The total number of operational restaurants and cafes in the emirate of Dubai reached 11,813 at the end of 2018, according to a report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai. This increase was driven by Dubai’s sophisticated infrastructure and its conducive environment for doing business.
The report showed that the number of new restaurants and cafes that opened in Dubai in 2018, reached 1,109, growing 9.7% from 1,011 in 2017. In 2018, the number of newly opened restaurants reached 641, while the number of cafes stood at 468, compared to 601 and 410 respectively in 2017.
“The ‘restaurants and cafes’ sector is one of the fastest growing in the region, especially in Dubai, as the emirate is home to people from across the world. In addition, the city has a flourishing tourism sector and modern lifestyle that supports restaurants and cafes of all kinds. More than 200 nationalities live and work in Dubai, which is today among the top destinations in the world. International and regional restaurants and coffee shops operating in Dubai attract all segments of the community including locals, residents and visitors,” said Abdulaziz bin Hathboor, Director of Customer Relation Division, BRL sector.
The report highlighted the distribution of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai’s main areas, with Bur Dubai accounting for the largest share (7,312 – 4,785 restaurants and 2,527 cafes) followed by Deira (4,457 – 2,780 restaurants and 1,677 cafés), and Hatta (44 – 29 restaurants and 15 cafés). The top ten sub-regions were: Burj Khalifa (590); Ayal Nasser (405); Al Marar (363); Jumeirah 1 (356); Al Karama (349); Al Barsha 1 (310); Hor Al Anz (256); Al Muraqabat (205); Naif (200); and Al Garhoud (169).
Bin Hathboor added that restaurants and cafes are an integral part of the social culture, and the sector is profitable despite their large numbers. Restaurants and cafes have a stable base of customers in Dubai as long as they offer a high standard of products and service.
There is a growing variety of foreign and local concepts in the sector. The unique restaurants and cafés that have opened in Dubai have raised the level of competition in the sector. This means restaurants and cafes must maintain the highest standards and be accepted by the public, citizens, residents and tourists.
The report also showed that the top ten nationalities investing in this sector was led by India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the United States of America.
The total number of workers in active restaurants and cafes in Dubai reached 151,127, with an average of 13 workers per restaurant/coffee shop.
Bin Hathboor added that Dubai is a dynamic food and beverage market in the region, and the emirate is an attractive destination internationally, generating significant revenue for independent restaurants and cafes, which are sometimes more successful in Dubai than in other parts of the world. This is mainly due to Dubai’s sustainable development and the growth opportunities it offers.