How to Open a Supermarket in Dubai

Virtual or Real?

The pandemic could keep consumers from coming out of their houses worldwide but not their money from their wallets. Thanks to e-commerce! But do you really think that the ebb and flow of pandemic waves will forever swallow up the brick-and-mortar stores? I think only when the hell freezes over. If this is going to happen, why is Grandiose Supermarket launching outlets one after another all across the UAE, despite the recent surge in e-commerce? Yes, the UAE saw a huge jump in online shops last year – reason we all know. The coronavirus pandemic has surely changed our buying habits, but not for “forever”. Most people had to turn to online shopping in the wake of COVID-19, but they still are missing that touch of things before paying for them. After all, how long could we stop the connoisseur of goods living inside us from coming out to scrutinise the groceries up to the hilt before purchasing them! The trip to the digital space is almost over, so buckle up to land back in the real world and stand in long queues at the cashier counters in your favourite store.

Grocery store in Dubai, UAE?

If not for supermarkets and hypermarkets, Dubai won’t look like Dubai! A superb superstore or hyperstore like Baqer Mohebi in the vicinity is the top priority of expats in the UAE when they are on a hunt for their accommodation, not just to hop on to the store to meet their daily needs but also to bulk buy chocolates and its likes at discounted prices for their loved ones when they visit their home country. Therefore, if you are blowing hot and cold about opening a baqala or a grocery store in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or any other emirate of the UAE. You’re not going to regret it, for sure! It’s boom time for discount stores in the land of luxury. EXPO 2020 is in its full swing, travel restrictions are lifted and people are no longer confined to their homes. Maybe we have become used to these coming and going of virus variants and learned to toe the line required to breathe in the air of new normal (with a mask, though!).

Supermarket in Dubai, UAE?

When you are planning to do business in Dubai, one of the world’s top expat-friendly hubs, you cannot not get dazzled by the charm of the grocery store nearby. Whether online, offline, or hybrid, getting into a grocery business in Dubai is a smart idea as it offers a highly liberal and striking operating environment in this Middle East region. You would want to open your superstore in an area that doesn’t have any. You already noticed a possibility of business. Great, but the devil is in the details. A supermarket or hypermarket is a large-scale business and can cost you the earth if you are not cognizant of all the requirements and criteria to set up the business in Dubai. You will need to have adequate funding to get your supermarket up and running. You may also get in touch with a business setup consultant in Dubai to make things easy-breezy for yourself. They are experts in the field and know what you don’t for sure. Moreover, business formation overseas is not a piece of cake. You have to jump through many hoops to put your superstore business idea into practice. Plus, you have to get yourself acquainted with tons of meaningful information. To begin with, you should have at least AED 200,000 if you are looking to establish a standard grocery store either in Sharjah or Dubai. In view of investment in connection with store equipment, point-of-sale systems, initial inventory, pre-opening expenses, including rent and insurance, opening advertising, security deposits and working capital, you can in a wink outstrip $500,000. And JSYK the profitability is around 3% and 5% of the amount invested in the business. To interpret the skeletal structure that holds every supermarket business together while achieving its goals, you might want to check out this page.

Steps for setting up a supermarket

First & foremost

It all begins with a watertight business plan featuring all the relevant questions such as: What are the associated costs? How much capital do you wish to invest in setting up a supermarket in your preferred area (free zone or mainland)? What will be the location? How much space would you want to rent? What are your expectations in terms of profits? How many employees do you need in total to run the supermarket? What are the legal formalities? What licences and permits are mandatory to run the business legally in the UAE? And so on… Once your business blueprint is ready, find answers as soon as possible. Either take help from Google to know your business or simply approach a prestigious Dubai-based business set-up company such as Adam Global. I know that might sound like an additional cost to an already expensive affair, but it’s worth hanging the cost if you want things hassle-free. Because there is so much more to incorporating a business than just registering it with the state. Thorough market research, stockpiling comprehensive knowledge about the chosen region, testing the feasibility of your business idea, determination of promotional activities to lure investors and customers alike, etc. Ahead we will look at the essential steps that will take you closer to your dream bit by bit!

Further steps

After the planning and research part is done, follow the below-mentioned steps to bring the dream of your own grocery or superstore in Dubai to reality.

