How to get a meat and poultry license in Dubai, UAE


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What images do you conjure when thinking of business in Dubai? Imposing skylines? Sharp suits? Sky-high offices? If so, you’re not alone.

But Dubai is much more than this. There is a vast world of enterprise and commerce outside the walls of its impressive offices. Meat and poultry trading, in particular, is a huge market in this part of the world. And as local demand far outstrips supply, there’s plenty of room for budding entrepreneurs to enter the space.

What’s more, with minimal barriers to entry, it is likely easier to get up and running out here than in many other countries. With the help of a local company setup expert, starting a meat and poultry business in Dubai can be quick and easy.

What are the benefits of starting a meat and poultry business?

Let’s start with the benefits of starting any business in Dubai. Straight away, you have to consider the UAE’s tax rate, which remains 0% on corporate and personal income.

Then there’s the emirate’s easy incorporation process, minimal bureaucracy, and incredibly welcoming business environment.

Now for the specific benefits of meat and poultry trading. As I’ve already touched upon, there is great demand for meat and poultry in this part of the world. On top of this, there is a time-tested framework of support to help such businesses thrive.

Factory space and agricultural land are also more affordable in the UAE than elsewhere, meaning startup costs can be relatively low.

What are the steps to get a meat and poultry license?

There are a couple of simple steps to take before applying for your meat and poultry license. First, you’ll need to outline your business activities. This should be fairly straightforward when starting a meat and poultry trading business, but if you intend to offer any other services, you must stipulate them at this stage.

Next, you’ll need to choose a company name. Be aware that you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions. You should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations, and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting.

With these decisions made, it’s time for one of the most critical early steps in starting a meat and poultry business – selecting a plot or farm. If you plan on raising and processing your own meat, you will need to find adequate space and facilities.

Alternatively, if you plan to buy ready meat products to trade, you’ll need to find a reputable and reliable supplier.

When starting up with your own plot, the premises will need to be inspected by the local municipality to be approved for farming. Once approved, you can begin kitting out your plot with the necessary equipment. Before trading, your finished plot will once again require inspection. This time, the local municipality official will check that all facilities are in order and up to the Environmental Department’s standard.

With these steps taken care of, you can now apply for your meat and poultry license. You can make this application yourself directly to the Department of Economic Development (DED) or equivalent municipality if you wish to set up elsewhere in the emirates. However, to ensure a smooth process it is advisable to apply with the help of an expert, such as Set Hub.

If you intend to run a poultry farm, you are also required to appoint a Health Authority qualified veterinary doctor as a condition of your license.

What documents are required to start a meat and poultry business in Dubai, UAE?

In most cases, we’ll usually ask you to provide:

  • A completed application form.
  • Articles of incorporation (if necessary).
  • Passport copies for all shareholders.
  • Brief descriptions of intended business activities.

Do I require a visa to run a meat and poultry trading business in Dubai?

Yes, you do. As well as applying for your visa, you can also sponsor visas for company employees, family, and domestic staff such as housekeepers or drivers.

The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company, your chosen setup and, for dependant visas, your personal earnings.

In all cases, the visa application process follows the same five steps:

  • Apply for an entry permit.
  • Status adjustment.
  • Medical and fitness test.
  • Emirates ID registration.
  • Visa stamping.


You’ll need a bank account to trade out here too. There are various local and international banks to choose from. However, opening an account can be a complicated process for overseas entrepreneurs.

Before making your application, you should first familiarise yourself with several financial institutions to find one that is best suited to your business needs and most likely to offer you corporate banking services. Again, Set Hub can help you with this process.

How much does a meat and poultry license cost?

A meat and poultry trading license costs between AED 10,000 and AED 12,000, depending on several factors.

As well as your license, you’ll also need to account for the cost of your plot, equipment, and any additional approvals that may be required.

For a full breakdown of all costs involved, get in touch with Set Hub.

Are you ready to start your meat and poultry trading business in Dubai?

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a meat and poultry trading business in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complex.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts, and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.