How to Sell Food, Beverages, and Tobacco in the UAE?

sell food items in the UAE

The sale of food, beverages, and tobacco refers to the commercial activity involving the exchange of goods in these categories. This includes the sale of various food items such as groceries, snacks, prepared meals, beverages such as soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars. These goods are typically sold through various retail outlets such as supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, and specialized tobacco shops. 

The business activities that fall under Food Catering are: 

4630. Wholesale of food and beverages

The wholesale of food and beverages refers to purchasing large quantities of food and beverage products from manufacturers or producers at discounted prices and then selling these products in bulk to retailers, restaurants, catering companies, hotels, and other businesses. Wholesale distributors typically operate large warehouses or distribution centers where they store and manage inventory before distributing it to customers. 

What you can do:  

  • Wholesale of fruit and vegetables 
  • Wholesale of dairy products 
  • Wholesale of eggs and egg products 
  • Wholesale of edible oils and fats of animal or vegetable origin 
  • Wholesale of meat and meat products 
  • Wholesale of fishery products 
  • Wholesale of sugar, chocolate, and sugar confectionery 
  • Wholesale of bakery products 
  • Wholesale of beverages 
  • Wholesale of coffee, tea, cocoa, and spices 
  • Wholesale of tobacco products 
  • Wholesale of feed for pet animals 

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: Selling food and beverages in bulk may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  
  • Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

4721. Retail sale of food in specialized stores

The retail sale of food in specialized stores refers to the selling of food products through establishments that specialize primarily in food items. These stores may include various formats such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, gourmet food shops, health food stores, and specialty food stores. They typically offer a wide range of food products including fresh produce, meat, dairy, bakery items, canned goods, frozen foods, snacks, beverages, and specialty items catering to specific dietary needs or preferences. 

What you can do: 

  • Retail sale of any of the following types of goods: 
  • Fresh or preserved fruit and vegetables. 
  • Dairy products and eggs. 
  • Meat and meat products (including poultry). 
  • Fish, other seafood, and products thereof. 
  • Bakery products. 
  • Sugar confectionery. 
  • Other food products. 
  • What you can’t do: 
  • Manufacturing of bakery products, i.e. baking on premises. 

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: Selling food and beverages in bulk may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  
  • Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

4722. Retail sale of beverages in specialized stores

Retail sale of beverages in specialized stores refers to the commercial activity of selling various types of beverages, such as alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and other beverages, through specialized retail outlets. These stores are typically focused on offering a wide selection of beverages, often catering to specific consumer preferences or niche markets. 

What you can do: 

Retail sale of beverages (not for consumption on the premises): 

  • Alcoholic beverages. 
  • Non-alcoholic beverages. 

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: Selling beverages may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

  • Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  
  • Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

2825.00 Manufacture of machinery for food, beverage, and tobacco processing

This business activity allows you to do: 

– Manufacture of agricultural dryers

– Manufacture of machinery for the dairy industry:

  • Cream separators
  • Milk processing machinery (e.g. homogenizers)
  • Milk-converting machinery (e.g. butter chums, butter workers, and molding
  • machines)
  • Cheese-making machines (e.g. homogenizers, molders, presses), etc.

– Manufacture of machinery for the grain milling industry:

  • Machinery to clean, sort, or grade seeds, grain, or dried leguminous vegetables (winnowers, sieving belts, separators, grain brushing machines, etc.)
  • Machinery to produce flour and meal etc. (grinding mills, feeders, sifters, bran cleaners, blenders, rice hullers, pea splitters)

– Manufacture of presses, crushers, etc. used to make wine, cider, fruit juices, etc.

– Manufacture of machinery for the bakery industry or for making macaroni, spaghetti

or similar products:

  • Bakery ovens, dough mixers, dough-dividers, molders, slicers, cake depositing

machines etc.

– Manufacture of machines and equipment to process diverse foods:

  • Machinery to make confectionery, cocoa, or chocolate; to manufacture sugar; for

breweries; to process meat or poultry; to prepare fruit, nuts or vegetables; to prepare

fish, shellfish, or other seafood.

  • Machinery for filtering and purifying.
  • Other machinery for the industrial preparation or manufacture of food or drink.

 – Manufacture of machinery for the extraction or preparation of animal or vegetable

fats or oils

– Manufacture of machinery for the preparation of tobacco and the making of cigarettes

or cigars, or for pipe or chewing tobacco or snuff

– Manufacture of machinery for the preparation of food in hotels and restaurants

What you can’t do:

 – Manufacture of food and milk irradiation equipment.

– Manufacture of packing, wrapping, and weighing machinery.

– Manufacture of cleaning, sorting, or grading machinery for eggs, fruit, or other crops (except

seeds, grains, and dried leguminous vegetables).

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: This may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  

Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

3312.16 Repair and maintenance of food, beverage, and tobacco processing machinery

The repair and maintenance of food, beverage, and tobacco processing machinery involves servicing and fixing equipment used in these industries to ensure optimal functionality and safety. Technicians inspect, troubleshoot, and repair various machinery components such as mixers, conveyors, and packaging systems.

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: This may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  

Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

4711.00 Retail Sale in Non-Specialized Stores With Food Or Beverages Predominating

This class includes:

– Retail sale of a large variety of goods of which, however, food products, beverages or

tobacco should be predominant, such as:

  • Retail sale activities of general stores that have, apart from their main sales of food

products, beverages or tobacco, and several other types of goods such as wearing

apparel, furniture, appliances, hardware, cosmetics, etc.

What you can’t do under this business activity:

Retail sales of fuel in combination with food, beverages, etc., with fuel sales dominating.

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: This may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  

Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

4781.00 Retail Sale Via Stalls and Markets of Food and Beverages

This class allows you to do the following business activity:

  • Retail sale of food, beverages, and tobacco products via stalls or markets

What you can’t do under this class of activities:

  • Retail sale of prepared food for immediate consumption (mobile food vendors),

Other requirements:  

Third-party approval: This may require approvals from the relevant authorities after obtaining the business license.  

Filing of Economic Substance Return: This business activity is exempt from this requirement.  

Anti-money laundering compliance: This business activity is exempt from this requirement. 

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Sawsan Alsharanee

Sawsan is an Arabic copywriter and translator with over 12 years of experience in EnglishArabic translation and 6 years of experience in copywriting across various domains including business setup, technology, healthcare, and marketing. Sawsan has a rich portfolio of high-quality, culturally appropriate translations and articles, crafted to drive engagement and conversions, and help businesses connect with their Arabic-speaking clients.

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