The Cold Supply Chain (CSC) is an integral part of the supply chain of perishable products. The aim of this research is to examine the inhibitors that have a major impact on the performance of CSC operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study provides a synthesis and suggests a hierarchical model among CSC inhibitors and their respective relevance. The hierarchical synthesis of twelve (12) primary CSC inhibitors is achieved through a comprehensive literature review and consultation with academics and CSC professionals. This study used semi-structured interviews, a fuzzy interpretive structural modeling (FISM) and a Fuzzy-MICMAC (FMICMAC) analysis to explore and establish the relationship between and among identified inhibitors. FISM is used to examine the interaction between inhibitors, while FMICMAC analysis is used to examine the nature of inhibitors on the basis of their dependence and driving power. The results of the FISM and FMICMAC analysis show the inter-relationships and relative dominance of identified inhibitors. The results show that some inhibitors are of high strategic importance due to their high driving power and low dependence. These inhibitors seek more management attention in order to improve their effectiveness. The result of a hierarchical model helps to understand the influence of a particular inhibitor on others. 'Higher capital and operating costs' occupy the highest level in the FISM model. The 'fragmented cold supply chains', 'lack of skilled labor', 'inadequate information system infrastructure' and 'lack of commitment by top level management' had strong driving power but weak dependence, which characterizes them as independent inhibitors. Management should be extra careful when dealing with these inhibitors as they influence the effects of other variables at the top of the FISM hierarchy in the overall management of the cold supply chain. The study also suggests a number of recommendations for addressing these inhibitors in cold supply chains operating in the UAE. With due attention and care for these inhibitors, the operation of the cold supply chains is likely to be even more successful. Copyright: © 2021 Sharma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.