F&B food industry business
formation in the UAE

Leverage all the opportunities of the United Arab Emirates to build a successful business both in
the region’s fastest growing market and in the international arena!

Submit your application

The United Arab Emirates is a low-tax jurisdiction with an unprecedented level of economic stability. It boasts the highest consumer purchasing power in the region and a fast-growing sales market, almost entirely dependent on imports. The UAE is the largest trade hub located at the intersection of the Middle East and Asia, which opens up endless opportunities for your business both inside the country and internationally. SORP will help you set up a
F&B business, ensure that you obtain the appropriate license and provide full follow-up support for your company, guiding it to financial success.

Doing business in the UAE’s Food and Beverage industry will provide:

Entry to one of the fastest growing
markets in the world
Due to its high level of integration into the global economy, the UAE provides unique business opportunities
State protection
for investors

The rights of business people in the UAE are protected in the framework of international treaties and also at state level
Settlements in any world currency without conversion
The ability to open an account and execute settlement transactions in dollars, euros, pounds, yuan, etc.
Participation in
international tenders
As a candidate from a respected jurisdiction, your participation in major tenders is greatly welcomed
tax burden
Doing business which is virtually tax-free and the ability to optimize your operations in the international arena
international business
Building holdings and structures for carrying out mutual settlements within the group with no tax consequences
Book your place the consultation

Advantages of the UAE as a country for doing business in the F&B industry

Financial stability

No inflation, fixed exchange rate, absolute reliability of the banking system

Freedom of capital movement

Unimpeded payments and money transfers, no foreign exchange controls

High purchasing power

According to the IMF rating, the UAE is in the TOP 10 countries for population income

Preferential taxation

Your profits are maximized because you pay no corporate tax or personal income tax, and VAT is only 5% - and only on some categories

Equal rights for business owners

The UAE treats both foreign and local entrepreneurs equally for domestic and international business operations

Protecting confidential data

Beneficiary information is held in the strictest confidence when you incorporate in the UAE and banking secrecy is tight

F&B activities available for licensing in the UAE

Any business in the United Arab Emirates must go through a mandatory licensing procedure. Your license is your business card
for banks and counterparties from all over the world, and for the state it is a form of control over the activities of your company.

Food trade

Bulk sales of all types of products in the food category, including food and drinks, groceries, as well as food additives used in production

Food and beverage production

Manufacture of ready-to-eat and semi-finished goods, frozen and chilled products, dairy and meat production

F&B services

B2B and B2C services in the food industry including catering, product packaging, delivery and storage, sorting and distribution

Equipment trade

Sale of industrial, warehouse or commercial equipment that is used for the storage and production of food products

Grocery retail

Retailing products in the grocery category in the form of shops, markets and supermarkets, as well as online stores


Restaurants, cafes and cafeterias, as well as licenses for the operation of food courts, bakeries, pastry shops or fast food outlets

F&B Consulting

Specialized advice in the management or organization of F&B projects, as well as in the areas of healthy nutrition and dietetics

Facility management

Management and control over the activities of catering outlets and industries, including those maintenance and general administration

Importing food or beverages for sale in the UAE domestic market and in the Gulf countries is regulated. You will need to register the goods with the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) and obtain an import permit from the Food Control of the Municipality. SORP Group specialists will help you to go through the proper registration and certification procedures in compliance with local legislation.

Certificates you need when bringing your products, services and equipment to the local market:

Certification in the United Arab Emirates is mandatory for certain types of goods. It involves testing for compliance with international standards and obtaining a certificate of conformity (CoC). Otherwise the import and sale of products in the UAE is prohibited


Subject to mandatory certification in ESMA and registration with Food Control DM for implementation in the UAE for all types of food and drinks. The label must display the Nutritional Essentials and a list of ingredients that must be consistent with the product test report.


Provided by Islamic associations accredited in the UAE. Certifies all products of animal origin and meat, as well as their components. Not only is the batch of goods subject to such certification, but also the manufacturing plant.

