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How to Start a Food Truck Business in Dubai, UAE?

In recent years, the food truck sector has developed into a thriving and varied entrepreneurial dream. You may manage a food truck and enjoy all the perks of owning a restaurant without worrying about hiring personnel.

Additionally, it makes the entire eating experience much more accessible by exposing you to a new customer base. So whether it’s traditional street food fare or fancy dining made simple, food trucks in Dubai are a worthy endeavor if food is your thing.

Starting a business in Dubai is a great idea that appeals to those seeking to prosper financially. Like beginning an internet business or working in the food and beverage sector, it is a fresh and exciting part of the food industry with few obstacles to entry. So let’s explore how to start a food truck business in Dubai and what are the prerequisites!

what is a food truck business

What is a Food Truck Business?

A food truck business is a mobile restaurant that serves various street food and snacks. Food trucks are usually outfitted with cooking equipment, such as grills, ovens, and deep fryers, and can serve customers on the go. 

Food trucks are often found in high-traffic areas such as city centers, business districts, and special events. They are becoming increasingly popular in many cities as they offer a convenient and unique dining experience.

Advantages of Food Truck Business in Dubai

Food trucks are getting increasingly well-liked, and for a good reason—they provide several advantages over conventional eateries. We’ll now go through the advantages of food trucks and explain why they’re a fantastic choice for business owners. Learn more by continuing to read!

1. Low startup costs

Starting a food truck business in Dubai can be relatively inexpensive compared to opening a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant.

2. Mobility

Food trucks can be easily moved to different locations to reach new customers or to avoid areas where business is slow.

3. Low overhead

Food trucks typically have lower overhead costs than traditional restaurants, making them more profitable.

4. Flexibility

Food truck owners can choose their own hours and days of operation, which allows for a good balance of work and personal life.

5. Variety of customers

Food trucks can attract diverse customers, from office workers to tourists and families.

6. Food truck events

Many food truck events are happening in Dubai, like food truck parks, festivals, and other events where food trucks can participate and reach more customers.

7. Social Media

The food truck business in Dubai is well-suited to social media marketing, which can be a cost-effective way to reach new customers.

8. Food delivery

Some food trucks in Dubai now offer food delivery services, which can increase sales and reach a broader customer base.

9. Branding and Identity

Owning a food truck can create a unique identity and branding for your business to attract more customers.

10. Innovation

Food trucks in Dubai are often known for their unique and innovative menu items, which can help set them apart from traditional restaurants.

how to start a food truck business in Dubai

How to Start a Food Truck Business in Dubai?

Starting your business in Dubai seems challenging but it is pretty easy if you understand the process and mistakes to avoid while starting a business. Here are all the steps involved in starting your food truck business in Dubai. 

Step 01 – Submit your business plan to the DED

Dubai is home to famous trade fairs, a booming market for pop-up events, and an excellent environment. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Dubai is regarded as the best location for establishing a food truck company.

However, you must have a solid business plan and submit it in writing to the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and Dubai Municipality before you jump in, purchase a food truck, and begin creating your menu.

Your business plan must include a summary of your concept, strategy, and budget. In addition, it needs to persuade authorities that your food truck idea is viable.

Your business plan must include a summary of your concept, strategy, and budget. In addition, it needs to persuade authorities that your food truck idea is viable.

Include information about your startup’s funding, management, and expansion ambitions. Think about the market, regulatory risks, and other elements that might harm your company. If you experience any cash flow issues, you should also have a strategy for reserve funds.

To increase your chances of success, you must ensure your submission is complete. When delivering financial facts, it’s crucial to be as specific and grounded in reality as possible.

Step 02 – Get approval from HACCP

Business owners must receive two crucial health and safety certificates that must be formally recognized to operate food trucks in Dubai.

The arrangement of your central kitchen must first receive HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification. Food truck entrepreneurs require this crucial paperwork if any gourmet food preparation takes place on-site. Second, you must obtain accreditation for the food truck’s design and fit-out plan.

The HACCP certification guarantees the safety of consuming the goods or products you propose to sell. It is based on the recognition, management, and eradication of risks and hazards that have a negative impact on the goods. Therefore, consumer safety is of utmost importance in maintaining food industry standards and laws.

The HACCP certifications must be obtained and submitted to the government for approval. You can only begin trading once these approvals have been granted. Therefore, it pays to acquire professional guidance from renowned experts in Dubai to ensure that you follow the right processes.

Step 03 – Choose the location

Find out who owns the property you are interested in and scout out potential places in the city. When a new pop-up event, market, or fair starts in Dubai, the finest sites immediately sell out, so you must act soon to take advantage of popular dining establishments.

