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The food truck business is particularly popular in Dubai among entrepreneurs (Alpen Capital 2017). Prior to initiating the licensing process, it is crucial to establish whether the prospective company has a competitive edge since rivalry in the market is high. In starting a food truck business, the entrepreneur should cooperate closely with the appropriate governmental agencies in order to meet the numerous requirements involved (Al Serkal 2017).
In general, acquiring the necessary permissions is a lengthy process in Dubai (Fernandez 2017). The company will need two licenses, “a city municipality license and a regular kitchen license to ensure that the business meets health and safety regulations” (Khan 2017, para. 9). In particular, the enterprise should receive approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED), the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the Electricity and Water Authority of the municipality (DEWA).
Requirements and Regulations
Importantly, all food-related businesses should comply with the rules and regulations described in the Food Code (The Official Portal of the UAE Government 2018). This document discusses all aspects of food safety as they apply to the production and delivery of products to consumers (Government of Dubai 2013). All providers are required to follow the regulations in the document. Also, a trade license may be required from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing for carrying out any activity related to food production and sale (Talwar Badam 2015). In addition, the entrepreneur may need to obtain a food license provided by the food safety department of the municipality.
In terms of the food truck license, it is necessary to provide a business plan to the Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality (Government of Dubai 2018). After reviewing the business plan, this organization will grant approval. The entrepreneur’s next step involves laying out a central kitchen. It is also essential to provide a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point certificate. Once the catering license has been received, the food truck operator must plan the appropriate truck fit-out and choose a specific location while seeking approval from the authorities. The licensing cost is approximately AED 200–300 per permit (for city municipality and kitchen licenses), depending on the location (Khan 2017).
Company Type and Rights
The entrepreneur may create different types of legal entities; however, it is advisable to establish a limited liability company (Government of Dubai 2018). In this case, the owner will need to create a trading name for the business and have a registered office location, as well as to provide information about shareholders (name, nationality) and their share capital. In addition, it is essential to determine how profit and losses will be distributed among the shareholders. Once all such information has been ascertained, the entrepreneur will be able to collect the necessary documents and submit them to the DED to obtain the city municipality and kitchen licenses (Government of Dubai 2018).
The benefits of establishing a limited liability company are numerous. For example, the sponsoring and expatriating sides may share profit and losses in the most convenient manner (no minimum capital requirement). It is possible for as few as two persons, who will be liable for the company share, to work together to open this type of company, and they will be responsible for the number of shares invested. Importantly, in this type of business, 49% of shareholders may be expatriates, while the rest may be represented by Dubai citizens.
Alpen Capital 2017, GCC food industry. Web.
Al Serkal, MM 2017, ‘Rules beefed up for Dubai’s food trucks‘, Gulf News. Web.
Fernandez, KJ 2017, ‘Table talk: 6 things to know about food trucks in the UAE‘, Gulf News. Web.
Government of Dubai 2013, Food code. Web.
Government of Dubai 2018, Start your business in Dubai. Web.
Khan, S 2017, ‘The economies of running a food truck in the GCC‘, Entrepreneur Middle East. Web.
The Official Portal of the UAE Government 2018, Food safety. Web.
Talwar Badam, R 2015, ‘Dubai raises bar for food safety standards‘, The National. Web.