Dubai's restaurant numbers continue to grow
The total number of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai reached 11,813 at the end of 2018.
Foodies across Dubai will have no shortage of dining options to pick from anytime soon, as the emirate witnessed a 9.7 per cent increase in the number of restaurants and cafes in 2018.
According to a report issued by the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, the total number of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai reached 11,813 at the end of 2018. In addition, the report also revealed that the number of new restaurants and cafes that opened in Dubai in 2018 reached 1,109, compared to the 1,011 which opened in 2017. The number of newly opened restaurants reached 641 in 2018, compared to 601 in 2017; while the number of cafes stood at 468, compared to the 410 that opened in 2017.
Experts say that the increase in new restaurant openings is driven by a growing population, state of the art infrastructure, and the ease of doing business in the city.
"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," said Abdulaziz bin Hathboor, director of the Customer Relation Division, BRL sector. "In addition, the city has a flourishing tourism sector, as well as 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 residents and visitors."
Similarly, Artem Login, founder and managing director of L'ETO Caffe, said that he considers the population of the UAE to be a "foodie population", and that the F&B sector will only continue to grow in the coming years.
"Dubai provides great facilities, amazing locations, and various premises for F&B businesses. There are not many Municipality restrictions, which makes it easier for the businesses to open. In addition, there is always this demand by the customers to explore new concepts, which is why more and more restaurants get established. In my opinion, the UAE's F&B sector will continue growing in the upcoming years; however, with increasing competition, we will notice a drop in prices," he said.
Bin Hathboor added that restaurants and cafes are an integral part of the UAE's social culture, and that 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, he noted. Bin Hathboor also pointed out that Dubai is a dynamic food and beverage market in the region, and that 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.
The report by the DED also highlighted the distribution of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai's main areas, with Bur Dubai accounting for the largest share with 7,312, followed by Deira with 4,457. The report also showed that the top 10 nationalities investing in this sector were led by India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the US. 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.