How to Start a Food Truck based Business in Dubai?
Here are the steps that you might need to follow if you’re a newcomer to Dubai and want to start a food truck business in the region.
- Possess valid residence permit or get a visa in UAE
- Analyse the food & hospitality industry’s market
- Identify the target market for your business
- Analyse the space requirements, competition and business options
- Apply for a license with the authorities
- Design a menu for your mobile restaurant
- Choose the mobile kitchen equipment for your truck
If you're planning for a central kitchen, then you need to understand you need to follow a different set of rules and regulations which allows you to set up a cooking area which requires a catering license
- Design logos and truck wrappings
- Promote your business through social media, festivals, events and websites
- Start your business by selling the dishes and delicacies
While considering to start a food truck based business, it would be wise to know that you need to get a food truck license in Dubai.
How to Get a Food Truck License in Dubai?
The Government of Dubai is very strict about food products production and consumption in the region; hence the food industry in Dubai is highly regulated by the Food Safety Department and the Dubai Municipality. Currently, there are health and safety regulations to comply with if you want to obtain a permit for your food truck business in Dubai.
Step by Step Procedure to get Food Truck License
- Prepare your business plan and submit it to the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Dubai Municipality for approval
- Your food truck needs to be supported by a central kitchen or a catering license
- After finalising the central kitchen design or catering license, you need to submit a certificate of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) kitchen layout for approval
- Create a concept or model for your truck, prepare a blueprint of the design, and vehicle fittings as these are essential and must comply with the Dubai Road Transport rules. You need to submit these documents to the respective governmental authorities for approval
- Determine the location of your business as the sales will depend upon the locality, type of cuisine, target customers and other factors such as brand, design, creativity and popularity. Choosing the right location is crucial as it directly affects business growth and sales
- Select a truck, buy it or lease it. The truck can be new or old depending upon your requirements. Start the designing, painting and fit-outs according to the parameters approved by the government authorities
- Finally, acquire the license for your truck to start your cooking operations in Dubai
Things to Know Before Starting a Food Truck Business in Dubai
Starting a Food Truck business in Dubai is not as easy as it seems; the business takes considerable time and effort on your part to set up the operations. Before starting your services you must be getting initial approvals, vehicle permits, food licensing, designing the truck, employing the qualified people, manage operations, create and maintain food material supply chain, and warehousing. The success of your business largely depends on the hours which you're willing to put towards the development of a business plan, concept, creative design of the food theme which includes vehicle design, type of cuisine, unique attractions etc. and the food menu.
However, the initial start-up costs may be considered high for a food truck, but it is comparably lesser than starting a fixed restaurant in Dubai which requires even more investment and extensive procedures. Furthermore, many food trucker owners in Dubai have reported that the business to pick up fast in the region as the customers keep increasing due to growth in the expat population who look forward towards experiencing a variety of cuisines for affordable costs.
Insights into the Food Truck Business in Dubai Region
Generally, the food truck businesses in Dubai region are expected to bring Return of Investments (ROI) well within eight months from the start of operations as per the insights are given by current food truck owners in the region. Contact us for starting a food truck business in Dubai. Our experts in Dubai can professionally assist you right from the step 1 in starting your food truck restaurant in Dubai. We can help you in acquiring all the permits, licenses, visas and guide you in following the compliances in Dubai while you can focus on developing your business.