How to Set Up a Food Manufacturing Business in the UAE

The UAE’s food processing industry is not merely a sector, it’s an ecosystem primed for entrepreneurial ventures. With a projected value set to soar to USD 23.2 billion (AED 85.4 billion) by 2025, as indicated by market forecasts, the trajectory is nothing short of remarkable. This robust growth underscores the immense potential that awaits those who dare to venture into the manufacture of food products, and domestic powerhouses such as Al Islami Foods and Agthia Group, alongside global giants, converge to create a vibrant marketplace.

Fueling this exponential rise are several key factors propelling demand. A surge in disposable income, coupled with an expanding urban populace and a flourishing tourism sector, has cultivated a hunger for processed, convenient, and premium food offerings. This burgeoning appetite lays the groundwork for a market eagerly embracing innovation and superior quality.

Here are the business activities that you can select under your license when establishing Food Manufacturing companies, specifically in ‘manufacture of other food products’:

1070.00 Manufacture of other food products

“Manufacture of other food products” encompasses a broad spectrum of food production activities, covering a variety of goods not classified within more specific categories of the food industry. This category encapsulates the production of bakery delights like bread, pastries, and cakes, alongside the crafting of sugar-based confections such as candies and chocolates. Additionally, it includes the manufacturing of staple pantry items like pasta and noodles, as well as the preparation of ready-to-eat meals and convenience dishes. From the processing and packaging of coffee, tea, and spices to the creation of perishable delights like dairy products, fresh produce, and specialty foods, this sector caters to diverse tastes and preferences. 

1079.00 Manufacture of Other Food Products N.E.C.

“Manufacture of other food products n.e.c” refers to a diverse array of food production activities that don’t fit neatly into other specified categories within the food industry. This class encompasses several distinct processes and products, including the decaffeination and roasting of coffee, as well as the production of various coffee-related products such as ground coffee, soluble coffee, and coffee extracts. Additionally, it includes the manufacturing of coffee substitutes and the blending of tea and maté, along with the creation of extracts and preparations based on these beverages.

Moreover, this class covers the production of soups and broths, as well as the manufacture of special foods like infant formula, baby foods, and other products containing homogenised ingredients. It also includes the production of spices, sauces, and condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard flour, and prepared mustard, as well as the manufacturing of vinegar, artificial honey, and caramel. Furthermore, perishable prepared foods like sandwiches and fresh (uncooked) pizza fall under this category.

In addition to these, “Manufacture of other food products n.e.c” encompasses the production of herb infusions, yeast, extracts, and juices derived from meat, fish, crustaceans, or mollusks. It also includes the manufacturing of non-dairy milk and cheese substitutes, egg products, and egg albumin. Processing salt into food-grade salt, including iodized salt, and the manufacture of artificial concentrates are part of this class as well.

  • 1079.01 Decaffeinating and roasting of coffee
    This involves removing caffeine from coffee beans and then roasting them to develop their flavour and aroma.
  • 1079.02 Production of coffee products: ground coffee, soluble coffee and extracts and concentrates of coffee
    This refers to turning roasted coffee beans into various forms we consume, including ground coffee for brewing, instant coffee that dissolves in hot water, and concentrated coffee extracts and syrups.
  • 1079.03 Manufacture of coffee substitutes
    This covers making drinks that resemble coffee but are made from other plants, like chicory or roasted grains.
  • 1079.04 Blending of tea and maté
    This involves mixing different types of tea leaves or combining tea with maté (a South American herbal drink) to create unique flavour profiles.
  • 1079.05 Manufacture of extracts and preparations based on tea or maté
    This refers to processing tea or maté leaves into concentrated forms like tea bags, loose-leaf tea, or instant tea mixes.
  • 1079.06 Manufacture of soups and broths
    This covers making liquid foods like broth from meat, vegetables, or other ingredients.
  • 1079.07 Manufacture of special foods, such as: infant formula, follow-up milks and other follow-up foods, baby foods and foods containing homogenised ingredients
    This includes making formula for infants and toddlers, baby food, and homogenised (pureed) foods for various dietary needs.
  • 1079.08 Manufacture of spices, sauces and condiments: mayonnaise, mustard flour and meal and prepared mustard etc.
    This involves processing spices, herbs, and other ingredients into condiments like mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and various sauces.
  • 1079.09 Manufacture of vinegar
    This is the process of fermenting alcoholic liquids like wine or cider into vinegar.
  • 1079.10 Manufacture of artificial honey and caramel
    This covers making sweeteners that mimic the taste and texture of honey or create caramel for various uses.
  • 1079.11 Manufacture of perishable prepared foods, such as: sandwiches and fresh (uncooked) pizza
    This involves making ready-to-eat foods with a short shelf life, like pre-made sandwiches or uncooked pizzas.
  • 1079.12 Manufacture of herb infusions (mint, vervain, chamomile etc.)
    This refers to processing herbs like mint, chamomile, or verbena into teas or tisanes (herbal beverages).
  • 1079.13 Manufacture of yeast
    This is the production of yeast, a microorganism used for baking bread and fermenting alcoholic drinks.
  • 1079.14 Manufacture of extracts and juices of meat, fish, crustaceans or molluscs
    This involves concentrating the flavours and nutrients of meat, fish, shellfish, or crustaceans into stocks, broths, or pastes.
  • 1079.15 Manufacture of non-dairy milk and cheese substitutes
    This covers creating plant-based alternatives to milk and cheese for people with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • 1079.16 Manufacture of egg products, egg albumin
    This refers to processing eggs into various products, including liquid egg whites (albumin) used in baking and other food applications.
  • 1079.17 Processing of salt into food-grade salt, e.g. iodized salt
    This involves refining raw salt to make it suitable for human consumption, sometimes adding iodine for fortification.
  • 1079.18 Manufacture of artificial concentrates
    This is a broad category encompassing concentrated flavourings, colours, and other additives used in food manufacturing.

However, it’s essential to note that certain activities are excluded from this class, such as the growing of spice crops, the manufacture of inulin, the production of perishable prepared foods of fruit and vegetables, and the manufacturing of frozen pizza. Additionally, activities related to spirits, beer, wine, and soft drinks, as well as the preparation of botanical products for pharmaceutical use, are not included in this class.

Third-party Approval: These business activities do not require third-party approval, except 1079.01 (Decaffeinating and roasting of coffee), which requires approval from the Sharjah Municipality post-license, as well as the Food Safety Department.

Filing of Economic Substance Return: These business activities are exempt from this requirement.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: These business activities are exempt from this requirement.


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