A total of 1,109 new restaurants and cafes opened in Dubai in 2018, up 9.7 per cent compared to 1,011 in 2017, according to official figures.
While 641 new restaurants were opened last year, Dubai saw 468 new cafes, according to a report issued by the Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.
That compares with 601 new restaurants and 410 cafes in 2017.
The total number of operational restaurants and cafes in the emirate of Dubai reached 11,813 at the end of 2018.
The rise in the number of F&B outlets was driven by “Dubai’s sophisticated infrastructure and its conducive environment for doing business”, a statement said.
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.
The report also highlighted the distribution of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai’s main areas, with Bur Dubai accounting for the largest share (4,785 restaurants and 2,527 cafés) followed by Deira (2,780 restaurants and 1,677 cafés), and Hatta (29 restaurants and 15 cafés).
The top 10 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).
The report also showed that the top 10 nationalities investing in the sector were India, Pakistan, Egypt, Britain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the US.
“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 Customer Relation Division, BRL sector.
“The city also has a flourishing tourism sector and modern lifestyle that supports restaurants and cafes of all kinds.”
According to Bin Hathboor, there is a growing variety of foreign and local concepts in the sector.
He added that the emirate’s dynamic food and beverage market generates “significant revenue” for independent restaurants and cafes, which are sometimes “more successful in Dubai than in other parts of the world”.
According to a report issued by Dubai Exports last year, the UAE’s F&B industry contributes 12 per cent to the manufacturing value added.
“The UAE’s domestic F&B consumer market is huge and is witnessing continuous expansion driven by a high purchasing power and an increasing population,” the report stated.
The UAE ranks first in the region and fourth globally in F&B investment environment attractiveness, according to the BMI Risk/Reward Index.
The size of the market was estimated at Dhs131bn for food and Dhs11bn for beverages in 2017, and by 2021, while the beverages market is anticipated to rise to Dhs14bn, the food market size is expected to stay the same.