What Are Guidelines Stipulated For Mobile Food Truck Owners In The UAE?

Mobile food truck owners in Abu Dhabi have been given a warning not to park their trucks in places that are not included in their permits. The Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi said owners of mobile food trucks should operate only from approved and designated locations as specified in the permits issued to them by the authorities. According to the authorities, the mobile food vendors must place their work permits in such a way that they can be seen clearly inside the truck. 

Mandatory requirements for parking mobile food trucks in the designated places: 

Adhering to the measures and requirements of the Department of Economic Development 

Not parking the trucks anyhow unless when in operation 

Placing the license or permit clearly inside the wagon 

Ensuring that the vehicle is in good condition and can move immediately upon request 

All employees in the truck must wear a uniform for the commercial establishment 

The permit will be cancelled through the smart platform Smart Hub if the request is made to move the truck to another location, and a new permit for the new location will be issued. 

The commercial license issued by the Department of Economic Development must be valid for a period of three months if a request is made to issue or renew the operating permit. 

Authorities have also set requirements for food truck external appearance and it is expected for food truck owners to comply with them. It also includes the external shape of the food truck that is approved by the Department of Economic Development. Also, the vehicle used for operating as a food truck should be suitable for this purpose and in good condition and should not affect the general appearance of the city. 

Previously in 2016, the licenses for food trucks were issued in the UAE. Licenses were subject to an existing restaurant or foodstuff catering license either owned by a UAE citizen or with a local partner. 

Licensing was subjected to several conditions: 

There were certain specifications to be observed by vehicles’ manufacturers as they should be exclusively designed to practice such an activity. 

To obtain a license, food truck operators were to agree, not to park in unpermitted locations, sell unpermitted items or use a vehicle that is not compliant with the specifications. 

They had to agree to set opening times, and refrain from leaving waste behind, producing noise or loud music, or putting chairs and tables outside of dedicated parameters. 

The use of unpermitted advertisements, or operating on public roads and obstructing traffic was forbidden. Operators were to first obtain approval from ADDED’s Commercial Protection Directorate, as they could not start practising until the final permit is issued by the ADDED’s Permits and Advertising Section. 

ADDED has developed, as mentioned above, a comprehensive software that covers all the procedures for issuing a permit for mobile restaurant activity as part of the e-services package provided to clients on practising commercial activities across the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The decision to offer licenses to food truck operators was taken by ADDED in alignment with several government bodies including the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), The Civil Defense General. 

In the times of Corona, COVID-19 tests were made mandatory for all the employees working at food trucks and they were not allowed to have more than two workers inside the trucks. Staff must wear face masks and gloves, apart from maintaining a distance of at least two metres while working, taking orders or delivering items. If an employee got infected with the virus, the food truck had to halt its operations, while those showing symptoms should be taken to the nearest medical facility for testing. 

These are guidelines issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development in times of Covid-19: 

Use single-use packaging for food items 

Monitor delivery staff frequently, with temperature checks throughout the day 

Staff should not handle engine parts (in case of repairs or maintenance) 

Customers to keep a distance from the mobile truck and cooking area 

Encourage customers to use electronic payment methods 

Provide hand sanitisers at payment points and all operational points inside and outside the truck 

Staff to regularly wash hands and sanitise, especially before and after handling cash or credit cards 

Sterilise and clean the food truck and all its surfaces, tools and appliances throughout the day 

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