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Company Set up in Food & Beverage Sector in the UAE

Over the past few years, the love and craze for food have been increased to a significant extent on the global front. The Food and Beverage Market has seen tremendous growth over the past few years and is also expected to grow to a great extent. On a global front, the retail sales for clothes, white goods, footwear have been declining and is getting replaced by the Food and Beverage industry. When it comes to business incorporation, the United Arab Emirates grabs first place in the minds of the investors and business owners. This guide is for passionate individuals who hold the mindset of dreaming big and is looking forward to investing or start a business in the UAE, in the F&B industry. If you own the same zeal, then continue to the next paragraph.

Growth in per capita incomes and population in the UAE has led to sales growth for food and beverage products. While several categories such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, coffee have experienced historical sales growth, some categories with high potential could include Halal meat, Green tea, and fresh coffee. The niche organic food market has also experienced growth and could be a potential business opportunity. Consumers, in general, seem to be showing a preference for certified branded goods which highlight the need for business to certify their products and focus on branding their goods for local sale and export/re-export.

Food & Beverage Sector in the UAE

Due to the lack of agriculture in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), food imports are significant, forming 70 per cent of the all food requirements. Due to extensive trade liberalisation, a high percentage of imported products (approximately 50 per cent) are further re-exported to GCC countries, former Soviet states, the Indian subcontinent and Africa.

Food and agriculture exports from Australia continues to be the most important export component of trade and investment with the Middle East and North Africa region at A$3.9 billion annually. The 130 passenger flights per week between Australia and Dubai further bolster the food and agriculture export base, with fresh horticulture, dairy and meat occupying much of the freight on flights.

It is estimated that by 2020 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will spend US$16.7 billion on food products (Source: Business Monitor International, UAE Food and Drink Report Q1 2017). Rising incomes coupled with a high dependence on imports present opportunities for Australian food and beverage exporters, particularly in the high-value processed foods sector as well as a whole, organic and functional food and beverage items. Food sales are projected to maintain a solid 7.1 percent annual average growth rate during 2017-2020, thanks to increasing health awareness, which will prompt customers to consume more high-value food items (Source: Business Monitor International, UAE Food & Drink Report Q1 2017). Modern retail and hypermarket, premium food services, hospitality, and manufacturing are just some of the areas that have seen significant growth in investment.

Food Business Options in Dubai

Some of the highly availed business options are highlighted below:

  • Restaurants, Hotels and Café
  • Canteen in schools and hospitals
  • Bakeries
  • Butcheries
  • Food Truck
  • Food Catering Units
  • Food Factories and Warehouses
  • Food Packing Material Manufacturers and Suppliers

As you are now aware of the different business options available for you, let’s take a step ahead and understand how an SME, National and an International company contributes to the complete ecosystem of F&B industry.

Be it a small, medium or large-sized food business; it has got a respective role to play at every point. One of the core business options that most business owners prefer is to start a restaurant in Dubai.  Alternatively, if you want to deal with packaged foods, you need to get them registered. If you too hold the same idea, have a look at the process penned below.

Competitive environment

Food suppliers from all over the world vigorously compete for market share. European Union (EU), United States (US) and Asian products pose the greatest competition to Australian products, as lower freight rates work in favor of these suppliers. It is acknowledged that Australia can compete on quality, but higher freight costs and the strong dollar can add to the price, making products less competitive.

Most items are sourced locally from exclusive agents and major supermarket chains import some of their products direct from overseas suppliers.

The US dominates the high-quality snack market and EU companies, under license from American manufacturers, dominate the cereals market.

Australia is one of the major suppliers of beef and lamb with strong competition from US, Brazil, China, New Zealand, and the Indian subcontinent. France, Australia, UK, and Holland dominate the market for cheese.

Australia is still looked upon as a source for premium, whole, and organic food with product traceability and clean label ingredients at the forefront.

How can we help?

Alya Auditors is a leading DMCC registered audit firm with a strong presence in the local business community and is well known for its quality of service delivery. Alya Auditors serves businesses in the UAE with their experience in auditing, accounting, and VAT in the UAE. We have mainly developed our business through small and medium-sized companies and we work closely with key authorities across all jurisdictions in UAE including DMCC.

Our team of professional auditors works closely with clients to take care of financial statements and to make sure all the audit-related requirements are met proficiently.

You can consult with one of our team members for a quick consultation related to audit or any other business-related matters.

Apart from the above services we are also helping the companies and businesses in the UAE to file their ESR notification.

Learn more about Alya Auditors and its offerings

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