To no one’s surprise, kiosks are back and better than ever!

Nothing says “profits” quite like carts and kiosks, and we couldn’t be more excited to see this trend gaining popularity left and right. Kiosks and their singular architecture deck up Dubai’s animated street life a little more, and it’s easy to fall for the idea of installing one for businesses, especially those in the retail, telecom, eCommerce and food sectors. Allow us to answer all the questions that might crop up in your head before installing yours in the lively spots of Dubai.

What is a kiosk?

You might have spotted those smallish Etisalat and dU kiosks, manned by one or two individuals striving to lure new customers using some kind of promotions, in shopping malls, supermarkets, metro stations, and the busy streets of Dubai. These small, stand-alone retailing merchandising units installed temporarily in high-traffic areas, usually for marketing purposes, are called kiosks. These structures can be electronic as well, just like pay phone booths and vending and ATM machines. Simply put, kiosks are small, open-front setups typically found in malls, public parks, popular souqs, and beach areas.

Today, kiosks are more than a low-cost alternative to market or sell items or services. These small retailing merchandising units can be an incredible way for aspiring entrepreneurs to establish their presence in the UAE market without spending a fortune.

Types of kiosk businesses in Dubai

In Dubai, a kiosk can be of several types, depending on the purpose behind bringing them into existence. From pastries & cakes, snacks & quick bites, apparel, mobile phones & their accessories, newspapers, handbags, hats & sunglasses, tickets and household supplies to whatsit doohickey, the concept of a kiosk fits a wide range of supplies/services in Dubai. Below-mentioned is the list of some of the popular mall kiosk ideas in Dubai.

  • Snack foods & beverages kiosks (or edible products stalls)
  • Coffee & tea kiosk
  • Electronic kiosk (consumer electronics items and other related accessories such as selfie sticks, phone covers, SIM cards, and the whole nine yards
  • Ice cream parlours (Thanks to Dubai’s around-the-year hot weather!)
  • Popcorn kiosk
  • Clothing stall
  • Souvenir & gifts kiosk
  • Magazine, novels, books and newspaper kiosk
  • Cosmetic and artificial jewellery kiosks
  • Perfume kiosks

Why set up a Kiosk in Dubai?

You spend money right, left, and center to take your small business to the next level, and what better way to do so than establishing a kiosk or stall in the emirate’s over-crowded malls, shopping centers, beaches or similar areas? Once regarded as a low-end market thing, these small and portable shopfront alternatives are now frequently seen in upscale markets as well. Most businesses these days choose to start their entrepreneurial journey from these easy-to-setup and fit-out installations as they ask for humble maintenance, are highly accessible to a much-targeted buying audience and are less costly than opening up a full-fledged retail store. The process of getting a kiosk licence to sell the desired products or services through a kiosk in Dubai is also pretty simple. What’s more, opening a kiosk business in Dubai is a great and affordable idea for those small entrepreneurs who don’t have an adequate budget to buy or lease commercial spaces for business formation in Dubai. Furthermore, mall kiosks and carts can serve as remarkable testbeds for new product launches and for creating awareness amongst shoppers about the fresh offerings. If you are already a well-established company in Dubai, then your kiosks set up in high-traffic areas can provide a steady stream of revenue. The possibilities are endless with a kiosk business in Dubai, and if those big-box businesses and well-established brands like Turkish Icecream, Baskin-Robbins, Noon, etc. are intimidating you, then let me remind you that the business capital of the UAE keeps SMEs on a pedestal.

