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The trade of foodstuffs is a highly significant commercial sector in Dubai. For many years, it has been a significant contribution to Dubai’s economy and has been a thriving industry in the city. The United Arab Emirates has developed into a major international commercial centre in the Middle East, and as a result, large quantities of food are imported and exported from the country. As a result, establishing a food trade company in Dubai is a profitable business endeavour.

Food Trading Business in Dubai

Dubai’s culinary culture is well-known across the world. The area is home to a large number of local and foreign restaurants and cafés that serve food from across the globe. As a result, the food and beverage sector is reliant on the availability of high-quality food products. This is made feasible by the food trade businesses in Dubai that operate in the region. As a result, there is always a need for food trade.

In Dubai, a licence is needed to operate a food-trading company.

For businesses based on the Dubai mainland, the Department of Economic Development (DED) is the entity responsible for issuing business licences to such entities. Because the DED is the entity in charge of the registration procedure, you must submit all of the required documentation to them.

Commercial Licenses are required for food-trading businesses operating in Dubai. They have been established as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) (LLC). It is a 51-49 shareholding arrangement that governs this company organisation. A foreign-owned company established in Dubai mainland is required by law to partner with a UAE national, commonly known as a Local Sponsor, in order to do business in the country. A consequence of this arrangement, the local sponsor will own 51 percent of the company’s shares, with the remaining 49 percent being held by you.

In order to establish a food trading company in Dubai, you’ll need the following documents.

Copies of shareholders’ passports Visa page of the shareholder (residence visa or visit visa) Letter of authorization from the existing sponsor if the shareholder holds a resident visa
Shareholders with a resident visa in the UAE must provide their Emirates ID card.
The process of forming a company

DED must be notified of three possible trade name choices.
Obtain approval for the first time. You will not be able to continue with the application until this permission is obtained.
Sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the help of a Dubai notary public. *Note that this is now accomplished online.
Obtain a rental office or warehouse and submit the tenancy agreement with the Ejari form.
Submit the Ejari as well as the tenancy contract to the Food Control Department of the Dubai Municipality.
Obtain any further permissions that may be required.
Take possession of the payment voucher.
Completion of the entire payment and receipt of the trading licence
Sub-activities that fall under the category of Foodstuff Trading in Dubai

To your trade licence, you may additionally include the following sub-activities in addition to the primary business activity of foodstuff trading:

Egg Trading and Flour Trading are two of the most common types of trading.
Grains, cereals, and legumes trading Ghee & vegetable oil trading Juice trading Mineral water trading Ghee & vegetable oil trading
Trading Potatoes Trading Sugar Trading Spices Trading Potato Trading
Dubai Municipality’s role in the trading of snacks, soft drinks, and carbonated water, as well as in the trading of fruits and vegetables

It is the Dubai Municipality (DM) which is the government body whose Food Safety Department is in charge of inspections and the regulation of best practises for foodstuff trade in the Emirate of Dubai. Because of this, any business engaged in the trade of food in Dubai is required to register with the Dubai Municipality.

It is mandatory for your business to comply with the following criteria set out by the Dubai Municipality Food Control department if it intends to engage in the importation of food products:

DM Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) — Register your business with the Department of Agriculture. This is necessary in order to submit food import requests and to keep track of the progress of your import from the time of inspection to the time of release.

Obtain food label approval for all of the products that you will be importing — This will certify that your food labelling is in accordance with government requirements, which will help to prevent the shipment being rejected by customs.

Before importing any food products, be sure to register them in the DM Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS).

Obtain a FIT analysis result from the Dubai Central Food Laboratory – This is recommended for the food products you will be importing in order to indicate whether or not the item is fit for human consumption (fit for human consumption analysis).

The Function of Dubai Customs

Once you have received your trade licence from the Department of Economic Development, you will need to register your foodstuff trading business with Dubai Customs in order to import and export foodstuff. Upon registration, you will be provided with a one-of-a-kind Customs Code, which will be required throughout the import-export procedure.