How to Start Fresh Meat Products Trading in Dubai with Meydan Free Zone?

Anisha Sagar

Anisha Sagar

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The food industry in Dubai is renowned for its vibrancy and diversity. Sustainability and ethical production of food items, including meat, are becoming increasingly important in the Emirate. Moreover, discerning consumers demand high-quality, responsibly sourced meat. Dubai is, therefore, an ideal market for trading meat and meat products. You can engage in the Wholesale of meat and meat products (4630.05), retail sale of meat and meat products, including poultry (4721.03), fresh, chilled & frozen meat Trading (4721.70), and meat seller (4781.97) business with your trade license from Meydan Free Zone.

4630.05 Wholesale of Meat and Meat Products

Apply for a business license under Wholesale of Food & Beverages and choose business activity Wholesale of Meat and Meat Products with activity code 4630.05.

Wholesale of meat and meat products in Dubai refers to the buying, selling, and distributing of meat and related products in large quantities. You can trade various types of meat, such as beef, poultry, lamb, and mutton, along with processed meat products like sausages, bacon, ham, and deli meats. As wholesalers in this industry, you can procure meat directly from producers, slaughterhouses, or authorized suppliers in bulk quantities. You can then store, package, and distribute the meat to retailers, restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and other food service establishments.

Inclusions

Your license also covers the wholesale trade of meat and meat products, allowing you to deal with beef, chicken, and mutton. Further, with your Wholesale of Food & Beverages license from Meydan Free Zone, you can engage in the wholesale trade of a wide range of products in large quantities. For example, this license allows you to wholesale trade various fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. In addition, you are permitted to sell edible oils and fats such as butter, lard, and olive oil. 

You can engage in the wholesale trade of fishery products, chocolate, and sugar confectionery items like candy, cakes, and ice cream. Additionally, you can wholesale trade bakery products like bread, pastries, and cakes. Furthermore, the license permits you to engage in the wholesale trade of beverages such as soda, juice, energy drinks, coffee, tea, cocoa, and various spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper. With this trade license, you can purchase wine in bulk and bottle it without altering its taste or quality. Additionally, you can offer wholesale feed for pet animals, including pet food for dogs, cats, and birds.

Exclusions

This activity explicitly prohibits the production of bakery products through on-site baking. It strictly disallows manufacturing bread and rolls, fresh pastry, cakes, pies, tarts, rusks, biscuits, and other “dry” bakery products, as well as preserved pastry goods, cakes, snack products (such as cookies, crackers, and pretzels), both sweet and savory, and the creation of tortillas or frozen bakery items, such as pancakes, waffles, and rolls.

4721.03 Retail sale of Meat and Meat Products (including poultry)

Apply for a business license under Retail sale of food in specialized stores and choose business activity Meat and Meat Products (including poultry) with activity code 4721.03.

Retail sale of meat and meat products refers to the selling of fresh or processed meat products directly to consumers. It involves the operation of retail establishments such as butcher shops, meat markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, and specialized meat retail outlets. You can source meat products from wholesalers or directly from meat processing facilities. You can include various types of meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meats, as well as processed meat products like sausages, bacon, ham, deli meats, and pre-packaged cuts.

Inclusions

The Retail sale of meat and meat products license from Meydan Free Zone allows you to retail a wide range of food products. Your license covers the retail sale of fresh or preserved fruit and vegetables, dairy products and eggs, meat and meat products (including poultry), fish, other seafood, bakery products, sugar confectionery, and other food products. With this license, you can also sell fresh fruits and vegetables to customers. You can choose both locally sourced fruits and vegetables as well as imported ones.

Exclusions

The scope of your trade license or business activity is limited to the retail aspect of meat and meat products. With your license, you cannot perform other activities, such as manufacturing bakery products.

4721.70 Fresh, Chilled & Frozen Meat Trading

Apply for a business license under Retail sale of food in specialized stores and choose business activity Fresh, Chilled & Frozen Meat Trading with activity code 4721.70 

With the Fresh, Chilled & Frozen Meat Trading license issued by Meydan Free Zone, you can resale fresh, chilled, or frozen beef and mutton. This license covers organic and non-organic meat varieties as long as no converting processes have been carried out. As a licensee, you are permitted to carry out activities such as mincing, chopping, and preparing the meat for cooking purposes.

Inclusions

Fresh, Chilled & Frozen Meat Trading licenses from Meydan Free Zone allow you to offer a variety of food items. Retail sales of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and eggs, meat, fish, and other seafood, bakery products, sugar confectionery, and other food products are allowed under your license. You can choose both locally sourced fruits and vegetables as well as imported ones.

Exclusions

With your Fresh, Chilled & Frozen Meat Trading license, you cannot perform other activities, such as manufacturing bakery products.

4781.97 Meat Seller  

Apply for a business license under retail sale via stalls and markets of food & beverages and choose business activity 4781.97 Meat Seller with activity code 4781.97.

Meat Seller trading license includes small shops and sellers selling meats and chickens directly to consumers in the public markets; the service provided includes cutting and preparing meats for cooking. You must have the necessary facilities, equipment, and sufficient space based on the activity.