Things to consider while opening a kiosk in Dubai

  • Products: Shortlist the products that are in demand. Since you have the freedom to choose the products you are going to sell, you should make a business plan about what products suit you best. The type of product you choose will either bring you loss or profits. Some products like perfumes and souvenirs are in huge demand in the Dubai malls.
  • Location: Your offerings must be appropriate for where your kiosk is placed. For instance, tourist-focused malls can be ideal for souvenir kiosks and kids-oriented malls for kiosks packed with toys, sports gears, and games.
  • Design: The layout and appearance of the kiosk play an important role in grabbing the eyeballs of the target customers
  • Industry: The idea of a kiosk installation must squarely fit into the type of business you are conducting. For instance, you may sell electronics, perfumes, travel solutions, toys, cosmetics, drinks, jewellery, home decor items, indoor plants, hair-cutting services, mobile repair services, etc. sitting in a kiosk at a shopping mall but not financial services, manpower supply services, furniture, alcohol, etc. Although, you may promote any kind of business through kiosks.
  • Manpower: The kiosk doesn’t need a village to operate. Just one or two chipper individuals skilled in salesmanship are enough to service the customers. 
  • Display: Presentation of merchandise in mall kiosks requires mindful consideration of every little (and mall) detail. Clutter-free, tidy, beautifully color-coordinated and fully-stocked kiosks are prone to draw customers. Other smart additions that can increase your kiosk’s footprints can be customised fixtures that offer storage and display space, compartmentalised merchandise, easy-to-comprehend signage & graphics and presentable staff (wink!).
  • Promotion: If you’re planning your first kiosk, your promotional strategies must be solid. Words & terms like “Free Samples”, “Flat 50% off”, “Up to 90% off” and “Buy one, get two/three free” can work like a charm if you are introducing your product for the first time in the market via kiosk. I still remember the overly crowded kiosk giving away free yoga mats for just downloading their app at Sharaf DG metro station.
  • Additional costs: There are so many costs that we usually don’t pay heed to. For instance, staff uniform costs (optional). You might also want to consider transportation and storage charges before renting out a space for your kiosk setup.
  • Demo items: What works well, sells well!Giving a demonstration of your products is the best way to attract passers-by. My recent purchase was from a kiosk installed at the Mall of Dubai. It was a tiny, robust steam iron and I right away bought it for AED300 because the demo was impressive.

 How to get a kiosk licence in Dubai

You can obtain a kiosk licence in Dubai in either of two ways – by engaging one of the best business setup advisors in Dubai or by doing it all by yourself. No matter, what route you take to reach your destination, knowing the process of applying for the kiosk licence is helpful. Here’re the common steps that you have to follow to start a business in Dubai with a relevant kiosk business licence.

Step1: Choose between a free zone and mainland jurisdiction for your kiosk business registration

Step2: Find a suitable mall for kiosk/stall installation in the handpicked jurisdiction and coordinate with the mall management to see the available space and get a quote.

Step3: Choose a trade name that is available and in line with the UAE standards as well as trade name guidelines

Step4: Obtain initial approval from the authority in charge of the selected jurisdiction in Dubai

Step5: Gather all the relevant documents, prepare them as required and submit them along with your Dubai kiosk license application to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for final approval. Some of the documents are listed below: 

  • Passport copy of the applicant
  • Emirates ID copy (applicable to UAE residents)
  • Tenancy contract for the kiosk space
  • Local sponsor’s passport (only if applicable)
  • Duly completed application form with the registration from the DED 
  • Memorandum of association (MoA)

Step6: Once the licence is ready, pay fees and collect your Dubai kiosk licence to proceed with post-business setup tasks such as recruiting quality staff, buying small business insurance, purchasing a payment gateway, and opening a corporate account with a UAE bank, amongst others.

Step7: File your visa application and alongside, start hiring foreign employees and applying for employment visas as well according to your requirement. After you have your visa and residential property to stay in Dubai, you may also apply for visas for your family members and domestic help.

Cost of kiosk licence in Dubai

The annual fee for a Dubai-based kiosk/counter commercial permit is AED 5,060. However, the overall cost of obtaining a kiosk licence/permit from DED and incorporating a small business in Dubai with it can vary depending on a variety of factors such as additional approvals, space rental, type of products/services, type of jurisdiction, and the number of visa applications, to name a few. You must be ready to cough up at least AED 22,000. Get exact quotes from Adam Global Dubai business setup advisors.

Meet your kiosk business formation specialists in Dubai

It’s amazing to know that you are wondering to establish your presence in Dubai with a kiosk business licence, and we, at Adam Global, are happy to help you in your endeavours. Feel free to meet our qualified small business setup consultants in Dubai to know how they can help you in launching your first kiosk in Dubai and how you can benefit from our tailor-made business formation packages today and tomorrow. You don’t have to pay to get to know about us and share your business requirements with our business setup expert.

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