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Open a Dubai Business for Selling Food, Beverages and Tobacco

By Shivangi - 29 Nov 2021 Last Updated: 05 May 2022
Open a Dubai Business for Selling Food, Beverages and Tobacco

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), which includes food, beverages, and tobacco, is a major business in the UAE, particularly in Dubai.

Due to the high purchasing power of Dubai residents, retail is one of the most significant industries in the city. The construction of a business that sells commodities from various categories of Food and Beverages, apparel, and other items is very successful, from shopping malls to supermarkets and smaller shops.

Foreign investors interested in establishing businesses in Dubai can successfully establish businesses that offer Food, Beverages, and tobacco in the city's neighbourhoods and free zones, meeting the needs of the city's small communities. Our Dubai Company formation agents can assist people looking to start a business selling food, beverages, or tobacco goods.

In Dubai, how can you get a licence for a food, beverage, or tobacco shop?

The registration process for selling food, beverages, and tobacco is straightforward, and it begins with deciding on the type of structure, which is commonly an LLC, and then registering with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the Dubai Trade Register. If you want to offer food, beverages, or cigarettes in one of the Dubai Freezones, you must first register with the administration of that free zone.

If you wish to start a company that sells food, beverages, or tobacco, you must follow all applicable rules requiring special licences and permits.

Creating a shop in Dubai to sell food, beverages, and tobacco

In Dubai's FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) industry, food, beverages, and tobacco are among the most popular items. Those who want to open stores to sell these items can do so in a small or large scale, depending on the niche and community they serve.

The registration of a company that sells food, beverages, and tobacco begins with the selection of a structure, which is commonly a limited liability company, and its filing with the Department of Economic Development or the Dubai Trade Register. In the case of firms registered in Dubai free zones, the company must be registered with the relevant free economic zone authorities.

Our Business Setup Advisors can assist people who want to open stores and offer food, beverages, or tobacco.

Food, beverage, and tobacco shop licences in Dubai

The licencing phase must be completed when the firm has been registered and the Dubai shop is ready to open its doors. The Dubai Municipality and the Food Control Department must both approve the enterprise. Import Licences must be obtained from the Customs Authorities if the shop will sell imported foods and beverages.

Tobacco sales require unique advertising tactics; thus, the business owner must pay attention to them. In addition, selling tobacco to minors is severely prohibited in Dubai.

Read More: How to Start a Food Delievery Business in UAE

For the sale of alcohol and tobacco, special licences and permits are required

The FMCG industry in Dubai is thriving, especially given the tourism industry's contribution. A foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business selling food, beverages, or tobacco must follow all applicable rules governing special licences and permits. For example, in order to sell alcoholic beverages, a special licence known as a Liquor License is required. The Chamber of Commerce in Dubai has issued this under the norms of the Liquor Control Law. Under the terms of the Federal Law No.15/2009 of the Cigarettes Control Law in Dubai, the same thing is possible while selling tobacco. Our Dhanguard staff can provide comprehensive knowledge regarding the laws that govern the selling of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in the UAE.

How do I open a store in Dubai that sells food, beverages, and tobacco?

Foreign investors can open shops under the auspices of a Limited Liability Company, a suitable business structure that meets the requirements in this regard. For numerous tax exemptions, such an entity can be incorporated in Dubai's free zones or registered on the mainland. The registration process is straightforward and begins with the Dubai Department of Economic Development; however, before entering the market, you must apply for the requisite licences and permits with the relevant authorities. For your establishment, the Food Control Department and Dubai municipality issue a number of licences and permits.

Dubai’s a commercial licence

If you want to offer beverages and cigarettes at your Dubai shop, you should be aware of the commercial licence requirements, which include:

  • the prices in accordance with Dubai's Competition Law;
  • the discounts offered at your store for food, beverages, and tobacco items;
  • the advertising strategies in relation to Dubai's regulations on religion, freedom of expression, and so on;
  • the ways in which you market the shop in accordance with UAE Advertising Standards;


The UAE's retail sector is one of the country's most important economic engines. Food, beverages, and tobacco are all part of FMCG, or fast-moving consumer goods, which is a big business in the UAE, especially in Dubai. In terms of company formation legislation, foreigners can open food, beverage, and cigarette shops in the UAE.

Kindly contact our consultants if you need help starting a business selling food, beverages, or tobacco in Dubai.

Dhanguard provides the business setup and company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free company setup in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

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