So you’re among the people who love shisha, are likely to order shisha on rent or opt for shisha home delivery, and are planning to make shisha one of your sources of income.
It’s undoubtedly a great idea if you have all the things necessary for it. Good business acumen, sound knowledge, the right connections, and of course, a love for shisha – all make up the list of essentials in this venture. For the rest, we’re here to help!
First, take heart in knowing that the shisha business in the UAE is warm and all-embracing, and getting started is among the most straightforward processes. UAE’s incorporation process, low barriers for entry, and lucrative tax rates make it a great market to tap and utilize.
So, what steps should you follow in opening your shisha bar in this market teeming with potential and having your business idea as one of its social customs?
01 | UNDERSTANDING THE SHISHA MARKET
Before entering any new space, it’s essential to understand the area to create your spot. That’s what market research and understanding the market are all about. You can work towards fulfilling the current trends, competitions, requirements, and gaps only when you have a sound understanding.
While the UAE market is wide open and easy to get into, shisha in the UAE has been popular for quite some time. By 2028, it is estimated that the shisha smoking market will be worth USD 25 billion (almost 92 billion AED), and the Middle East will account for more than 80% of it. That means that while the market is thriving and set to grow exponentially, it is also packed with competition.
Keep in mind the three factors of market analysis –
Like post-pandemic effects, popular flavors, top brands, and associated services like shisha rental Dubai and shisha home delivery Dubai offers.
Your target audience and what they’re looking for
Their convenient go-to bars, why they like a particular place, what they want in an ideal shisha bar, and their behavioral patterns like are more likely to get shisha on rent and would they opt for shisha home delivery rather than stepping out for it?
What they’re doing, their USPs and shortcomings, and how you fare among them. Remember that your competitors will include shisha on rent and shisha home delivery services.
02 | ADHERING TO RULES AND REGULATIONS
Once your market research and understanding are strong enough, the next step is knowing and ensuring that your new bar adheres to the codes and conducts and follows the rules and regulations of the area.
You need a restaurant license to open a shisha bar in Dubai. This license consists of two parts – a trade license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and approval from the Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department.
The food code of storage, cleaning facilities, and ventilation will all need to be followed. In addition, smoking areas will need to be demarcated – they can be at most 50% of your total space. A few more examples are that shisha tables must be non-flammable and rustproof, and there must be provision for disposable mouthpieces for everyone.
03 | NAMING YOUR BRAND
Talking about rules and regulations reminds us that before you apply for your licenses, you must also establish a name. This name needs to steer clear of offensive terms, plagiarism, and any other cultural controversies.
04 | THE LOCATION
Finding the right location is based on understanding your right audience. For example, are you looking to serve youngsters? Or are you planning to keep your audience broad, covering a more extensive pool? The ideal location needs to be close to where your ideal audience is usually located. Of course, the place will include aspects like your rent/purchase of the area, how it fits your budget, and scalability options.
An important aspect to consider is that your space is enticing enough for people to want to step out for shisha rather than going for the shisha home delivery Dubai has a plethora.
05 | THE LEGAL STRUCTURE
This aspect involves giving your company a legal identity and status. The legal structure will affect your business tax, personal tax, and responsibilities toward debts in case of bankruptcy.
06 | THE EQUIPMENT
Here comes the exciting part. Once you have laid out the foundations of establishing a company, you will have to equip your premises per the theme you have in mind. From the right furniture, hookahs, and product stock to amenities and sections that adhere to the health and safety regulations, draft a list and start checking them one by one! Ensure you consider taking insurance in the event of on-site accidents.
07 | THE STAFF
Next on the list comes the staff after the equipment in your shisha bar. Your guests will always remember the service of your place and how it made them feel, which essentially comes down to how friendly, skilled, and hospitable your staff is. Estimate the resources you will need according to the skill set and varied services, the number of people for each team, and the people you will need as support, like finance experts or a marketing agency.
08 | MARKETING PLAN
That brings us to the part about charting out your marketing strategy. From pre-launch, launch, and post-launch, you will need to attract, engage, and retain your customers, and only a good plan will help you achieve it.
Think about creating a primary audience, advertising in mainline media like newspapers and hoardings, and establishing an online presence. For engagement and promotions, figure out ideas like Happy Hours, Special Days and Deals, and Entertainment Events.
09 | BUSINESS PLAN
It would be best to draft a business plan to secure finances from potential investors or your bank. This plan will include your company description, market analysis and opportunities you identified, a competitive analysis, your method of execution from operations and management to development, your marketing plans, and your financial projections.
10 | SECURING FUNDS
Lastly, raising the capital and securing funds to fulfill your ideas and sustain them. We recommend starting with a personal contribution towards equity and then reaching out to financial institutions for startup capital.
And with that, it’s a wrap of the ten key steps to opening a shisha bar in Dubai. But hold on; we have a bonus!
Of course, setting up the entire thing can be daunting, which is why there are collaborators you can reach out to. Shisha Art, for example, provides exclusive shisha outsourcing services in addition to shisha on rent, shisha home delivery, and shisha catering. Serving over 25+ lounges in the UAE, they’re among the best outsourcing partners in Dubai. They provide 360-degree solutions for your shisha operations, including highly-skilled shisha masters, high-quality shisha and equipment, ambiance, and online as well as offline marketing solutions.