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!

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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

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

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

Free movement of capital

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

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

F&B industry opportunities under the UAE flag


Managing projects
and consultancy

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.


and re-exporting

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.

Integrated SORP solutions for international business from the UAE

  • International
    legal consulting

    Consulting on international law of other countries and the possibility of applying the UAE’s beneficial legislative mechanisms in those jurisdictions.

  • Maintenance of
    banking operations

    Assistance in the fulfillment of all mandatory compliance requirements, confirmation of transactions on the account, communication with the bank.

  • Provision of nominee

    Confidentiality of information about beneficiaries, the possibility of using transfer pricing and settlements with related business structures.

  • International tax

    Individual solutions to improve the efficiency of tax optimization schemes for international business based on UAE legislation and much successful experience.

  • Registration of tax

    Obtaining a tax domicile certificate that provides protection against the exchange of tax information under CRS provisions, the application of agreements on the avoidance of double taxation

  • Confirmation of
    economic substance

    Proof that business operations are conducted from the incorporation address of your company, the presence of a command and control center there, as well as the tax affiliation of the UAE operations

The UAE is the best platform for setting up and doing business in the F&B sector

In the last 5 years (from 2016 to 2021), the UAE food sector has grown significantly. The quality of products and services is controlled at the state level, and local manufacturing is supported by the government through concessional financing and specially created funds. As a result, Business Monitor International rated the UAE an overall 70.7 in Risk/Reward terms in the F&B sector, while the global average indicator barely reaches 50 points.
  • A priority sector of the economy

    Included in the 6 highest priority sectors of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, the F&B sector is positioned among the most important strategic elements of the UAE economy. That inclusion is recognition of its potential for growth in Dubai and the country as a whole – genuine sustainable development.

  • Favorable business environment

    The United Arab Emirates provides unique opportunities for doing business in the food and beverage (F&B) business. Iin the BMI Risk/Reward index the country is ranked #1 in the MENA region and #4 in the world for its attractive investment environment for catering businesses.

  • Import dependency

    ОАЭ не в состоянии покрыть спрос на агропродовольственные товары за счет внутреннего производства, они полагаются на импорт: страна покрывает около 90% своих потребностей в продовольствии. Наибольший объем импорта в стоимостном выражении приходится на птицу, рис, готовые к употреблению продукты, миндаль и молоко/сливки

  • Export-re-export hub

    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. The hot drinks market is forecast 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 Emirates’ ideal geographic position and trade connections.

  • Gulfood-2021

    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 F&B segment will reach US$ 271 million in revenues in 2021. Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 13.2%, resulting in a projected market volume of $445m by 2025.

SORP has 15 years’ experience of solving business problems in the UAE

Comprehensive services

SORP offers comprehensive support for acquired companies and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining Bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. That is why we treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities.

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients acquire, build and develop businesses in the UAE

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

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