UAE Restaurants and Cafes in 2023: Insights for F&B and FMCG Industries

December 18, 2023
10 mins read
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In today's dynamic landscape, decisions in the UAE's food and consumer goods industries are based on data. In 2023, these industries have changed a lot. As a location intelligence company, we are here to help with useful insights for better decisions and managing risks in F&B and everyday product marketing strategies.

In the United Arab Emirates, there are over 26,795 restaurants and cafes, each offering something special. The UAE has a distinct food culture. Adapting your menu to suit local tastes is crucial for success in its competitive food scene.

Standing Out in the Competition

As businesses prepare to seize opportunities, the importance of location data cannot be overstated. Whether you're serving Abu Dhabi or catering to customers in Dubai, understanding local preferences is crucial. Tailoring your marketing strategies to match these specific demographics is key.

Location data enables you to analyze customer preferences and adjust accordingly. You can obtain such data from location data providers like xMap. By the end of this article, you'll gain valuable insights and figures for making strategic decisions, whether you're planning a new location, studying competitors, or staying updated on trends.

Restaurants in UAE Provinces

This unique dataset attribute is a game-changer, and it's incredibly user-friendly. Our visual representation beautifully illustrates how restaurants and cafes are spread across diverse provinces in the United Arab Emirates.

Each spot on the map signifies a specific restaurant or cafe location, making it a valuable tool for understanding the distribution across regions.

Abu Dhabi Province has the highest number of restaurants and cafes in the UAE followed by Dubai and Sharjah Province.

Abu Dhabi Province has over 8,881 restaurants and cafes, Dubai has over 8,726 and Sharjah Province has 3,541 counts.

Umm al-Quwain Province has the lowest population of restaurants and cafes with 564 counts followed by Fujairah Province with 1,096 restaurants and cafes.

Using POI Data for Business Success in the UAE

This point of interest data can be used to develop actionable business intelligence strategies. POI data like this can help you with:

  1. Strategic Location Decisions: Utilize detailed insights to strategically choose locations for your marketing efforts, ensuring higher returns on investment as you target areas where your potential customers frequent.
  2. Tailored Marketing for Success: Stay ahead of the competition by thoroughly analyzing the F&B scene in different regions. Make well-informed choices for opening new establishments, outpace competitors, and explore emerging neighborhoods.
  3. Enhanced Customer Connections: Craft personalized menus, promotions, and experiences by tapping into consumer preferences through POI data. This not only fosters customer loyalty but also ensures higher satisfaction levels.

Traffic Data of Restaurants and Cafes in the UAE

The traffic score functions as a measure to assess the popularity of individual restaurants, cafes, or bakeries. Our approach entails consolidating information from diverse phone sensors and constructing an index that mirrors the liveliness and engagement levels of each establishment in comparison to others throughout various areas.

Out of 26,795 restaurants and cafes in the UAE, there are 2,516 of them that are highly visited and 73 of these establishments have a 5-star rating. Though Abu Dhabi has more restaurants and cafes than Dubai, Dubia has 912 out of the 2,516 most visited restaurants and Abu Dhabi Province has 763.

How to Increase Traffic for Your F&B Establishment in the UAE

Regardless of the competition in the F&B market, there are effective ways to stand out in the market:

  1. Boosting Visibility through Smart Marketing: Enhance your restaurant or cafe’s presence in the competitive F&B market by forming local partnerships, collaborating with influencers, and optimizing online profiles. Utilize food delivery platforms strategically and create a buzz with special events to attract a broader customer base.
  2. Optimizing Location for Increased Footfall: Elevate traffic to your F&B establishment by carefully selecting the right location within UAE cities, considering factors like accessibility, traffic, and local demographics. Whether you run a charming café or a bustling city restaurant, understanding customer habits is crucial for drawing them in.
  3. Informed Decision-Making with Data Analytics: Harness the power of data analytics to understand consumer behavior through location data. Optimize your F&B business strategy based on insights, adjusting operating hours and menu offerings to align with customer preferences.

Ratings of Restaurants and Cafes

Rating is crucial for F&B businesses in the UAE as it serves as a direct reflection of customer satisfaction and a key influencer for potential patrons. In a region where dining experiences are highly valued, ratings act as a guide for locals and tourists alike, helping them make informed choices about where to dine.

Positive ratings not only enhance a business's reputation but also contribute to increased visibility, drawing more customers through the door. Conversely, negative ratings can impact trust and deter potential customers.

In a competitive F&B landscape, maintaining a positive rating is not only a testament to the quality of service and cuisine but also a strategic advantage for continued success and growth.

17,707 of the restaurants and cafes in the UAE received ratings from customers. You can see that customer success is a priority for restaurants in the UAE.

Over 2,486 restaurants have a 5-star rating. 3,883 restaurants and cafes get 3-4 star ratings.


The UAE's dynamic F&B scene is full of vibrancy, each establishment possessing its distinctive features. Amid intense competition, FMCG and F&B enterprises encounter the task of drawing in and retaining customers. Nevertheless, using location data for smart and strategic decision-making emerges as a key competitive edge.

To obtain a free sample of our UAE Restaurants and Cafes dataset, send us an email —

Or visit our catalog page.

If you’d like data samples for other countries like Egypt, the USA, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and more in MENA, North America, and Europe, please visit our platform and sign up.

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