Dubai’s coffee culture and industry have seen an impressive expansion in recent years.
Coffee shops are now commonplace throughout the city, offering local and international customers a wide selection of drinks and food.
To better understand this growth in demand for coffee outlets, it is necessary to analyze the number of cafes operating within Dubai’s borders.
This article will outline the many cafés in Dubai and explore what these results mean for entrepreneurs, consumers, and policymakers involved with the city’s burgeoning café sector.
Coffee Culture in Dubai & Trends
As the UAE has developed, so too has its coffee culture.
Once reserved as a welcoming brew for Bedouins in the desert, it is now enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and incomes alike.
And this appreciation for coffee continues to grow with each new generation.
Whether consumed from a traditional dallah or modern ceramic cup, there’s no denying that coffee plays a vital role across many aspects of life here, both socially and culturally.
Coffee History in Dubai
The traditional way of drinking coffee in the Gulf region has been a part of its culture for centuries.
The server holds the dallah, an ornate pot, in their left hand with their thumb pointing upwards while holding the cup in their right hand and offering it to guests who take it using their right hand.
Coffee is usually served only one-fourth full but can be refilled if desired.
Traditionally seen as a ‘luxury good’ reserved for tribal sheiks and honored guests, coffee has recently become more accessible with the rise of cafes.
These social gathering spots now offer friends an opportunity to meet up over music or conversations while still being served from the traditional dallah like before.
In the UAE, coffee making has evolved into an art form.
Hand-crafted metal pots to ceramic cups and espresso or filter machines have taken over from traditional brewing methods.
Today’s specialty shops in Dubai offer unique brews that exemplify the local craftsmanship of producing a delicious cup of java with every sip.
Number of Coffee Shops in Dubai
There are approximately 4,000 coffee shops in the UAE, and an average of six million cups of coffee are consumed daily.
This demonstrates the country’s strong relationship with its beloved beverage, a unique mixture between Arabian culture and modernity that locals can quickly identify within Dubai alone.
This love of food is evident everywhere, from shopping malls to business districts and tourist destinations.
These areas boast a variety of cafes, such as independent local ones, international chains, or specialty roasters catering specifically to tourists visiting these popular locations with higher concentrations than other parts of the city.
Average Spends in Coffee Industry
A report released by the Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) sector in the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) reveals that Dubai has 615 companies operating within its coffee trade.
The establishment of this has further solidified Dubai’s standing as a prominent international trading center for coffee.
With operations involving manufacturing, retailing/wholesaling, exporting/importing, and providing hot drinks at cafes or restaurants to ready-to-drink products available in supermarkets and other stores.
According to Research & Marketing’s 2021 Coffee Market Report, the worldwide market is predicted to reach $144.68 billion by 2025.
This is partly due to eCommerce growth and increasing demand for instant coffees coupled with specialty brews driving up company numbers in these trades.
The UAE, renowned for its unique coffee and tea-drinking culture, has earned the nickname “Melbourne of the Middle East.”
It is estimated that each person in this region consumes an average of 3.5 kilos per year – a total expenditure by the nation amounting to $630 million annually!
This number continues to increase, with new brands appearing on shelves daily, making up part of the grand figure spent yearly on coffee: $7 billion.
Coffee Shops Trends & Stakeholder Supports
Dubai’s expanding coffee shop market has far-reaching effects on its citizens and the wider community.
For consumers, it provides a variety of unique experiences with different cultures, flavors, and brewing techniques to explore.
The city’s cafe scene has even been acknowledged internationally through awards from global guides and job opportunities for those involved in roasting beans or becoming baristas.
The New Dubai Coffee Trading Hub
Dubai has recently established a 7500-square-meter Coffee Centre in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to bridge European and Middle Eastern high-income consumer markets with some of the world’s major coffee-producing nations.
The significance of the beverage industry in both Emirates and the Middle East is being emphasized by this move.
This enables Emirati companies engaged in coffee trading to access global markets through services provided by Dubai Industries & Exports – a department under DET.
Due to the assistance of this organization, UAE-based company ‘Coffee Plant’ has been able to expand its operations into more than 20 countries worldwide.
This organization is crucial in promoting sustainability and helping local factories gain international reach.
The booming population, influx of tourists, rise in income, and the vast selection of available coffee have all contributed to a sharp increase in Dubai’s coffee consumption.
The market has become increasingly competitive, with more companies providing higher quality coffees catering to consumer needs.
Considerations for Entrepreneurs Planning to Open Coffee Shops
Starting a coffee shop in Dubai is challenging, as the market is highly competitive and full of local and international established players.
To succeed, entrepreneurs must have an edge, such as providing specialty coffees or food offerings that are unique to their business.
They should be aware of all relevant regulations regarding setting up a business in Dubai while also considering cultural differences in catering to customers’ tastes and preferences.
Policymaker’s Role in Coffee Industry
To foster a thriving coffee industry in Dubai, policymakers have an essential role to play.
The government of Dubai has been very supportive of the food and beverage sector, which includes the coffee industry, by offering incentives and infrastructure development.
For instance, initiatives launched by the Dubai Municipality work towards improving food safety and hygiene standards, two essential elements crucial for businesses within this field.
Policymakers can also investigate other measures that could be beneficial, including tax incentives or simplified licensing processes, so entrepreneurs looking to start their cafe in Dubai feel supported throughout their journey.
To sum up, the coffee industry in Dubai has experienced an impressive rise over recent years, with a current total of around 4,000 shops.
This growth has enticed caffeine lovers worldwide to sample the diverse range of flavors and cultures associated with this popular beverage.
It is important to note that such rapid expansion can positively and negatively affect stakeholders, including consumers, business owners, and local authorities, making policy decisions concerning its regulation.
Despite some potential drawbacks, it appears clear that entrepreneurs stand to benefit significantly from such commercial opportunities connected with this ever-growing sector.
- Fanack | Cofee in the UAE – https://fanack.com/united-arab-emirates/culture-of-uae/coffee-in-the-uae-an-ever-evolving-staple/
- CoffeeBi | Coffee Business in the Emirates – https://coffeebi.com/2020/07/13/coffee-business-in-the-emirates/