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Understanding the Cost of Obtaining a Catering License in Dubai

cost of catering license in dubai

Dubai, a bustling metropolis renowned for its thriving business environment and diverse culinary scene, has become a sought-after destination for entrepreneurs looking to establish catering businesses. With the city’s ever-growing demand for exceptional catering services, there has never been a better time to enter this lucrative market. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, it’s crucial to understand the costs associated with obtaining a catering license in Dubai. In this blog post, Choose UAE will break down the various cost of obtaining a catering license in Dubai you’ll need to consider and provide guidance on navigating the licensing process.

The Cost of Obtaining a Catering License in Dubai

In Dubai, having a catering license is mandatory to run a catering business. The overall cost of obtaining this license can differ based on factors such as license type and business location.

Initial Licensing Fees

To secure a catering license in Dubai, you’ll be required to pay an initial fee, which depends on the business jurisdiction (mainland or free zone) and the specific licensing authority. The average starting cost is AED 12,500 for a Dubai Free Zone license and AED 15,000 for a Dubai Mainland license. This amount covers the trade license issuance and registration with the licensing authority, though it is subject to change.

Beyond a catering business license, additional factors like visas and other requirements can impact the overall cost. Utilize Choose UAE’s cost calculator to obtain an accurate estimation. This tool considers all relevant variables, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the comprehensive cost involved in setting up your business.


Annual License Renewal

Besides the initial licensing fee, you must also renew your catering license yearly. The renewal cost depends on the jurisdiction and the licensing authority, with Choose UAE offering the same renewal fee for licenses.

Additional Approvals and Permits

Your catering business’s scope and services may necessitate obtaining further approvals and permits from government authorities like the Dubai Municipality and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. These costs can vary, so researching your business’s specific requirements is crucial.

Office Space and Facility Costs

Starting a catering business in Dubai involves leasing or renting both office space and a commercial kitchen facility. The total cost of leasing or renting can vary depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities. It’s important to factor in the expenses related to outfitting the facility, which includes acquiring or leasing kitchen equipment, furniture, and other necessary items. Note that Dubai Mainland setup’s visa allocation is dependent on the office size, which can result in additional costs if you plan on employing many people.



Visa and Labor Costs

To operate a catering business in Dubai, you’ll need to hire staff and obtain visas for them, which can vary in cost depending on factors such as nationality, job title, and salary. Additional costs to consider include employee salaries, benefits, and other labor expenses, which may increase if you prioritize employing a diverse range of nationalities in line with Dubai’s promotion of inclusivity.


While the cost of obtaining a catering license in Dubai can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that this investment can lead to significant returns in the city’s flourishing catering market. By understanding the various expenses involved and planning your budget accordingly, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the licensing process and launch your catering business with confidence.

How Can Choose UAE Help

Choose UAE can guide you through the licensing process, help you find the perfect location for your catering business, and provide expert guidance on managing costs and ensuring compliance. Contact us today to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams in Dubai’s catering industry.

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