How to Start a Food Truck in Dubai?

How to start a food truck in UAE

Table of Contents

What is a Food Truck?

Food truck is a term used to describe a type of food service where a vehicle (typically a modified truck, van or station wagon) is used for mobile restaurants. Food trucks as mobile catering tend to serve a variety of dishes that are influenced by cultural diversity, usually offer some limited seating and are operated with enough flexibility to make use of non-fixed culinary facilities. Food trucks can be located with an established restaurant, at a street corner or in a parking lot. Their size varies from open-air trucks inexpensively converted with seating for two and localized cooking capability to complex vehicles outfitted with multiple food stations, high-end kitchens, large holding storage areas and restrooms.

Understand the Basics of Food Truck Business

While running a food truck might seem an easy business venture to pursue, you must keep in mind that this is not as easy as it seems to be. You will have to follow some rules and regulations. The type of food and drinks you put up must be strictly examined so that there won’t be any complications later on. These checks are conducted to ensure that there will be no threat to the public’s life. In this article, we will give you some basic guidelines that are essential so you can run your business smoothly.”

Cost to Start a Food Truck in Dubai

Establishing a food truck business in Dubai can be an exciting and lucrative venture, but it is important to consider the associated costs up front. According to research conducted by the UAE Food Truck Association, the average cost of starting a food truck business in Dubai is 220,382.70 AED. One-time costs like purchasing the truck and its equipment can add up quickly. If you plan to sell food out of your own truck, you will also need to set aside some money for kitchen equipment and regular maintenance, as well as a location for you to park your vehicle.

The cost of starting up a food truck in Dubai depends on how much the truck costs, what license you need, what permits you need and other things.

Approximate Cost includes:

  1. Food business license is 300 AED   
  2. The Emirates Municipality Fee is 100 AED
  3. Dubai Municipality Fee is 30 AED
  4. Health card from the Department of Health is 50 AED per week
  5. Dubai Land Department (DLD) around 100 AED
  6. New Truck purchasing cost around 135,000 AED for standard size
  7. Truck on Rent cost Around 25,000 AED per month

Licenses and Approvals Required to Start Food Truck Business in Dubai

Business Setup in Dubai is not as simple as it looks like. In order to start a business, you must have all the relevant licenses and permits that are compulsory by the government of Dubai. Dubai Municipality has made efforts to bring awareness about the business licenses and permits required for starting a new business in Dubai

To start a food truck business in Dubai one needs to get the following licenses:

  • Trade License from Dubai Municipality

A trade license from Dubai Municipality is a document that shows the vendor has met all the legal requirements and set standards governing their business.

  • Health License from Dubai Municipality

The license will be issued after due diligence process is completed by Dubai Municipality including inspection of premises for compliance with health regulations.

  • Food Handler Card from Dubai Municipality

Food handler card is a mandatory document that every employee of a food outlet must have. This card is issued by Dubai Municipality. Food handler’s card proves the employee’s knowledge of basic food safety. This card also increases the chances of a restaurant to get its license approved by the authorities.

  • Fire Safety Certificate from Dubai Civil Defense

This certificate confirms that your restaurant is equipped with all necessary firefighting equipment. The Fire safety certificate is issued to ensure that a particular premises or individual/company can be exempted from any type of fire accident during food preparation or selling. It is issued by Dubai Municipality in order to obtain this card you have to do an exam and get a certificate from Dubai Municipality.

  • Submit a Compelling Business Plan to the Dubai Economic Department (DED)

The Dubai Economic Department (DED) is an organization that helps entrepreneurs start businesses in Dubai. To apply for a business license in Dubai, you must submit a business plan to the DED along with your application.

Be prepared to explain your business plan at length when you submit it—the committee at DED will ask questions about your proposals and may even ask you to provide more detailed information as needed. You should be prepared to discuss why you want to Start a Business in Dubai, how it will benefit the city, what type of services or products it will provide, how you will market those services or products, how much investment capital is required and why you need that amount, what kind of staff is required, what benefits they will receive and so on. The committee also wants to know about your personal history (if you are a foreign citizen) and about any companies you are associated with in Dubai or elsewhere.

  • Get HACCP Approval for your Food Truck in Dubai

If you’re planning on starting a food truck in Dubai, you’ll need to apply for HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) approval.

HACCP is a system of food safety management widely adopted by the international food industry. It aims to prevent contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. It’s a requirement by law to have your business approved through this system, as part of Dubai Municipality’s efforts to ensure that all food facilities operate under the highest standards of sanitation and safety.

Why Now is the Time to Start Your Food Truck Business in Dubai

In the UAE, food trucks are becoming increasingly popular as a source of diverse and delicious cuisine. In Dubai, especially, food trucks are starting to serve up some of the best food in town. And because Dubai is still developing its infrastructure, there are many opportunities to set up shop and get your name out there as a savvy entrepreneur who’s ahead of the game.

It seems that every week, there’s a new food truck to hit the streets of Dubai—and they’re not just making up for the loss of the no-longer-legal beach shacks. The number of mobile restaurants in Dubai is projected to increase by over 400% between 2014 and 2022.

The reason for this growth can be found in the intersection between three big trends:

  1. People are spending more time at home than ever before due to better technology and work-from-home options.
  2. Millennial are driving an increase in demand for convenience and customization in both consumption and creation of goods.
  3. People are increasingly looking for ways to live healthier lifestyles that feel more “authentic.”

A food truck in Dubai satisfies all three of these trends by way of its flexibility, accessibility, and high quality ingredients.

Benefits of a Food Truck Business

  • Easy to manage.

Food trucks have become popular not only because they’re easy to prepare and cook, but also because their business model is very simple, which means that it’s easier to manage.

If a food truck owner wants to start up a business, all he or she needs to do is rent a truck, buy some kitchen utensils and equipment (including a refrigerator), find a suitable location for business, and purchase some ingredients from local supermarkets or grocers. Now you are ready to start your shop.

  • Operating costs are relatively low

They are very affordable and easy to start as compared to opening up a restaurant or food stalls. Apart from a small initial investment, operating costs are relatively low. This means that if you own a food truck you can set up your own. This freedom also means that you can work during weekdays as well as weekends;

  • High quality Food

Food sold by food trucks is also usually high quality. Because the owners of these trucks are small business owners, they pride themselves on high-quality products and dishes. Instead of serving customers something that has been pre-made or frozen and then reheated, they want customers to know they are receiving something fresh and authentic.

  • Free to move

Food trucks are mobile and this allows owners to pick the best location for them. You can take your cuisine to your customers.


In UAE the popularity of food trucks is increasing by leaps and bounds, because people are getting more health conscious and they love to eat healthy food. Food Trucks in UAE are like small restaurants which serve all kinds of cuisines. One can get unlimited options and varieties in food items from the truck. You will find various brands of food trucks in UAE, which offer variety of cuisines with attractive pictures on their boards to attract customers. Food truck business is very good as entry investment is low and you don’t need a place for sitting down as your customers would stand at your trailer instead of taking any reservation for sitting. The concept of Food Trucks is just catching up with the people in UAE and it has gain traction all over the world.

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