Private landlords hold the majority, and locations might be restricted. So it’s a good idea to start networking, make connections, meet landlords, and stay current on urban growth and remodeling projects. As a result, you can land a terrific spot with a competitive edge.

Step 04 – Apply for the license

There are a few things to arrange to get a food truck license. A strong business strategy, a central kitchen that complies with food preparation regulations, and an approved fit-out layout are requirements.

Design your truck after the fit-out authorized by the authorities when you purchase it. Making the appropriate choice is essential since the type of vehicle utilized for food trucks matters. 

The truck ought to be able to support your kitchen, handle the heat, and have adequate ventilation. Ideally, it should be a delivery truck.

Step 05 – Get the help of the experts

A thriving food truck industry has emerged in Dubai and the UAE due to people’s love of good food, outdoor dining, and an abundance of new pop-up restaurants.

You’re entering the market at a pivotal point in its development. You have a good chance of building a successful company with the potential to grow to other venues or other types of catering if you have a strong concept and website.

But obtaining a license may be difficult, especially for newbies. So working with a specialized, Arabic-speaking consultant with local expertise on securing DED and HACCP clearances is worth considering to reduce bother.

Additionally, Airzone offers assistance for branding, designing, outfitting, and business setup in Dubai so you should consult with the experts.

While this can be expensive for startups, it may be helpful for first-time business owners and offer you more time to concentrate on your primary operations.

Documents Required for Food Truck Business

Here are the documents you need to start your food truck business in Dubai.

  • Trade License: A trade license is required to legally operate a business in Dubai, including food truck businesses.
  • Emirates ID: All business owners and employees must have a valid Emirates ID.
  • Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate: Food truck operators must have a food safety and hygiene certificate from Dubai Municipality.
  • Food Truck Registration: The food truck must be registered with Dubai Municipality.
  • Insurance: Food truck operators are required to have liability insurance to protect against any accidents or injuries that may occur.
  • Health Card: All food handlers must have a valid health card issued by Dubai Municipality.
  • Food Truck Parking Permit: A parking permit is required to park the food truck in designated areas.
  • Food Truck Design Approval: The food truck’s design must be approved by Dubai Municipality before it can begin operations.
  • Food Truck Inspection: A food truck inspection is mandatory by Dubai Municipality and should pass health and safety standards.
  • Other Licenses: Additional licenses may be required depending on the type of food the truck serves. For example, if you are serving alcohol, you will need an alcohol license.

License Required for Food Truck Business

In Dubai, a food truck business requires a food truck permit and a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED). The permit is issued by the Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department, allowing the food truck to operate in designated areas within the city. 

The trade license is required for any business operation in Dubai and can be obtained from the DED. Both the permit and license have to be renewed annually.

In addition, Food truck operators must comply with food safety regulations and have a valid food safety certificate from Dubai Municipality. Also, Dubai Municipality has made it mandatory for all food trucks to have a GPS tracking system installed in their vehicles.

It is recommended to check with the local authorities for any updates or changes in the regulations regarding the food truck business.

Costs to Setup a Food Truck Business in Dubai

The amount of money needed to launch a food truck company may vary depending on your choice of location, the type of cuisine you plan to offer, and the design and layout of your vehicle.

According to an average cost estimate, you should budget between AED 130,000 and AED 140,000.

A good food truck costs about AED 35,000, and monthly rent can range from AED 15,000 to AED 25,000, depending on where you are.

Additionally, you’ll need to budget for the cost of your Dubai food truck license and permissions. Even if this is not a tiny investment, it is far less than it would cost to launch a conventional food joint.

FAQs About Food Truck Business in Dubai

Is the food truck business profitable in Dubai?

Yes, it can be profitable to operate a food truck business in Dubai, as there is a high demand for street food in the city.

How much is a food truck license in UAE?

You should budget between AED 11,500 and AED 25,000, depending on how many visas you need. You also need to budget for permits, transportation, equipment, and rent for your pitch, to name a few.


Just to recap, if you have the right information, setting up a food truck business in Dubai need not be a particularly challenging process. However, understanding the procedure beforehand is necessary.

Additionally, keep in mind that completing your application on time, with no errors, is essential if you want a simple and uncomplicated experience applying for a license.

We learned how to start a food truck business in Dubai in this blog and location plays a key factor in the success of your business. We have comprehensive guides on Dubai free zones including DKP Free Zone, DTP Free Zone, DLC Free Zone, and DFC Free Zone. So check out these guides and make an informed decision about your business!