New business: Can I run a home bakery in the UAE without a licence?

Here’s how home bakers can legitimize their business.


Ashish Mehta

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Reuters (image used for illustrative purposes only)
Reuters (image used for illustrative purposes only)

Published: Sun 13 Feb 2022, 12:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Feb 2022, 10:54 PM

Question: I am a homemaker residing in Dubai. I am very good at making cakes and sweets. I see a lot of people selling such stuff via social media. Can I do the same? I don’t want to break any local laws; is there a procedure to do this legally?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are residing in the emirate of Dubai under the sponsorship of your husband. As you intend to prepare confectionery items at home and sell the same through social media, the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 Concerning the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on Employment Relations’) are applicable.

To further enhance ease of doing business in Dubai and the UAE, the government continues to regularly introduce new measures to promote UAE as a most flexible and attractive destination for investments, conducting business and creating friendly working environment.

It should be noted that in the UAE, an individual may not carry out any economic activities without a licence issued by relevant department of the particular emirate or any free zone authority. In the emirate of Dubai, the license to conduct business are issued by Dubai Economy and Tourism and the free zone authorities.

As you intend to sell confectionery items in the UAE particularly in emirate of Dubai through social media it is recommended that you approach the Dubai Economy and Tourism or any one of the free zone authorities in the emirate of Dubai to set up a business related to selling of confectionery through social media.

Alternatively, you may also obtain a freelance permit issued by Ministry of Human Resources & Emritisation (the ‘MOHRE’) or relevant free zone authorities in the emirate of Dubai. Article 8 of the Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022 on Employment Relations, states that, “1. Freelance Work is an independent and flexible working system through which the natural person generates a direct income, by providing his services for a specific period of time or by performing a particular task or rendering a specific service, whether to individuals or Establishments, and the natural person shall not in any case be employed by such individuals or Establishments.

2. The Cabinet shall, upon the proposal of the Minister, issue the necessary decisions specifying the procedures, controls and mechanisms for registering freelancers in the Ministry's systems and obtaining, renewing and cancelling the Work Permit, in order to promote the flexibility and requirements of the labor market."

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you may contact the MOHRE and take further advice from it related to obtaining a freelance permit. You may also contact designated free zone authorities in the emirate of Dubai, which grant freelance permit to individuals.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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