Organic "ECO" products

Products that are marketed as “eco” or “organic” must pass tests and inspections to receive the quality label from ESMA and Food Control. In addition, departments can request information about the manufacturer and technology to confirm the environmental friendliness of products.

Product packaging

Mandatory ESMA certification, as well as passing tests in the laboratory of the Municipality, confirming the absence of hazardous substances in any packaging, container or goods that are in direct contact with food products.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)

An international standard that establishes the requirements for the quality management system of companies operating in the HoReCa sector (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes), food production and food retail. To confirm the standards, it is necessary to pass a series of Food Control checks by the municipality or accredited organizations.

SORP Group solutions for the incorporation of F&B business in the UAE

SORP Group is a leading consultant in the UAE market, offering a wide range of tools and expertise for organizing and developing your business. That includes setting up business processes and creating financially profitable tax optimization schemes.

Evaluation and business

Evaluation of a business idea, selection of a suitable license, the best place for incorporation and the type of company


Rapid incorporation through close cooperation with the registration authorities and use of SORP's own experienced resources

bank accounts

Providing professional support for opening corporate accounts, fast passing of compliance checks and KYC procedures

business support

Providing support for obtaining investor visas, visas for employees and their family members, renewing licenses and permits

incorporation address

Lease of space in the SORP business center for licensing: offices with Ejari / Estidama, flexi-desks and virtual addresses

Business process

Services you can outsource to support your business such as full accounting, administrative, tax, legal support and more

By setting up a company in the UAE to promote your products and services in the Food and Beverage sector, you can not only develop in the country but also unlock an opportunity to enter the international arena and effectively optimize your entire business. However, it should be borne in mind that the United Arab Emirates follows all modern developments in global legislation. Regulations require passing KYC and compliance procedures, confirmation of economic presence and the exchange of tax information within the framework of CRS.

How to set up a business in the UAE F&B sector

We will tell you how to open a business in the UAE F&B food industry sector in our interactive networking

Take part in the interactive consultation

March 21 at 8:30 p.m. on-line

Practical recommendations for representatives of retail chains, restaurateurs, manufacturers, importers, exporters or distributors of food and beverages from the experts of the SORP group of companies with 15 years of experience in bringing companies to the UAE market

available: 15 seats
Register for a consultation

Submit a request to participate in the interactive consultation

Take part in the unique SORP event and gain all the knowledge necessary to successfully start or scale your business on the basis of the largest “trade hub” in the region. SORP experts know how to achieve financial success in the UAE food industry sector!

Submit application

F&B industry business opportunities
under the UAE flag

You will be able to conduct consulting or business management activities with no negative tax consequences from a prestigious and stable jurisdiction.

UAE legislation provides unique possibilities and not just to minimize tax on international operations and enjoy free movement of capital without controls. You can also set up holdings and legal schemes to conceal beneficiaries - best accomplished by engaging specialist professional services.
Managing projects
and consultancy
Given the UAE’s optimal geographical location, highly developed infrastructure and modern trade and logistics solutions, you can easily establish export and re-export activities.

In addition to the completely tax-free nature of all international business transactions, the support of banks and the protection of foreign investors, you will have unique opportunities to enter and scale your trading business in international markets.
International tax planning
The UAE is the latest jurisdiction to optimize all international business with the ability to perform tax optimization and transfer pricing without the risks of deoffshorization.

A supportive taxation structure, free movement of capital, no inflation, guarantees of investment protection, as well as unique tools for maintaining the confidentiality of beneficiaries combine to establish the country’s prestige for international business.

By registering your business in the food industry in the UAE, you open up opportunities for doing business around the world from a prestigious tax-free jurisdiction, while getting the maximum profit. To minimize the risks of recognizing your international activity as illegitimate or suspended (“suspicious”), we recommend that you comply with all legislative requirements regarding confirmation of the Economic Substance (ESR) in the UAE.

