Restaurant Approval in Dubai: A Complete Approval Guide


Launching a restaurant in Dubai and obtaining the necessary permits requires accuracy and adherence, like achieving proficiency in Hatha Yoga. You must find the perfect spot, ensure the food matches local tastes, and secure approval for the restaurant’s interior design.

The path to opening your establishment demands dedication, like mastering a complex yoga routine. In this post, I’ll guide you through the detailed journey of obtaining approval for your restaurant’s interior design from the Dubai municipality area.

Understanding Dubai's Legal Framework:

In Dubai, following the region’s legal regulations is crucial for running a business, especially when setting up a restaurant.

You need to carefully review the guidelines provided by the Department of Economic Development (DED), adhere to the strict food hygiene regulations set by the Dubai Municipality Food Control Department, obtain the necessary permits for the gas used in cooking, and secure approval for the restaurant’s interior design from the Department of Civil Defense for fire and safety purposes. Make sure everything is in order before opening.

Not conforming to DED rules, and food safety standards, or obtaining the necessary permits can result in serious fines or the shutdown of your business.

Getting building permits is crucial for launching a restaurant in Dubai. The primary governing body varies based on the area and the building owned by the landlord or facility management where you intend to open your restaurant in Dubai. Each governing body oversees various elements to ensure the protection of Dubai residents.

Necessary Approvals and No Objection Certificates (NOCs)

When starting a restaurant in Dubai, obtaining the necessary permits from the government is crucial. For example, you need approval and authorization from the Dubai Municipality Food Control Department for your kitchen’s design and arrangement. Your restaurant must fulfill specific criteria to obtain a business license from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Similarly, you need to take specific actions such as getting your interior plans approved, obtaining a building permit, and finally obtaining a certificate of completion before the main authority grants permission to open a restaurant in Dubai. Each NOC serves as proof of your adherence to the strict regulations in Dubai’s food industry.

When getting your facility up and running, you need to secure clearances from various NOCs, including organizations like the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for utilities, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for logistics and parking, GAS Approval for gas cooking if applicable, and DCD for the building’s structure and interior safety measures.

It’s essential to adopt a systematic method for obtaining these clearances. Not having even one NOC can significantly delay progress, emphasizing the critical role these documents play in ensuring your establishment meets the strict regulations of the emirate.

Types of Authority Approvals for Opening a Restaurant in Dubai:

In Dubai, opening a restaurant involves obtaining various approvals from different authorities to ensure compliance with regulations and standards. Here are the types of authority approvals required:

  1. Dubai Municipality Approval:
  • Eateries in Dubai must obtain the green light from Dubai Municipality, managed by the Food Safety Department.
  • To secure this stamp of approval, you must follow a series of guidelines provided by the Dubai Municipality Portal, ensuring compliance with the required food safety regulations.
  1. Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing:
  • This division issues the necessary trade license for running a restaurant in Dubai.
  • It’s essential to obtain a trade license specifically to run a restaurant in Dubai.
  1. Food Safety Department:
  • The Department of Food Safety, operating through the Dubai Municipality Portal, grants the required food license for operating a restaurant in Dubai.
  • To obtain the food license, you must provide specific documents, such as a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the municipal authority of Dubai.
  1. Other Permits:
  • In addition to the primary licenses, you might need extra approvals based on the type of your restaurant operation, such as obtaining a permit for Ramadan activities, a permit for selling alcohol, a permit for serving pork, and a permit for delivery services.
  1. Architectural Requirements:
  • Meeting certain architectural standards is vital for securing permits in Dubai. Key requirements include ensuring the dimensions of the kitchen, providing ventilation, using washable surfaces for walls, floors, and roofs, allocating basins for various uses, establishing storage areas, and installing adequate drainage systems.

Restaurant Approval for Fit-Out Works:

Submit the second set of design plans, including the overall design, initial sketches, furniture arrangement, fire safety measures, fire alarm systems, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) plans, and more. Once the governing body confirms that the plans meet the required standards, proceed with applying for a construction permit to begin renovating the restaurant.

After completing the renovation, obtain a certificate of completion. To receive this certificate, the authority will conduct a final inspection to ensure the construction aligns with the approved plans.

It’s crucial to address and incorporate all feedback from the inspector before resubmitting the plans. Obtain approval from every department before officially opening your business.

Important Note:

Strictly adhering to operational procedures and obtaining authorization at every stage is crucial. Without a certificate of completion from the relevant officials, you cannot inaugurate your restaurant. It’s advisable to engage a consulting team to obtain these approvals, as they can assist you with all the requirements and ensure they meet the standards set by the authorities.

Fitout Approvals From IR INTERIOR:

Our group’s expertise includes securing permits for interior design projects in Dubai. Starting from the planning phase, where we design the interior, to the final phase, where we obtain necessary permissions from different bodies, we serve as your reliable ally. Our deep understanding of local laws and meticulous attention to detail position us as the preferred advisor for smooth permit approvals.

In the ever-changing environment of Dubai’s commercial areas, securing permits for interior design is a vital step in transforming your dining area. Idea Reality Interior Decoration L.L.C serves as a guiding light, leading you through the complexities and ensuring that the interior designs of your dining area not only comply with regulations but also enhance the visual appeal and functionality of your envisioned restaurant.

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