Setting up a restaurant in Dubai can be one of the best investments one could make. There are good ROIs in the restaurant business, in Dubai especially because Dubai is one the most tourist friendly destinations in the world. It is an open multi cultural platform where any kind of restaurant will be a welcome idea.

Here are some steps for a restaurant setup in Dubai: –

Strong Research

For any business setup in Dubai good strong research is required. This involves feasibility studies; competitor analysis; menu research; location scouting; understanding dining preferences of clients; defining prices; vendors legal and procedure cost and other miscellaneous fees. Research also involves searching for the best chef and team to be hired.

What makes your restaurant unique?

A restaurateur needs to illustrate why is their restaurant unique and why would customers want to dine in over other regular joints. This could be the choice and or quality of cuisine being offered, the price, the ambience the restaurant offers. These are the primary selling factors for any type of restaurant but of all these factors you need to use one or two as your main selling point, and which defines the uniqueness of your restaurant.

Understand the laws of the land

As a restaurant owner in Dubai you will be subjected to a number of laws, rules and regulations. Do not fail to keep yourself updated about the rules, regulations, codes and any new amendments. Failing to follow these regulations unnecessary invites penalties and increases cost over runs, and sometimes closure by authorities.


Choosing the location is one of the most critical factors for a restaurant. Setting a restaurant in Dubai you set it up in a Free Zone jurisdiction or in a DED Mainland. As a restaurant setup in a free zone you own the business 100% whereas in the DED Mainland, you may form a partnership with a local Emirati, who will own 51% of the business stake. Strategically choosing and securing the location for your restaurant in any one of the market places is the key factor.

One can also setup a restaurant in a shopping mall by leasing out space, however most shopping malls today have long wait lists for restaurant setups.  

Invite Critics

Invite your potential clientele for a party and let them sample out your food, critic on your service and ambience. Their feedback is critical, whether it is positive or negative, and these are the pointers, which will help you to amend or improvise your menu or style of cooking, and make changes to your restaurant. Of course implementing 100% feedback may not be possible but it needs to be filtered and implemented wisely.

Hiring the Team

The team is the backbone of your restaurant and it is indeed very important for proper selection of the team, which is the pathway to success. If the team is not competent enough your restaurant is a failure. Do not hire friends but hire professionals to do the job. Source out the best talent from the market and get them on your team.

Menu Planning

The restaurant spectrum in Dubai is filled with multi cuisines and there is always room for more cuisines provided it is unique with distinct flavors an rightly priced.

Brand Building

Building the restaurant brand is also critical because that is how your restaurant is identified in the market and remembered by your customers. The logo design, menu layout, choosing the color schemes, right to the font type is the building blocks for building your restaurant’s brand.

Marketing and Advertising

Strategically planning these two entities is the key to your success. Healthy budgets need to be sanctioned for the campaigns, and effective strategies need to be executed on a periodical basis.

Hiring a professional consultant for your restaurant setup in Dubai will ease the trouble and nitty-gritties of all the formation process, giving you ample room to focus on operation progress.