Inclusions

With your trade license, you can engage in the retail selling of various products, including food, beverages, and tobacco, through stalls or markets. This means you can set up stalls or kiosks in designated marketplaces or events to offer these items directly to consumers.

Exclusions

With your license, you cannot perform retail sales of prepared food for immediate consumption and activities of mobile food vendors.

Third-Party Approval – Pre-License

When applying for your business license, you must obtain approval from the Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department before you can trade meat and meat products.

It is necessary to obtain additional approval from the Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department for wholesale meat and meat products (4630.05), retail meat and meat products, including poultry (4721.03), fresh, chilled, and frozen meat trading (4721.70), and meat selling (4781.97) before your license is issued.

The Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality regulates and monitors the food industry within the city. They enforce guidelines and standards to safeguard public health and ensure food businesses comply with hygiene, handling, and storage practices.

Food Classification & Barcode

All the food products being imported must be registered in the Registration and Classification System, which is identified based on a barcode.

Halal Certification

All meat and poultry products and food containing ingredients from an animal source like gelatin shall be accompanied by Halal Certificated issued by Halal Certification Bodies approved by the concerned department.

Handling of Non-Halal

General Requirements

  • Food establishments importing, exporting, processing, storing, selling & serving Non-Halal foods shall obtain permit and layout approval from Food Safety Department. 
  • Food establishments shall not mix Non-Halal Food/Products with Halal foods during transportation, storage, preparation, or display.

Food/Product Halal is an Arabic word meaning “allowed” or “lawful”. Food is considered Halal if the animal is slaughtered or food is prepared in the manner prescribed by Islamic law: 

  • Does not consist of any part of or item from animals that are prohibited for Muslims by Islamic law, or halal animals that have not been slaughtered according to Islamic law 
  • Does not have any substance that is considered impure in Islamic law 
  • Is not prepared, processed, or manufactured using equipment or utensils that are not free from impurities as defined by Islamic law 
  • That, in the preparation, processing, or storage stage, does not come in contact with any kind of food that does not meet the requirements or any substances that are considered impure by Islamic law

Sale of Non-Halal Food/Products a. A departmental store or supermarket shall be allowed to display and sell Non-Halal Food/Products after prior approval from the food safety department of Dubai Municipality. b. Non-Halal Food/Products can be sold in a departmental store or supermarket with an area not less than 7000 Square Feet. c. Space provided for pork products should be adequate and based on the extent of activity. d. Preparation and storage facilities shall be provided as per the requirements mentioned in this Code. e. If there is butchery for handling pork products, it shall be separate and equipped with all necessary supplies. f. Departmental stores and Supermarkets must have a designated person to handle Non-Halal Food/Products, and a separate cash counter to sell such products.

Importing Meat, FIRS Program and Food Trade Control Section

In addition, importers and or re-exporters of meat products must register with Dubai Municipality E-Government. Before importing food products to UAE, your company must be first registered with the Food Import and Re-Import System (FIRS). The import establishment process is only possible when the company importing is registered in the Dubai Municipality. 

Dubai Municipality’s Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) is an electronic service provider that assists trading organizations in importing or re-exporting food products. With FIRS, you can take advantage of the following services.

  • Importing Food Products
  • Re-exporting food products
  • Issue all kinds of certificates
  • Food labels and circulars about the food traders and clients
  • Online applications can be submitted from anywhere in the world.
  • Registration of all kinds of food items and food product information
  • Food inspection
  • Worldwide electronic payment is available
  • Food sampling

Requirements for Imports, Purchase, and Sale of Non-Halal Food/Products 

  • The food label on packaged Non-Halal Food/Products shall clearly and visibly state the ingredients in Arabic and English. 
  • The importer/trader is primarily responsible for ensuring that Halal Food/Products are not mixed with Non-Halal Food/Products or ingredients. 
  • The importer/trader should ensure that Non-Halal Food/Products are sold ONLY to food establishments that have prior permits for the sale of Non-Halal Foods//Products. 
  • The importer/trader shall transport Non-Halal Food/Products in a separate vehicle designated for non-halal Food/Products only.

Economic Substance Return

Business activities wholesale meat and meat products (4630.05), retail meat and meat products, including poultry (4721.03), fresh, chilled, and frozen meat trading (4721.70), and meat selling (4781.97) are not subject to specific regulatory requirements like Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) or Economic Substance Regulations (ESR).

According to the Dubai Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), companies conducting certain business activities in the UAE must maintain adequate economic substance within the country to comply with international standards and prevent unfair taxation. In addition, Dubai’s regulations require companies and entities to keep accurate records about their ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), who truly own or control the company or entity. However, the trading of meat and meat products in Dubai is not subject to the regulations of the UBO or ESR.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

Business activities wholesale meat and meat products (4630.05), retail meat and meat products, including poultry (4721.03), fresh, chilled, and frozen meat trading (4721.70), and meat selling (4781.97) are not subject to AML regulations in the UAE.

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