Business Setup Dubai .

How to Start a Grocery Business in Dubai?


Dubai is the land of opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs. It is the only city in the Middle East that has an operating environment that is easily the most liberal as well as attractive.

It provides endless possibilities to small investors for starting a business in Dubai as a small business here can quickly grow and flourish.

Opening a grocery business in Dubai is one such example of low cost, high-profit potential business. A grocery store or a retail store offers several perks and multiple trading avenues.

However, to setup business in Dubai, particularly a small one, you need to know about the set of procedures that you must follow to achieve your end goal.

The government of the UAE has made the layout of the grocery business Dubai an easy process for entrepreneurs and business owners interested in it.

Nevertheless, entering a foreign marketplace anywhere can be tricky, and therefore one should always tread carefully.

Let us now look at the factors that need to be taken under consideration while starting a grocery business in Dubai:

Things to Consider before Opening a Grocery Business in Dubai

Know Your Business

It is no secret that the success of every business depends on thorough research, amassing comprehensive knowledge about that region, and checking the viability of your business idea. At which point, you should devise a business plan that can assist you in attracting investors and customers alike.

After you have gone through all these steps, only then are you ready for a business setup in Dubai.

Find a Local Business Partner

It is imperative that you find a local business partner for your business in Dubai mainland. As foreigners can not completely own a company in the mainland.

Local partners can be individuals or companies who will own a larger portion of your business.

Financial Viability

Your business should be financially sound for it to be registered at the Ministry of Commerce. For that, you need to submit proof that clearly states your stability.

Besides that, if you are new to the UAE, then you will have to get support from local sponsors or local banks.

Besides that, if you are new to the UAE, then you will have to get support from local sponsors or local banks.

After having said all that, let us now come to the root of the matter. Dubai’s retail sector –including the grocery sector– is one of the most lucrative and high-yield businesses in the UAE.

The grocery business in Dubai offers entrepreneurs with massive investment and business opportunities. With the Dubai Shopping Festival, the World Dubai Expo 2020 and other such events that constantly boost up the nation’s economy. Opening a grocery store could be quite profitable for you.

But in order to do that first, there are few requirements that you need to fulfill.

Requirements to Open a Grocery Business in Dubai

To get to know how to start a grocery store in Dubai, you need to follow the procedures listed below:

Step 1: Local Sponsor

This has been mentioned several times already in our past blogs and we have discussed this here as well. But let’s refresh your memory.

To set up a business in the UAE you need a UAE national to support your business. According to the government of Dubai and the rules set up by them, a local sponsor in dubai must own 51% of the shares in your company, while you will own the rest of 49%.

Thus, to open a grocery store in Dubai you must adhere to these guidelines or else you can setup your business in a Dubai Free Zone.

Step 2: License and Registration

Every business activity in Dubai is columned under certain license and other certifications from an authority is mandatory. More often than not this authority is the Department of Economic Development (DED) if you are considering mainland Dubai as your base of operations..

There are three categories of licenses:

  • Commercial
  • Professional and
  • Industrial licenses.

A grocery license in Dubai allows you sell all the things except medical, pharmaceutical, herbal and cosmetics products.

Step 3: Business Jurisdiction

You must open your grocery store in Dubai in a business jurisdiction that fits your company’s needs the best.

Like with everything the Dubai government offers a suitable location with added perks such as, the Dubai Mall or the Meena Bazaar, etc.

Bear in mind that your company must have a proper shareholding structure for it to function properly.

4. Paperwork and PRO Services

Starting a grocery business in Dubai also demands meticulous paperwork that should include certifications and approval taken from various departments. In addition to that valid visas and permissions from different entities must be acquired.

And getting your Grocery license in Dubai is not a child’s play as it requires a lot of documentation and adherence to a lot of rules that the authorities have mandated as a necessary requirement.

Rules for Getting a Grocery License in Dubai

The set of rules that one must follow to get a grocery license in Dubai are as follows:

  • If the store’s location is supposed to change then the owner must have approval from the DED beforehand.
  • The DED must know about all the products being sold at the store and the owner must tell them about the existence of any bogus products being sold in the store.
  • The sale of any item should be acknowledged via some proper means – such as an invoice– that will clearly declare the policies regarding replacement, return and refund of the purchased commodities.
  • The customer’s duty is to make sure that they acquire the invoice for the goods purchased.
  • The trade name must be same on the license and on the signboard
  • Any amendment/alteration must not be carried out without the approval of the concerned authority
    Pots, vegetables, dry fruits, electric appliances, fruits, clothing, and toys must not be displayed overtly.
  • Products must have a date of production and expiry labeled prominently.
  • To sell as well as promote the fake and counterfeit goods is not allowed
  • The groceries in the store must not have any sort of flash sales, sales discount, and special offers without proper and prior permission.
  • Prices must be clearly visible on all the products
  • No business activity will be entertained after midnight until and unless the permission for it has been obtained already.
  • The trademark and name of the groceries and the store must be registered with the Ministry of Economy
  • Under the grocery license, one is not allowed to sell under any circumstances products categorized as medical, herbal, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic
  • No Grocery store must involve themselves in any promotional activities or campaigns until and unless the principal company gets the permit

These rules must be followed strictly and to a T, so that you have a pleasant experience while doing business in Dubai.

This is because the Department of Economic Development is introducing these new stricter standards because they want to improve the quality of existing services available to the people of Dubai.

Dubai is known for its retail sector worldwide and these new standards will reinforce its position as the world’s leading destination for shopping.

If you are considering opening a grocery store in Dubai, then we at KWS MIDDLE EAST can assist you with all the necessities that should be fulfilled, like getting the license to approval from the Municipalities to rent a location for you.

Contact us today, we’d be glad to be of assistance.

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