Get a consultation

Integrated SORP solutions for international business from the UAE

International legal consulting
Consulting on aspects of international law of different countries and the possibility of applying the legislative instruments of the UAE on their territory
Maintenance of banking operations
Assistance in the fulfillment of all mandatory compliance requirements, confirmation of business transactions on the account, communication with the bank
Provision of nominee service
Confidentiality of data on beneficiaries, the possibility of using transfer pricing and settlements of related structures
International tax planning
Individual solutions to improve the efficiency of tax optimization schemes for international business based on UAE legislation and successful practice
Registration of tax residency
Obtaining a tax domicile certificate - protection against the exchange of tax information according to the CRS standard, the application of agreements on the avoidance of double taxation
Confirmation of economic substance
Proof of the fact of conducting business activities at the place of registration of your company, the presence of a command and control center, as well as the tax affiliation of the UAE operations
Get a consultation

UAE is the best platform for starting and
doing business in the F&B sector

In the last 5 years (from 2016 to 2021), the UAE food sector has shown significant growth. The quality of products and services is controlled at the state level, and local production is supported by the government, thanks to concessional financing and specially created funds. Thus, according to the rating of Business Monitor International, the UAE received an overall rating of 70.7 in terms of Risk / Reward (Risk / Reward) of the F&B sector, while the global average indicators barely reach 50 points.

Priority sector of the economy
The F&B sector positions itself among the most important strategic sectors of the UAE economy and
recognition of its potential for the growth of the economy of Dubai and the country as a whole and for
sustainable development is its inclusion in the 6 highest priority sectors of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030.
Favorable business environment
The United Arab Emirates has a favorable environment for food and beverage business (F&B), in the BMI Risk /
Reward index. The country is ranked #1 in the MENA region and #4 in the world for attractive investment
environment for catering business.
Demand for foods in the market
The UAE is not able to meet the in-country demand for agri-food products through domestic production, they
rely on imports: the country covers about 90% of its food needs with imports. The largest volume of imports in
value terms fall to poultry, rice, ready-to-eat foods, almonds and milk / cream
Demand for drinks in the market
The Middle East and Africa's (MEA) soft drink market is projected to grow by 4.9% to make up 9.8% of the total
global retail value by 2023, while hot drinks market is forecasted to grow by 5.7% over the same time period,
accounting for 11% of the total global retail value. Dubai serves as a re-export hub for hot drinks, such as tea
and coffee, thanks to the emirate’s ideal geographic position and trade connections.
Gulfood is the world's largest annual F&B event and the ideal platform for food and beverage vendors to show
their products, expand their global presence and access new business opportunities. More than 100,000
guests from 198 countries will visit Gulfood 2021 from February 21 to 25 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
Prospects for the development of the sector
Industry experts estimate that the UAE's Food and Beverage (F&B) segment will have $ 271 million in revenue
in 2021. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 13.2%, resulting in a
projected market volume of US$445m by 2025.

The United Arab Emirates is a country that has all the opportunities and creates comfortable conditions for opening and developing a business in the food industry. SORP experts will help you start your business in the UAE in this area, providing a full range of professional services for registration, licensing, certification and administration of your activities.

Years of SORP experience in solving business problems in the UAE

Expert status

We are able to make the legally correct decision on planning your company's strategy to protect against the exchange of tax information

15 years of successful work

We incorporate companies, oversee investment projects, open bank accounts and offer high-quality business support to accelerate your success in the UAE

Comprehensive service

We provide a wide range of valuable outsourced services and tools in the UAE - from advising on acquiring a business to accounting and drafting legal documents and contracts

Professional specialization

We have expertise across all market sectors and the tools to tackle complex issues. Our portfolio contains many success stories for obtaining special business licenses for our clients

SORP business center

5,000 square meters (54,000 sq. ft.) of modern office space for rent in a prestigious location in Dubai to accommodate staff, undergo bank checks and confirm economic presence in the UAE

Strategic partnerships

Procurement of state licenses and accreditation helped by long-standing relationships with relevant departments

International standards

Confidential legal solutions for tax optimization, beneficiary concealment and protection from automatic information exchange under CRS