How to Start Selling Green Coffee from Indonesia in the UAE

The UAE is a significant player in the global coffee supply chain. The coffee market in the country is expanding rapidly, and in response to the growing demand for beans in the Middle East, the Dubai DMCC Coffee Center has tripled its trading capacity. The Emirates is an ideal location to initiate international trade focused on this region.

In this article, we explain how you can swiftly start selling green coffee from Indonesia worldwide with the right approach to business registration in Dubai.

The Customer and the Challenge

Karakter Coffee is a manufacturer and exporter of green coffee from Indonesia. The company trades beans grown on one of the founder’s farms, imports them to the Emirates, and sells them to roasters. The founders, Nikolai and Andy, came to us through a recommendation from our previous customers, who they knew from a shared interest in cryptocurrency.

When Karakter Coffee approached us, they were collaborating with various roasters in Indonesia, with a goal to collect coffee in Indonesia and import it to the Emirates for further re-export. They were particularly interested in penetrating the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, that is, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Oman, Egypt, and other countries.

We began our collaboration with the business through calls and correspondence, eventually meeting in person when the founders visited Dubai.

Our responsibility was to assist them in establishing a company and storage warehouses here, which required obtaining an entrepreneurial resident visa and setting up a bank account.

The Outcome

― The mainland company was established in three days.
― The visa for one of the founders was secured within a week.
― The company bank account was opened in three days.

What Was Done

We’ll share the details step by step.

Establishing the company. We faced some unusual challenges because Andy, one of the founders, had never visited Dubai before. A key requirement for setting up a mainland company here is having a Unified ID Number, a unique personal identifier generated upon entry to Dubai. Regardless of how the company is established, whether through an online portal or the DED (Department of Economic Development) service center, this UID number is mandatory. So, if a person has never been to Dubai, they need to come here to set up a company.

Andy didn’t have a UID, so we couldn’t include him as a founder of the company. We initially tried to get a UID remotely, but our request was denied — a common occurrence. Therefore, we had to arrange for Andy’s visit urgently.

These issues delayed the company establishment process by a week. However, once Nikolay and Andy arrived, we met up, had coffee, and simultaneously initiated the process of obtaining a resident visa for Nikolay, which went rather smoothly. As a result, the company was established within three days.

Securing a resident visa. According to UAE law, foreign entrepreneurs can obtain a UAE resident visa when they start a business here. Nikolai wanted this. As for Andy, he didn’t need a visa — he oversees coffee plantations in Indonesia and doesn’t intend to relocate.

As part of our agreement, Nikolai was required to obtain a visa within 90 days of his arrival. We gathered, processed, and submitted all necessary documents within a week. Once we saw that everything was proceeding smoothly, we determined that Nikolai’s presence was no longer needed. He left to attend to his own affairs, and our representative collected Nikolai’s resident visa. The entire process took eight days.

Opening a bank account. As Nikolai was the sole resident visa holder in the company, he was designated as the authorized person at the bank. However, we encountered several issues while creating Nikolay’s profile that could have hindered the account opening process at some banks. After assessing the situation, we decided to apply to Sharjah Islamic Bank. We prepared and submitted all documents in a manner that met this bank’s compliance requirements. Thanks to our experts’ professional work, we were able to open the company’s bank account in a record three working days.

The entire process, from start-up to the point where the company could legally sell coffee, took approximately one month, from November to December. We could have completed it even quicker if we hadn’t needed to arrange for Andy’s arrival.

Customer’s testimonial

“When I needed to establish a company in the Emirates, I asked around and was advised to contact AWATERA. We had a Zoom call where we discussed all the details and I received some advice on what to do and what to avoid. A few days later, they sent me a proposal outlining all the steps and costs involved. The team was always available and everything was accomplished remarkably quickly. I appreciate that they continue to support me months later.”

Nikolay Klimov, Co-founder and CEO of Karakter Coffee UAE

If you require assistance in relocating your business to Dubai, we are here to help:

+971 55 371 3659