How to Start a Food Delivery Service Business in the UAE?

20Jan, 22

How to Start a Food Delivery Service Business in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates' food and beverage business is vast, and it is only expected to grow. The business is estimated to be worth around billions of AED as per the current projections. An increasing number of restaurants and fast-food franchises gain from serving food in-house year after year. That is, they open fast-food restaurants, eateries, and convenience stores, and spend a lot of money on promotions and marketing in order to attract customers and get their name "known" in consumers' stomachs and minds. Our study further focuses on How to Start a Food Delivery Service Business in the UAE?

Food Industry in the UAE

The UAE's cosmopolitan culture and affluence have also fostered the growth of the foodservice industry. Full-service restaurants, fast-food restaurants, cafes, home delivery, and street kiosks are common categories in the UAE's foodservice business. Despite the brakes that the pandemic put on the country's economy, the overall growth is encouraging. High wealth, the flood of tourists, and changing consumer preferences are all elements that have led to the UAE's foodservice sector's rise. Emiratis regard ordering food at home and dining out to be two of their favorite pleasures.

Fast food restaurants have now taken over as the growth engine in this growth tale. Full-service restaurants now account for the majority of food consumed outside of the home. However, because of the increase of business professionals and tourists in the country, casual dining has become more popular in recent years. The growth of casual eating in the UAE has been so rapid that Dubai has now surpassed Doha as the most popular casual dining destination in the Middle East. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two of the top five cities in the Middle East.

The UAE's restaurant management environment, like that of most Middle Eastern cities, is dominated by multinational players, particularly those from the United States. The most popular fast-food chains in the UAE are McDonald's and Yum Brands - KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Local players such as Apparel Group and Bin Hendi Group have given these major chains a run for their money. The competition among these players is so fierce that quality of food and calorie consumption, rather than price, have become decisive considerations for customers.

How to Start a Food Delivery Business in the UAE?

The notion of restaurant meal delivery is still in its infancy, and it has yet to be fully adopted by big consumers, corporations, or well-known food establishments. Delivering meals from a variety of eateries is a unique concept for individuals in the food industry. Furthermore, because this is a novel concept, more people would be willing to try it if one were accessible in their area. Especially if they could get their favorite restaurant meals or dishes from the convenience of their own home or place of business.

Part-time or full-time delivery services are available. If you want to succeed, you'll spend the majority of your time managing all aspects of your restaurant, food chain, or basic food stall. After you've opened your grocery store or restaurant, you'll be concentrating on your company location. On the other hand, the online meal delivery service in Dubai is flexible in terms of the hours you spend managing it. You can do it full-time, but if you have another business, a day job, or simply want to cut down on your time spent on it, you can make it work for you.

Steps Involved

If you have the necessary expertise and experience, starting a food delivery service in Dubai doesn't have to be tough. In contrast to just applying for a trade license, there are a few extra stages to do, and none of them require any prior understanding of the procedure. It's also worth noting that the procedure is only straightforward if the trade license application is full and error-free at the time of submission.

There are a few things to consider if you want to start a food delivery service in Dubai, UAE:

  • You might start by deciding what type of business you wish to run.
  • The most important point is that the activities you select are on the Department of Economic Development's (DED) approved list.
  • It's now time to choose a company name.
  • Keep in mind that in the UAE, you must adhere to a set of naming conventions.
  • In summary, any remarks that are derogatory or blasphemous should be avoided. Stay away from well-known company names and abbreviations if you're calling your company after yourself.

Forming an organization in a free zone is the most cost-effective and useful alternative. In the United Arab Emirates, many free zones offer low-cost license packages and quick business establishment. Free zones offer benefits such as a quick and easy incorporation process, ongoing market help, and financial benefits such as tax exemptions and no currency limitations. After you've made these critical selections, you should apply for your trade license.

You'll need to provide a few details as well as some foundational documents, such as:

  • A fully completed application form
  • A copy of the intended owner's passport
  • Two passport-size color pictures

What are the Guidelines Involved in Food Delivery Services Business in the UAE?

The guidelines are mentioned as follows:

  • If a restaurant can produce 100 to 350 orders per day using online platforms, it will most likely be able to negotiate a commission fee of 15-18 percent of the transaction value
  • The internet platform has a vested interest in actively promoting the outlet on its platform.
  • It may also run above-the-line campaigns featuring the Food and Beverage brand; the platform tracks the restaurant's performance with weekly MIS (management information system) reports and performance metrics to improve the customer experience; and it may offer free delivery and commission weeks to further promote the restaurant.
  • However, if the restaurant's order volume is poor, the operator will be required to pay a commission of 25-30% to the online service provider.


Dhanguard can assist you in setting up your food delivery services business in the UAE. Our team of experts can walk you through the process and also aid in the necessary paperwork. If you are looking for any business setup services in the UAE, contact us, we will gladly assist you.