The foodservice industry in Dubai has been on the up for many years. We are a nation that simply loves to eat out. And we have the industry to prove it. The UAE’s foodservice market is forecast to grow by 5% in the period between 2019 and 2024.
Numerous factors drive this demand for catered cuisine. The UAE – and particularly Dubai – is home to a large, affluent expatriate community with above-average disposable income. The emirate also attracts upwards of ten million tourists every year.
And there’s plenty of business to be done beyond the restaurants and fine dining establishments, too. One of the fastest growing areas of Dubai’s foodservice industry is food trucks.
If you’ve spent any time out here, you’ll have seen them pop up in significant numbers in recent years, selling delicious fare from around the world.
Food trucks offer a great way in Dubai’s food scene, offering lower overheads and faster speed to market than a traditional bricks and mortar restaurant. And, when you start a food truck business with the help of a local company formation expert, the process can be both quick and easy.
Benefits of starting a food truck business in Dubai
A vibrant food scene, high demand, minimal start up costs, a low tax rate. There are so many great reasons to start a food truck business in Dubai.
Set up in a free zone with Trade License Zone and the benefits continue. You can also take advantage of zero currency restrictions and total freedom to repatriate capital and profits.
Steps to start a food truck business in Dubai
Before starting a food truck business in Dubai, the first step is to partner with a local company setup agent.
At Trade License Zone, we can manage the entire company registration, license, and visa process for you.
We’ll start by helping you choose and register your company name, ensuring that it complies with the UAE’s naming criteria.
You cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Allah or Islam in your company name. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. You must also check that your chosen name is available to be registered.
Next, we’ll begin the process of applying for your trade license. You’ll usually be asked to provide passport copies, a business plan, and a completed application form. We’ll make sure all documents are present and correct before submitting your application.
As well as a food truck license you will also need to apply for the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) hygiene and safety certification. If you are preparing your food offsite and selling from your truck, then you will need a HACCP certificate for both premises.
You will also need permits to trade from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
Finally, as a catering-related business in the UAE, you will need to abide by the UAE Food Code. This covers all food storage and preparation regulations, including ventilation, entrances and exits, and all cooking and washing equipment.
Visas and bank account applications
There are a couple more steps required before you can trade freely in the UAE.
Firstly, you will need a visa. As part of this process, you will need to visit an immigration centre to provide biometric information. The visa application also includes a fitness test, blood test and chest x-ray.
Provided you meet the salary criteria, you can also sponsor others for their UAE visas, such as your children, partner, or parents.
The final requirement before you can start trading in the UAE is a corporate bank account. Bank account opening can be a complicated process for overseas business owners, so once again, it is best to make your application with the help of a local expert.
Cost of starting a food truck business in Dubai
It is never easy to estimate the cost of starting a food truck business without access to a detailed business plan. There are many components to the final amount.
Depending on the number of visas you require, you can expect to pay in the region of AED 11,500 to AED 25,000. On top of this, you need to account for approvals, vehicles, equipment, and rent for your pitch, just for starters.
Based on all these factors, total costs for starting up food truck businesses vary significantly. Anywhere between AED 35,000 and AED 60,000 is a reasonable ballpark figure.
Working with Trade License Zone
The company formation process in the UAE has been designed with simplicity in mind. That said, it does take some in-depth knowledge of the region and its many customs and regulations.
That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a UAE business setup company that can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.
When you work with Trade License Zone, we’ll guide and manage the entire incorporation process for you, and guide you through the latest government regulations regarding food truck businesses. Get in touch today for a personalised quote.
We’ll give you peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.
All you need to provide is some basic documentation and some information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It is that simple.