  • Name your brand right: Choosing the right name for your business is a simple-looking, difficult task. This name is going to stay forever, so pick it wisely. Our business naming guide might help you.
  • Transform the store into a legal entity: Deciding the type of legal structure for your business is one of the most crucial decisions. A business in Dubai can be a limited liability company (LLC), a sole establishment, a partnership, a joint venture, a public joint-stock company (PJSC), a private joint-stock company, a branch office or a representative office, an FZCO, an FZLLC, and a few others. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) has become the most popular choice amongst entrepreneurs, especially since 100% ownership of the mainland company has been permitted by the UAE government.
  • Register the grocery store for taxes: Registration of your supermarket business for a range of state and federal taxes before you can open for business is a must.
  • Open a corporate bank account & acquire a business credit card: While opening a current account sets your personal assets apart from your business’ assets (which is imperative for personal asset protection) and makes accounting and tax filing as easy as pie, having a business credit card enables you to distinguish between personal and business expenses by putting your business’ expenses all in one place. Not only that, but it also creates your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment in the later phases.
  • Have accounting for your grocery store in place: Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to keeping track of the financial performance of your business. With accurate and detailed accounts, your annual tax filing will be a no sweat.
  • Secure the mandatory permits & licenses required to operate in the UAE: You are bound to obtain necessary permits not only to remain compliant with the law, but also to steer clear of hefty fines. Any kind of ignorance towards law can result in your business shut down.
  • Insure the grocery store with a good insurance company: Mishaps are inevitable, but you can be prepared for them beforehand. Business insurance is just what the doctor ordered if you need your mental peace. And you will also feel like a million dollars, as business insurance safeguards your company’s financial health in the event of any unforeseen incident with a covered loss. There are various types of insurance policies structured keeping different forms of businesses with different risks in view. In case you’re not able to decide on which insurance plan will squarely into your business needs and size, you may opt for General Liability Insurance at the initial stage. This insurance type protects your LLC from liability lawsuits over third-party injuries, third-party property damage, or advertising injuries like defamation or copyright infringement.
  • Outline your grocery store brand: Now it’s time to give meaning to your supermarket by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds. For instance, you may project your brand as “a provider of low-cost, high-quality food products or unique options. It’s your call! The goal is to lure and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by providing a commodity that is always aligned with what the brand declares. Supermarkets or grocery stores suffice a wide spectrum of food items, household goods, medicinal products, and a whole nine yards to local areas. Although most grocery stores espouse similar business models and product ranges, specialty retailers can distinguish their stores through target marketing and unique service offerings. An effective marketing plan for your grocery store can render you the guidance to fill a remunerative niche in the local grocery industry. The grand opening promotion should be far-flung through marketing in apartments, college campuses and stores in the vicinity and of course on social media. Later on, word-of-mouth advertisement would do. Case in point: I have heard from numerous expatriates that make your way to Day to Day, Baqer Mohebi and Viva if you want to buy an affordable/cheaper range of products in Dubai.
  • Curate a business website: Next step is to give away necessary information about your newbie supermarket or grocery business online through a mobile-friendly website and App. Not only it will help you find customers and suppliers/business clients, but also employees to recruit. Perk? You’ll gain credibility as well!
  • Launch a phone system for your grocery store business: Get in touch with a phone company to set up a landline/communication system for your supermarket/grocery business. If you can’t wait for the phone company, you may consider configuring a multi-line virtual phone system for your business. The joy of joys is all you need is an internet connection.
  • Purchase all equipment & recruit quality employees: You are almost there! The last rung in the ladder is – to buy the equipment like shopping trolleys and inventory and start hiring the workers that check all the boxes.

Meet your business set-up specialist

Pandemic or not, supermarkets will always remain in demand. They are among the few businesses that thrive even in economic downturns and disruption, as evidenced during the pandemic. They say starting a supermarket or grocery in Dubai, UAE business is a cakewalk. All you’ll require is an appropriate site, a commercial licence and a supplier network. But if you ask me, it’s easier said than done. Opening and running a supermarket is no picnic! Just like running a supermarket is complex, obtaining a license to do so is anything but easy and needs so much paperwork, which might not be your cup of tea. Hire the experts and sit back. With the right assistance, you could be ready to go in a matter of days. If you are seeking professional helpin setting up a supermarket in Dubai, UAE? Drop by… where else? Adam Global, Dubai, of course! Home to some of the best business formation advisors in Dubai, Adam Global has successfully incorporated numerous businesses in various sectors – from virtual companies to digital marketing companies to beauty salons to real estate companies to e-commerce companies to supermarkets and grocery stores in the UAE.

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