How to open a Grocery Store in Dubai – 8 important steps

open a grocery store in dubai

With so many grocery stores around Dubai, it’s understandable why many business owners believe it’s a good decision to open a grocery store in Dubai. Dubai is a country of opportunity for aspiring businesses. It is the only city in the Middle East with an ambiance that is both functional and ideally liberal. We all understand the importance of food to our survival. Food spoilage and intense competition from large, well-known chains with decades of experience in the UAE are two of the different challenges that grocery retailers face. However, modest grocery stores can and do operate in a number of Dubai areas.

There are a selected few things that will affect the stability and success of your startup when you open a grocery store in Dubai. Here are the crucial elements for starting a small business in Dubai, such as a grocery store or a quick-service kitchen.

8 crucial steps to open a grocery store in Dubai 

1. Decision making 

You must first decide your initial investments, reserve funds, business location, company structure, the type of license you’ll need, and the market trends before you can operate a grocery store in Dubai. The price of a grocery license in Dubai as well as any further licenses you would require to operate a full-service grocery store in the United Arab Emirates must also be taken into account.

2. Finding a suitable location 

A sector’s performance is heavily dependent on its in-depth knowledge of its market and target audience. So, choosing the perfect location to open a grocery shop is crucial for a small business or startup. It is simpler to have the correct products to assist them over the long run if you are aware of the environment and understand the consumer’s needs.

3. Compiling the required documentation

A requirement that must be satisfied is documentation. The application for a trade license must be submitted along with copies of the owner(s)’ passports and visas. The lease agreement, Ejari, municipal approvals, trademark registration with the Ministry of Economy, and any additional submissions that may be required come next. Having all of these documents on hand is essential to guaranteeing a hassle-free application process for a grocery shop license in Dubai.

4. Getting the first approval

To open a grocery store in Dubai, the documentation must be submitted in accordance with the requirements established by the Dubai Government and the Department of Economic Development (DED). The DED issues the initial approval following a thorough review of all the information. Having the initial approval suggests that the UAE government has given the company permission to establish itself there. If you do not obtain this authorization, you will not be able to proceed with the application phase’s further steps.

5. Obtaining a trade name

Keep in mind that the trading name you choose for your company must match the one on the license and the sign outside the grocery store. Additionally, the name must adhere to the requirements set forth by the DED for an acceptable trading name.

Make sure your trade name doesn’t contain any problematic words to avoid any legal difficulties. Additionally, if you want to preserve the name of your grocery shop as your legal business name, be sure to always use the person’s complete name and not any nicknames.

6. Applying  for a Business License

Every business activity, regardless of whether you want to open a supermarket in Dubai or just start doing your grocery shop in Dubai, is assigned to a certain licensing type. A business license is required in the UAE in order to start a grocery store. With the exception of medical, pharmaceutical, herbal, and cosmetic products, you are allowed to sell all grocery-related items.

To keep the license valid at all times, be sure to pay the grocery licensing cost in Dubai. Additionally, to avoid any future legal issues, remember to renew your trade license at least a month before it expires.

7. Local Sponsor

You require a UAE citizen to support your business in order to open a business in the UAE. Before, according to the regulations established by the Dubai government, a local sponsor in Dubai was required to own 51% of the shares in your company, with the other 49% being owned by you. Nowadays, this is history. You should have your local sponsor at the license, to whom you pay annual fees for such, yet being the full owner of your grocery shop!

8. Doing research 

It goes without saying that doing extensive research, learning everything there is to know about a particular area, and determining whether your business idea is viable all contribute to a company’s success. At that time, you should create a business plan that will help you draw both clients and investors.

Only after completing all of these processes you are prepared to open your shop in Dubai.

What essential rules must a grocery store in Dubai comply with?

To build a grocery store, you also need to keep a few other things in mind in addition to the processes described above. To make it simpler for you, here is a compiled list:

  • The proprietor must obtain DED approval in advance if the location of the store is to be altered. In the UAE, renting a store is preferable to buying real estate because it allows for hassle-free moving.
  • All of the items sold at the store must be disclosed to the DED. Make sure you don’t offer any cosmetic, herbal, or medical products since a grocery license lacks the authorizations needed to sell these items.
  • Maintain a suitable sale invoice system that outlines the rules for the replacement, return, and refund of the commodities you have purchased.
  • Without the consent of the relevant authority, no modification or alteration may be made. Any divergence from how the business should operate must be disclosed to the relevant authority.
  • Any advertisement, sticker, poster, or banner must first have permission from the relevant regulating authority from the owner.
  • Make sure all the products are labeled with a legitimate manufacturing and expiration date.
  • Selling goods with phony trademarks on them is against the law and is never a good idea.
  • As required by the UAE government, you also require a VAT registration number and must file tax returns.

Masar Al Ameen Consultancy can guide you through the steps necessary to obtain a license and the necessary papers. They will explain all the requirements for you to follow, such as obtaining a permit from the government to reserve a space for you. Wishing you all the best!

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