The Cheapest Way to Import Foods into Dubai: A Step-By-Step Guide

The Cheapest Way to Import Foods into Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each with its customs and immigration department. Food importation into the UAE is, therefore, subject to the laws and regulations of each emirate. The most common method of food importation into the UAE is via sea freight, with Dubai being the busiest port in the country.

Importers should be aware of the UAE’s import regulations and requirements, which protect the country’s food supply. The UAE has a zero-tolerance policy for food items considered ‘contraband.’ Contraband food items include, but are not limited to, pork products, alcohol, and drugs.

The UAE has a growing food import market, and is working to attract more foreign investors. The UAE’s food import market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as the country’s population continues to grow.

This blog post is a step-by-step guide for importing foods cheaply into Dubai.

What Is FIRS Program?

The FIRS program is a food import and export control system implemented by the Dubai government. It is designed to ensure the safety and quality of food products traded in the emirate. The program includes a food labeling system, food testing, an inspection regime, and a food recall system.

The Food Trade Control Section is responsible for implementing the FIRS program. It is responsible for issuing import and export licenses, conducting food inspections, and enforcing food safety and quality standards.

The Cheapest Method of Foods Importation into Dubai

Importing foods to Dubai can be expensive, depending on the type of foods and where they come from. The cheapest way to import foods into Dubai is to use the services of a company that specializes in food importation.

These companies will often have connections with suppliers in other countries and can get food into Dubai at a much lower cost than if you try to do it yourself. This will help ensure you get the best price for your food.
Some factors that can affect the price are the type of imported food, the amount of imported food, the origin and destination of the food, and the method of transportation.
The cost of importing foods to Dubai by air is relatively high due to the higher costs associated with air transportation, but you can get fresh food from around the world in less time. However, the cost of importing foods to Dubai by the ocean is relatively low.

The cost of importing foods to Dubai by land is the lowest due to the lower costs associated with land transportation. Still, it takes more time, and the choice of food import method will depend on the type of food and its expiration date.

Steps to Import Foods in the Cheapest Way

Registration in FIRS:

The business must first register with the Food Import and Re-Import System before importing food items into the UAE. The company importing must be registered with the Dubai Municipality for the import setup process to be carried out.

The following things are needed to register a company in Dubai Municipality’s Karama office:

  1. A copy of the company’s trade license.
  2. The company’s Post office Box number, telephone, fax numbers, and email.
  3. Names and mobile numbers detail the representatives of the company authorities.
  4. The location and details of the warehouses with telephone and fax numbers of them

Finding a Reputable and Experienced Shipping Company:

There are a few things to consider when finding a reputable and experienced shipping company to import foods to Dubai.

First, ensuring that the company is registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is essential.

Second, the company should have a valid license from the Dubai Municipality.

Third, the company should have a good track record with no complaints from previous clients.

Fourth, the company should be able to provide a competitive quote.

Finally, the company should be able to guarantee the food items being shipped.

Labeling of Foods

In order to import food into Dubai, all food products must be properly labeled. The label must include the following information:

  • The name and address of the manufacturer
  • The country of origin
  • A list of ingredients
  • The net weight or volume
  • The expiration date or “best before” date
  • The name and address of the importer
  • The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) registration number
  • All food labels must be written in English and Arabic

Foods Standards

The United Arab Emirates has strict food standards to be met to import food into the country. All food products must be registered with the Ministry of Environment and Water before being imported. All food products must also meet the UAE’s food safety standards, based on international standards set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Imported food products must be labeled in Arabic and English. The Ministry of Environment and Water must inspect all food products upon arrival in the UAE. Only food products that meet the UAE’s food safety standards will be allowed into the country.

Foods Classification and Barcode

Food classification and barcodes are essential to import food into Dubai. All food products must be classified and given a barcode to be imported into the country. The classification system ensures that all food products are safe for consumption and meet the country’s standards. All food products must be labeled with a barcode corresponding to their classification.

The Cheapest Way to Import Foods into Dubai A Step By Step Guide -

Expiration and Production Dates

In order to import food to Dubai, it is essential to be aware of the expiration and production dates of the food. The expiration date is the date after which the food should not be consumed, and the production date is the date on which the food was produced.

When importing food to Dubai, it is essential to ensure it is within its expiration date. The food should also be appropriately labeled with the expiration date. If the food is not within its expiration date, it may be rejected by the Dubai authorities.

Documents Required for Importing Foods Products

There are a few documents required when importing food products into Dubai. They are as follows:

  1. The bill of entry
  2. A commercial invoice that provides detailed information on imported products, including the HS code, value, quantity, etc.
  3. A packing list that outlines the contents of each shipment.
  4. A certificate of origin that indicates where the products were manufactured.
  5. A food safety certificate issued by the competent authority in the country of origin certifies that the products meet Dubai’s food safety standards.
  6. A phytosanitary certificate issued by the competent authority in the country of origin certifies that the products are free from pests and diseases.
  7. A health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian certifies that the products are fit for human consumption.
  8. A Halal certificate issued by a competent authority certifies that the products comply with Islamic law.


The cost of food in Dubai can be expensive, but there are ways to import food into the city at a cheaper price. One way to do this is by using a logistics company specializing in importing food into Dubai.

Dfreight is here to help you get the food you need at a lower cost and can also help you with the customs process.


What kind of food products can I import to Dubai?

You can import any food product that is allowed by the Dubai authorities.

How much does it cost to import food products to Dubai?

The cost of importing food products to Dubai depends on the type and quantity of products you want to import.

How can I import food products into Dubai in the cheapest way possible?

There are a few ways to do this:
Use a freight forwarder
Use a customs broker
Use a 3PL provider

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